|Gotham Chamber Opera, in collaboration with the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, presents a double bill of Alexandre bis & Comedy on the Bridge, both by Bohuslav Martinu, from October 14 – 18, 2014 at Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street, NYC. Performances: Opening Night gala on Tuesday at 7:30pm; Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30pm. Tickets are $30-$175 and are available online at www.ticketcentral.com, by phone at (212) 279-4200, or in person at 416 W. 42nd Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues) in the lobby of Playwrights Horizons.
Alexandre bis & Comedy on the Bridge features music by Bohuslav Martinu with Neal Goren, conductor; James Marvel, stage director; Cameron Anderson, set designer; Fabio Toblini, costume designer; and Clifton Taylor, lighting designer.
A bridge to nowhere. A singing painting. An intermittent beard. Take a dip into the 20th-century absurd as Gotham Chamber Opera begins its 13th season with a double-bill of short comic operas by Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu. Alexandre bis (Alexander twice) is a surrealist comedy about a man who decides to test his wife’s fidelity by shaving off his beard and posing as his own cousin from San Francisco. She recognizes him but falls in love anyway. Martinu’s answer to Mozart’s Così fan tutte observes the conventions of comic opera while tweaking them, thus proving that a composer, if not a husband, can have it both ways. Comedy on the Bridge tells the story of two rival principalities separated by a river. A woman returning from one side gets caught in the middle by a bureaucratic snafu; soon she’s joined in this absurdist limbo by a letch, a fiancé, a vengeful wife, and a schoolmaster with a riddle. Everyone has a secret, but no one has a clue – except the composer, who gets them all happily sorted by the end. Featuring Jenna Siladie, Abigail Fischer, Cassandra Zoé Velasco, Jason Slayden, Jarrett Ott, Joseph Beutel.
Gotham Chamber Opera previously presented a Martinu double-bill of Les larmes du couteau and Hlas lesa in 2003, a hit with the press and the public, resulting in lines around the block for returned tickets.
ABOUT THE 2002/2003 MARTINU DOUBLE-BILL:
“Both works were done with a startling combination of sensitivity and panache.”
– Paul Griffiths, The New York Times
The 2014-15 season continues with El gato con botas (Puss in Boots), with music by Xavier Montsalvatge.
Neal Goren / Geoff MacDonald, conductors; Moisés Kaufman, stage director; Andromache Chalfant, set designer; Clint Ramos, costume designer; David Lander, lighting designer; and Sean Curran, choreographer.
A co-production with El Museo del Barrio and Works & Process at the Guggenheim and produced in co-operation with Tectonic Theater Project.
December 6 – 14, 2014, El Museo del Barrio, NYC
Tickets $30-175, 212-279-4200, www.ticketcentral.com
This fall, the cat in the spats is back, when Gotham Chamber Opera revives El gato con botas (Puss in Boots), Xavier Montsalvatge’s take on the classic story of a mangy feline with magical talents. Can Puss win the princess’s hand for his master? Can he outwit the evil ogre? Don’t miss the amazing Bunraku puppetry that turns a fairy tale into an eveing of “tuneful,” “magical,” “exquisite,” and eye-openig opera. Gotham’s production will be directed by Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project, 33 Variations) and features puppetry from London’s Blind Summit Theater. Featuring Andrea Carroll, Ginger Costa-Jackson, Karin Mushegain, Craig Verm, and Kevin Burdette.
Gotham Chamber Opera is the nation’s leading opera company dedicated to vibrant, fully staged productions of works intended for intimate venues. Its high quality presentations of small-scale rarities from the Baroque era to the present have earned Gotham an international reputation and unanimous critical praise.
Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Neal Goren, Gotham debuted in 2001 with the American premiere of W.A. Mozart’s Il sogno di Scipione. In subsequent seasons, the company has produced many more local and world premieres, including Bohuslav Martinu’s Les Larmes du Couteau and Hlas Lesa (U.S. premiere 2002); Heinrich Sutermeister’s Die schwarze Spinne (U.S. premiere 2004); G.F. Handel’s Arianna in Creta(U.S. stage premiere 2005); Ottorino Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco (U.S. premiere 2005); Ariadne Unhinged, with music by Claudio Monteverdi, Joseph Haydn, and Arnold Schoenberg (World premiere 2008); Hadyn’s L’isola disabitata (New York stage premiere 2009); Xavier Montsalvatge’s El Gato con Botas (U.S. stage premiere 2010); Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters (World premiere 2011); Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories To Tell You (World premiere 2014); and Toshio Hosokawa’s The Raven (U.S. premiere 2014).
Gotham has partnered with notable New York and national institutions, including Lincoln Center Festival and Spoleto USA (La bella dormente nel bosco) in 2005; the Morgan Library and Museum for Scenes of Gypsy Life (an evening of song cycles by Janáček and Dvořák) in 2008; the American Museum of Natural History and the American Repertory Theater for Hadyn’s Il mondo della luna (2010); Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Broad Stage, Los Angeles for Daniel Catán’s La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini’s Daughter, 2013); Trinity Church Wall Street for Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s La descente d’Orpheé aux enfers (2013); The Metropolitan Museum of Art for Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Beecher’s I Have No Stories To Tell You (2014); and the New York Philharmonic for Hosokawa’s The Raven (2014).
Gotham has earned a reputation for showcasing outstanding young singers alongside established directors and choreographers such as Mark Morris (the 2009 production of Hadyn’s L’isola disabitata), David Parsons (the New York stage premiere of Astor Piazzola’s tango opera, María di Buenos Aires), Karole Armitage (the world premiere of Ariadne Unhinged), Basil Twist (La bella dormente nel bosco), Robin Guarino (Gioachino Rossini’s Il signor Bruschino and Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda/I Have No Stories to Tell You), Christopher Alden (Il sogno di Scipione and Arianna in Creta), Diane Paulus (Il mondo della luna), Moisés Kaufmann (El gato con botas), and Rebecca Taichman (Dark Sisters and La hija de Rappaccini.)
In recent years, Gotham Chamber Opera has been recognized as a pioneer in creating opera productions in alternative venues, beginning in 2010 with its production of Haydn’s Il mondo della luna at the Hayden Planetarium, followed in 2013 with the U.S. professional stage premiere of Francesco Cavalli’s Eliogabalo at New York’s notorious late night club The Box, Catán’s La hija de Rappaccini on the Cherry Esplanade of Brooklyn Botanic Garden and at the Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills, and the double-bill of Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Bloomberg Arms and Armor Gallery and Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You in the Medieval Court.
For more information, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.
The mission of the Gerald W. Lynch Theater is to provide diverse artistic and scholarly events that will educate, entertain and involve our academic and public communities. These events shall resonate with the goals and mission of John Jay College: EDUCATING FOR JUSTICE; to provide a source of free or low cost cultural and artistic presentations to the John Jay community and the surrounding neighborhood of Clinton; to provide a venue for John Jay College academic and community events.
For more information about the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, please visit:www.jjay.edu/theater.