Gotham Chamber Opera

Where opera gets intimate.

Announces 2013-2014 Season

 Gotham Chamber Opera announces the 2013-2014 season, featuring four new productions, including a world premiere and a U.S. premiere. The season begins with Baden-Baden 1927: a staged evening of four one-act operas that appeared together at the Baden-Baden Festival in 1927, from October 23 - November 1, 2013 at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, followed by a co-production with Trinity Church, Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s La descente d'Orphée aux enfers from January 1-5, 2014. The season continues in February with a double bill co-produced with and staged at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, consisting of Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by Monteverdi, and a newly commissioned work, I Have No Stories to Tell You, by Gotham Chamber Opera Composer-In-Residence Lembit Beecher. The United States premiere of The Raven by Toshio Hosakawa at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater concludes the season in May 2014 as part of the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL.








Georg Baselitz, Die Mitte verloren, 2011 

Baden-Baden 1927
Music by Kurt Weill, Darius Milhaud, Paul Hindemith and Ernst Toch.
Neal Goren, conductor; Paul Curran, stage director; production design by German neo-expressionist painter Georg Baselitz and Court Watson
October 23, 2013 at 7:30pm and October 26, 27, and 29, 2013 at 8pm
Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, NYC
Tickets are $30-$175 and will be available at

Gotham Chamber Opera will begin its 12th season with a fully-staged production recreating the legendary Baden-Baden Festival of Contemporary Music performance of July 17, 1927. During the composer-organized summer festival, four one-act operas were presented in one evening: Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, Paul Hindemith’s Hin und zurück (There and Back), Darius Milhaud’s L'enlèvement d'Europe (The Abduction of Europa), and Ernst Toch’s Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse (The Princess and the Pea). Most noteworthy among the works is Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, which was premiered at the festival and later developed into the complete opera, Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny. Gotham Chamber Opera will re-create this historic performance of all four operas with a fully-staged production entitled Baden-Baden 1927. The program will be directed by Scottish director Paul Curran, with production design by German neo-expressionist painter Georg Baselitz and Court Watson. The production marks the long-awaited return to the New York stage of legendary soprano Helen Donath and also stars soprano Maeve Höglund, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera, tenors Daniel Montenegro and Matthew Tuell, baritone Michael Mayes and bass John Cheek. 

Soprano Helen Donath 

La descente d’Orphée aux Enfers
Music by Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Neal Goren, conductor; Andrew Eggert, stage director
January 1, 3, 2014 at 7pm and January 5, 2014 at 5pm
Trinity Church Wall Street, St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway and Fulton, NYC

For the New York stage premiere of Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers, Gotham Chamber Opera partners with members of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra. The cast will be led by Daniel Curran as Orphée, Jeff Beruan as Pluton, and Jamilyn Manning-White as Eurydice. Charpentier’s 1686 opera retells the story of Orpheus who, upon learning of Eurydice’s sudden death, descends to Hades in order to convince Pluto to allow her to return with him to earth. This classic story of selfless love and the power of music to overcome death will be staged by Andrew Eggert and presented in historic St. Paul’s Chapel.

Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda 
Music by Claudio Monteverdi
I Have No Stories To Tell You (World Premiere)
Music by Lembit Beecher and Libretto by Hannah Moscovitch
Commissioned by Gotham Chamber Opera
for performance in the Medieval Sculpture Hall of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A co-production of Gotham Chamber Opera and Met Museum Presents
Neal Goren, conductor; Robin Guarino, stage director

Wednesday, February 26 & Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 7pm
The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court and the Medieval Sculpture Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 7pm
HD Transmission in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Composer Lembit Beecher 

Gotham Chamber Opera, in conjunction with Met Museum Presents, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s performance series, will present two performances of an opera double-bill consisting of Claudio Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and the World Premiere of I Have No Stories to Tell You, a newly-commissioned work from Gotham’s Composer-in-Residence, Lembit Beecher. The performances will be staged in two locations in the Museum: Monteverdi’s opera will be performed in the museum’s Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Arms and Armor Court, and Beecher’s new work will be performed in the Medieval Sculpture Hall. Instruments from the Met’s musical instrument collection will be used in the performances.

Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda was published in 1638 in the composer’s Eight Book of Madrigals. This operatic scena tells the story of the Christian soldier Tancredi who battles with a Muslim soldier, unknown to Tancredi as his lover Clorinda because she is disguised in armor. When Clorinda is mortally wounded, Tancredi discovers her identity. As she lies dying, she asks to be baptized. The instrumentation for the scena is string quartet and continuo.

Gotham Chamber Opera composer-in-residence Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch respond to Monteverdi's Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by focusing on the aftereffects of war. Their 30-minute opera, I Have No Stories To Tell You, turns from the battlefield to domestic life to tell the story of a photojournalist's return home after extended assignment in the Middle East. Haunted by her experiences and reluctant to discuss them with a husband who no longer seems to understand her, she struggles to readjust to home. As we see glimpses into her life over the course of a year, we begin to understand the burden of guilt she carries, her inability to communicate it with her husband, and the way in which her husband's need to know will drive their relationship to the brink. Scored for a period instrument ensemble and inspired by interviews with soldiers and army psychologists, I Have No Stories To Tell You explores the effects of war on one's identity and sense of home. The instrumentation for the opera is string quartet, theorbo, harpsichord, Baroque oboe, and electronics. The cast includes Beth Clayton, mezzo-soprano, and Craig Verm, baritone.

The Raven (U.S. Premiere) at the NY PHIL BIENNIAL
Music by Toshio Hosokawa, after the poem by Edgar Allan Poe
Neal Goren, conductor; Luca Veggetti, stage director/choreographer
May 28, 2014 at 7:30pm and May 30 and 31, 2014 at 8pm
Gerald W. Lynch Theater

Toshio Hosakawa’s The Raven, a monodrama for mezzo-soprano and twelve instrumentalists, will be given its U.S. Premiere at the Gerald W. Lynch as part of the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL festival. Directed and choreographed by Luca Veggetti, it will star Fredrika Brillembourg in the role of the Narrator and danced by Alessandra Ferri, former prima ballerina assoluta with the Royal Ballet (1980–1984), American Ballet Theatre (1985–2007) and La Scala Theatre Ballet (1992–2007).

Based on the narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven tells the story of a man visited by a raven after the death of his lover. To all the questions the man asks, the raven only answers, 'nevermore' and drifting through states of different emotions the narrator, still burdened with the loss of his beloved, finally lays down in the raven's shadow, his soul trapped and shall be lifted 'nevermore'.

Of Hosakawa’s The Raven, Gotham Artistic Director Neal Goren writes: “I first became aware of Toshio Hosokowa after reading the ecstatic reviews coming from Europe for his chamber opera Matsukaze in summer 2011. Upon hearing his music, I was shocked that I had not known of this modern master previously. His music is wildly sensual and atmospheric, with luminous colors and exhibiting a huge emotional range. Poe’s unsettling text interacts with Hosokowa’s diaphanous, iridescent colors to create an unforgettable evening of haunting, intense beauty. It will be my joy and honor to conduct the U.S. premiere of The Raven for the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL.”

> Download the entire press release here.

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