Experiments in Opera announces their 2013-14 Season and yearlong residency at Abrons Arts Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The residency will feature three performance programs of new works of experimental opera including an evening of opera choruses in partnership with VisionIntoArt (Chorus of All Souls, November 2, 2013), a showcase of opera shorts for the radio (Radio Operas, February 28 – March 1, 2014), and the premiere of an evening length opera that has been in development with EiO for the past two seasons (Brother Brother, May 2-3, 2014). A $60 three event subscription (savings of $15) will be available starting August 12 at www.AbronsArtsCenter.org.These mainstage programs will be augmented throughout the year by supporting videos, photos and writings that will help to contextualize the works in progress and by three free public programs (Opera in Dialogue) aimed to build dialogue between the composers, writers, performers, directors and designers working in the hybrid space of experimental opera. Experiments in Opera will partner with online magazine CultureBot.org for these public programs,which will take place in in the Abrons Arts Center Experimental Theater. Opera in Dialogue #1 will take place Sunday October 27 from 7 – 9 PM. The second and third evenings of this series will be announced shortly. The Abrons Arts Center, located at 466 Grand Street, New York, NY, is the performing and visual arts program of Henry Street Settlement. The Abrons supports the presentation of innovative, multi-disciplinary work; cultivates artists in all stages of their creative development through educational programs, commissions, and residencies; and serves as an intersection of cultural engagement for local, national, and international audiences and arts-workers. For more information, call (212) 598-0400 or visit www.AbronsArtsCenter.org.
DETAILED PROGRAM INFORMATION: EXPERIMENTS IN OPERA’S 2013-14 SEASON
Chorus of All Souls
Saturday November 2, 2013, 8pm
Abrons Art Center Playhouse. Tickets are $30.
In celebration of the Day of All Souls and the close of Hallowmas, EiO, in partnership with VisionIntoArt, presents a semi-staged production of John Zorn’s The Holy Visions, an exhilarating choral opera based on the writings and work of the medieval mystic and composer, Hildegard von Bingen. “Chorus of All Souls” will also include the premiere of When No One Around You is There by Jessica Pavone which utilizes the chorus as an abstract metaphor for the human predicament and two semi-staged choral operas: Jason Cady’s Nostalgia Kills You, a comedy about a man and his zombie ex-girlfriend and Matthew Welch’s Reanimator Requiem which merges the mass for the dead with H.P. Lovecraft’s cult classic.
February 28 – March 1, 2014, 8pm
Abrons Arts Center Underground Theater. Tickets are $20
This program of radio operas will feature works that include spoken texts, sound effects and music and draw on the audiences’ imagination to create vivid stage images. Commissioned artists will include Jonathan Mitchell of “The Truth” podcast, Jason Cady and Ann Heppermann, Aaron Siegel, John King, Paul Pinto and Matthew Welch.
May 2-3, 2014, 8pm
Abrons Art Center Playhouse. Tickets are $25.
This program will feature a full production of EiO co-founder Aaron Siegel’s evening length opera, Brother Brother directed by Mallory Catlett, with design by Mimi Lien and performances by Mantra Percussion and Cadillac Moon Ensemble. Brother Brother, which has been in development with Experiments in Opera for the last two seasons, explores the relationship between Orville and Wilbur Wright following their first flights in 1903. This fascinating story of business, family and legal fights is layered over a secondary story of contemporary brotherhood and the complexities of growing up with an unusual idea of brotherly intimacy.EiO will commission four video ‘Opera Trailers’ from Matthew Welch, Dave Ruder, Daniel Kushner and Jason Cady to open each Brother Brother program.
ABOUT EXPERIMENTS IN OPERA
Co-founded by composers Matthew Welch, Jason Cady, and Aaron Siegel, Experiments in Opera is a composer-driven initiative, featuring recent and new works with innovative answers to the traditional questions about how to connect words, story and music. Our activities respond to the pronounced need to nurture composers who are exploring musical work beyond a strictly concert setting, but furthermore into the hybrid genre of opera. Additionally Experiments in Opera builds supportive and informed audiences that are capable of contributing to its work.In its first two programming seasons, Experiments in Opera has presented the work of more than 12 composers in three large-scale presentations aimed at expanding the collective understanding of experimental opera. Venues have included Le Poisson Rouge, Roulette, and Issue Project Room, and have featured works by composers Jason Cady, Aaron Siegel, Matthew Welch, Georges Aperghis, John Zorn, Robert Ashley, Joe Diebes, Ruby Fulton, Gabrielle Herbst, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Justin Tierney, Leaha Maria Villarreal and the Cough Button collective. Also featured were performances by pianist Emily Manzo, singer Erin Flannery, drummer Brian Chase, Hotel Elefant, and the performance collective Why Lie?All of the work developed with Experiments in Opera is documented extensively in videos, images and writings that are available in an online catalogue at experimentsinopera.com. These insightful looks into the origins of artists’ ideas and their working habits help to support EIO’s mission of building a more robust conversation about how and why opera works the way it does. www.ExperimentsInOpera.com.
—VisionIntoArt, “always intriguing and frequently beguiling” is a multimedia production company that “facilitates flamboyant, confounding and enticing collaborations” (New York Times). With the belief that collaboration sustains artistic innovation, VIA creates and commissions works that involve various disciplines, presented around the world for the general audience, and forged from the most exciting emerging and established artists living today. Since Paola Prestini co-founded the company in 1999 at the Juilliard School, VIA has created and performed over fifty original works. VIA’s works have been seen at Lincoln Center, the Barbican Centre, the Atlas Theater, HIFA, in Zimbabwe, and the Kennedy Center. VIA’s works have toured to colleges and universities in the US, and to international festivals such as Apertif in Concerto at Teatro Manzoni, Etna Fest in Italy, and BEMUS in Belgrade, Serbia. Support for VIA comes from the National Endowment of the Arts, Cary Trust for New Music, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the New York State Council on the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, American Music Center, ASCAP, the BMI Fund, the Kenan Institute, Nathan Cummings Foundation, National Video Resources, the Council on Foundations, the Amphion Foundation and individual donors www.visionintoart.com