Wednesday, April 2, 2008


In a month from today American Opera Theater will give the North American professional premier staging of Charpentier's 1688 masterpiece "David et Jonathas" (for those of you that knew us when we were Ignoti Dei Opera this might seem a bit confusing - we workshopped D+J in 2005 with our young artist program Les Enfants Terribles at the Baltimore Theatre Project and a tiny band - this will be a full mainstage production with large forces for both the orchestra and choir). This is an important step for the company, and after 3 performances in Washington, DC we make our New York debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music...more than a touch scarey, but exciting all the same.

Inspired by Opera Vivente director John Bowen's blog posts leading up to their performance of Jonathan Dove's "Tobias and the Angel" (a show that got great reviews and I hate to have had to miss it - congrats to John and the whole company!) I have decided to embark on the same pre-show path. I must admit that John's dilligence in this is a little daunting, but I will try all the same. With each post I will also include one or two production photos from our 2005 workshop (beautifully shot by Greg McKleskey).

For this first in the series I am going to take the easy way out (because I am running out the door to rehearse for a concert of rare Spanish violin sonatas I am playing with ID violinist Daniel Boothe this Friday!), and will post the description of D+J on our beautiful postcards designed by Kel Millionie. Still, I hope it will wet your appetite.

This photo of Jason Buckwalter as SaĆ¼l is my favorite from the workshop.
As a piece mainly about man's relationship with a higherpower, be it fate, God, a vast space,
I think that this photo captures it perfectly.

The American Opera Theater completes its 2007-2008 season and makes its New York debut with Charpentier's remarkable 1688 opera "David et Jonathas". This work is a breathtaking masterpiece of the French baroque, yet strikingly contemporary in its themes. "David et Jonathas" explores the relationship between three timeless figures and mans relationship with the universe. In profoundly beautiful music Charpentier creates a heartbreaking portrayal unlike any of its day. The Baltimore Sun says the opera "set to music of immense beauty, couldn't be more noble as anything by Wagner, as emotionally wrenching as anything by Puccini". With the acclaimed Ignoti Dei period orchestra and an international cast of soloists, AOT is also particularly proud to be joined by the Virginia Tech Chamber Singers in these performances. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this rare and profound work come to life on stage in a New World premier production.

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