Friday, June 15, 2007

Not lost in space...

Here is just a little post to let you know I have not been lost to the outer regions of space. I am currently teaching an opera workshop at Indiana University and have limited access to computers (which is making staging Messiah must more of a reality). I always enjoy these opportunities to stage selected scenes from larger works. It is a great chance to experiement and to make artistic choices which work for scenes, but wouldn't work for the entire show. I am enjoying the low-pressure creative environment.

Be on the look out for our summer cocktail fundraiser. It will be Thursday July 19th and will open the 2007 Artscape. Details will be available on the website, but I know it will include a wonderful recital by AOT favorite soprano Bonnie McNaughton and pianist Roberto Velo, performing selected romantic pieces and Latin-American piano works. It will be a great chance to enjoy fine music, a summer evening of drinks and food, and supporting AOT's exciting 2007-2008 season!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Come One, Come All!

Not a lot to post about lately (in the personal world I have been packing up the house and preparing to move to temporary sheltor while I teach the IU Summer Opera Workshop and then move more permanently to Barcelona, Spain).

Today is different, however. Tickets for the new season go on sale today and, though I don't expect a rush of the box office right away, it would be great to see some tickets sell. They can be purchased here. Because of our new relationship with Georgetown University this is the first time we have been able to offer a complete season and the sell tickets far in advance for multiple shows. As a repertory company we want to include usually one revived show in each season. Because this wonderful residency came on so fast, this season will feature to revived productions and one new. I'm sure you have all seen my recording recommendations on the side that correspond to our season, but I will go over it one more time just incase (this is similar to what will be in our soon to be released season brochure, but it can serve as a special preview for blog readers).


We will open our 2007-2008 season with a work that combines the ancient and the modern. Ground is an intimate performance piece that weaves intoxicating ostinato-bass compositions of the Italian 17th century into the story of a life-cycle for soprano and counter-tenor. With meaning conveyed through gesture, movement and video projections, this innovative theater piece touches the heart with its directness and simplicity. Audiences greeted the 2006 performances with uniform enthusiasm and AOT brings back the same musicians for its 2007 revival. Though strikingly new in its multimedia aesthetic and dramatic perspective, the themes of Ground are eternal and human, and its effect is timeless. Named one of the top-ten arts events of 2006 in the Washington DC Metro area, Ionarts calls Ground "a visually intriguing and musically lovely work...not like anything else you're likely to experience".

Davis Center, Georgetown University September 7-9

At the center piece of this season is America's first staged Messiah. What is unquestionably Handel's masterpiece comes to life upon the stage in a production capturing the essence of the work. The combined forces of AOT, Ignoti Dei Orchestra, and a vibrant and talented young cast come together to explore the human side of Handel's iconic score. Performed by five soloists, choir, and in its original 1742 orchestration for strings and trumpet, AOT peers through Messiah to look at the questions of being human at the beginning of the new millennium.

The score is electrifying, the libretto a masterpiece of rhetoric construction, and together they are considered by many to be divine. The vibrancy and power of this work exist in its inherent drama. In the spirit of that drama the creative team of AOT meets Handel's Messiah on its own terms, and the staged production is the result of an organic process of allowing the work to speak for itself. Musical sensitivity, dramatic innovation, artistic precision; the cornerstones of AOT are realized in one of the great pillars of western culture.

Davis Center, Georgetown University December 7-9
Lyric Theater, Virginia Teach December 10
Baltimore Museum of Art December 21-23

David et Jonathas

We complete our 2007-2008 season with Charpentier's remarkable 1688 opera David et Jonathan. This work, the largest in the AOT repertoire, is a breathtaking masterpiece of the French baroque and strikingly contemporary in its themes. Work-shopped in AOT's 2005 young artist program, this production will be the first professional staging of the opera in the Americas. David et Jonathas explores the relationship between three timeless figures and probes the nature of man's relationship with the universe. In profoundly beautiful music Charpentier creates a heartbreaking portrayal unlike any of its day. Of the 2005 workshop the Baltimore Sun said the opera "set to music of immense beauty, couldn't be more noble as anything by Wagner, as emotionally wrenching as anything by Puccini." For this final production of the season, AOT is joined by the enlarged Ignoti Dei orchestra and chorus.

TBA, Baltimore May 1 (Benefit Concert Performance)
Davis Center, Georgetown University May 2-4
TBA, New York May 9-10

It is the Georgetown tickets which go on sale today, but information on other performances will be available as we get closer (you can join AOT's mailing list, both traditional and electronic, on our website). The most exciting thing about these tickets though is that season tickets are available at a substantial discount to our already affordable ticket prices. Please support us by coming to our exciting productions for a whole season and encourage your friends to do the same. These seasons passes make great presents or group activities. The easiest and most rewarding way to support the arts is to take part in them!

In other news, I found this terrific article yesterday in the Onion and just had to share it...