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GOTHAM CHAMBER OPERA'S 2012-2013 Season begins with GOTHAM @ LPR: ORIENTALE

by Michelle Brandon
September 30, 2012
New York, NY
GOTHAM @ LPR: ORIENTALE
October 1 & 3, 2012 at 8pm
at (le) poisson rouge
Gotham Chamber Opera begins its 2012-2013 Season with GOTHAM @ LPR: ORIENTALE, a collaboration with Company XIV and MAYA, featuring the artists of Gotham Chamber Opera. The show will be performed on Monday, October 1 and Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 8pm (doors open at 7pm) at (le) poisson rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, NYC. Tickets are $15-$25 and are available online at lepoissonrouge.com.

Gotham Chamber Opera presents an evening of music at the intersection of East and West. GOTHAM @ LPR: ORIENTALE will include Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, along with music by Rameau, Lully, Szymanowski, Delibes, Schumann, Bizet, John Hadfield, and traditional Armenian music.
The artists of Gotham Chamber Opera will be joined by a baroque instrumental ensemble, the dancers of Company XIV, the flute-harp-percussion trio MAYA, Grant Herreid (theorbo and guitar), Nina Stern (chalumeau and recorder) and Nathan Botts (trumpet). The cast will include Jennifer Rivera, Maeve Höglund, Michael Kelly, and Zachary Altman.

Music Director: Neal Goren, Associate Music Director: Grant Herreid, Stage Director/Choreographer: Austin McCormick, Set and Costume Designer: Zane Pihlstrom.

Gotham Chamber Opera is the nation's foremost opera company dedicated to producing rarely-performed chamber operas from the Baroque era to the present. The company's mission is to present innovative, fully-staged productions of the highest quality in intimate venues. Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Neal Goren in 2000, Gotham Chamber Opera has, in its short history, presented seven U.S. premieres of 18th- and 20th-century operas, including such masterpieces as Mozart's Il sogno di Scipione; Darius Milhaud's Les Malheurs d'Orphée; Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu's Dada opera Les Larmes du Couteau; and Swiss composer Heinrich Sutermeister's Die schwarze Spinne. In February 2005, Gotham presented the U.S. stage premiere of Handel's Arianna in Creta. Also in 2005, Lincoln Center Festival and Spoleto Festival USA presented Gotham Chamber Opera's U.S. premiere of Ottorino Respighi's fantastical puppet opera La bella dormente nel bosco, featuring the puppetry of Basil Twist. In the spring of 2006, Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring received its first professional staging in New York in more than 30 years, and in winter 2007, Rossini's Il signor Bruschino received its first major professional New York staging in more than half a century. In the 2007/2008 season, Gotham Chamber Opera celebrated dance with Astor Piazzolla's tango opera, María de Buenos Aires, directed by David Parsons and featuring Parsons Dance, and with a new work entitled Ariadne Unhinged, directed by Karole Armitage and featuring members of Armitage Gone! Dance. In 2009, Mark Morris directed the U.S. stage premiere of Haydn's L'isola disabitata. Most recently, in 2010, Gotham made news world-wide for its high-tech production of Haydn's Il mondo della luna, staged in the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History, and for Montsalvatge's El gato con botas (Puss in Boots), at The New Victory Theater, staged by Tony Award-nominated director Moisés Kaufman, with puppet design by Blind Summit Theatre. For more information, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.

Company XIV is a non-profit mixed media dance/theater company based in Brooklyn, New York. Founded by Juilliard graduate Austin McCormick in 2006, the company works in the mediums of live dance/theater and film. The work is contemporary, yet Baroque-inspired. Taking his cue from theatre/dance/opera under the reign of Louis XIV, McCormick seeks to unite design, choreography, and music to create compelling 360-degree experiences for audiences in which they are fully immersed in the theatrical experience. The work is a unique mash up of Classical Texts, Baroque Choreography, Eclectic Music, Pop Culture References, Opera, Burlesque, Ballet, Gender Bending, Fashion, and Theatrical Staging that has left audiences and critics breathless.

MAYA, a trio of percussion, harp and flute, was founded in 2005 and performs new music, music of different world cultures, and incorporates improvisations into its performances. MAYA actively commissions music from a broad variety of composers with a special emphasis on emerging composers, receiving grants and awards from American Composers Forum, Argosy Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Spanish Ministry of Culture, and the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation. MAYA In The Spirit (Perspectives Recordings) was released in December 2007. Of the trio's second recording featuring music of Neil Rolnick on his album The Economic Engine (Innova), The New York Times said: "The brightly spirited 'Uptown Jump' (2006), a study in rich, tactile textures and inventive variation, juxtaposes jazz moves with ragalike percussion patterns. MAYA, a trio of flute, harp and percussion, plays it with grace and energy." A third CD, including Robert Paterson's The Book of Goddesses was released on the American Modern Recordings label in 2011. MAYA has toured nationally and performs regularly in New York City.

Gotham Chamber Opera's 2012/2013 season will continue with the New York Premiere of Francesco Cavalli's ELIOGABALO (1667) from March 15-29, 2013 at The Box, staged by James Marvel. The season will conclude in June with a production of Daniel Catán's 1988 opera, LA HIJA DE RAPPACCINI (Rappaccini's Daughter), in site-specific venues.

ELIOGABALO
Music by Francesco Cavalli, Libretto by Aurelio Aureli
James Marvel, director; Grant Herreid, music director; Neal Goren, associate music director
Gala Opening Night on March 15, 2013 at 7:30pm
March 19, 21, 23, 26, 29, 2013 at 8pm, The Box, 189 Chrystie Street
Tickets will go on sale on October 1, 2012 at www.ticketcentral.com, 212-279-4200.
Opera is full of courtesans and lechers and, in the 20th century, outright acts of perversion. (Salome, anyone?) But you have to go back almost 350 years for the work with the most depraved protagonist of all: Eliogabalo, by Francesco Cavalli. Based on the life of the Roman emperor Heliogabalus, who reigned from 218 to 222, the opera tells the story of a man who even today remains notorious for his sexual appetites, his appointment of an all-female senate, and his well-deserved assassination. Cavalli (1602-1676) died without ever seeing a performance of the opera, which was written for the Venice festival of 1668 but withdrawn and replaced by another on the same subject. Cavalli's original was rediscovered in 1998 and received its world premiere in 2004 at La Monnaie in Brussels. This March, Gotham Chamber Opera presents Eliogabalo – staged by James Marvel and produced in cooperation with Randy Weiner (Sleep No More) – in one of New York's most decadent nightspots: The Box, on the Lower East Side. Check your morals at the door; this production is unrated! Starring Christopher Ainslie as Eliogabalo, the cast will also include Micaëla Oesta, Susannah Biller, Maeve Höglund, Emily Righter, Daryl Freedman, Randall Scotting, John Easterlin, and Brandon Cedel.

LA HIJA DE RAPPACCINI (Rappaccini's Daughter)
Music by Daniel Catàn, Directed by Rebecca Taichman, Conducted by Neal Goren
June 2013, Venue TBA
Tickets will go on sale on January 1, 2013 at www.ticketcentral.com, 212-279-4200.
Power and corruption, seen from an entirely different point of view, are key themes in the second offering of Gotham's 2012-13 season: Daniel Catán's 1988 opera La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini's Daughter). With a libretto by the Mexican Nobelist Ocatvio Paz, based on the classic short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the opera tells of a doctor who seeks to protect and control his daughter by keeping her locked in a garden where he is experimenting with poisonous plants. She is immune to them, but a carrier of their danger; when a young student falls in love with her, he is faced with the knowledge that pursuing that love will surely lead to his death. The Mexican-born Catán (1949-2011) composed in a neo-Romantic style, with long melodic lines, Debussy-like harmonies, and rich orchestrations. Though clearly contemporary, La hija de Rappaccini is as appealing as Puccini and Mozart. Also appealing are the contemporary resonances of the 160-year-old story. "An ideal can be made to serve the most horrific and inhumane causes," Catán wrote of his opera. "The 20th century has provided us with more examples than we would ever want." La hija de Rappaccini takes place at that intersection of beauty and danger – so what better place to hear it than in Gotham Chamber Opera's site-specific performances this June under the stars in a New York garden?
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