A Night at the Opera Press Release
ON SITE OPERA PRESENTS COMEDY AND TRAGEDY UNDER THE STARS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CARAMOOR THIS SUMMER
STEPHANIE BLYTHE AND LAQUITA MITCHELL BRING LESSON PLAN LIVE TO THE STAGE ALONG WITH EXCERPTS FROM CARMEN
On Site Opera Continues Tenth Anniversary Season with One Night Only Production in the Hudson Valley
NEW YORK, June 2022 – On Site Opera, New York’s pioneering opera company rooted in site-specific storytelling and the immersive experience, returns to Katonah’s Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts for a one-night-only performance entitled A Night at the Opera with Stephanie Blythe and Laquita Mitchell, July 22 at 8:00 p.m. Reimagining the company’s winter digital production of Lesson Plan for the live and in-person stage, along with arias and duets from the timeless opera, Carmen, the evening, presented in partnership with Caramoor brings comedy and tragedy to the stage under the billowing tent of the outdoor Venetian Theater.
Originally created as a Zoom opera and making its stage premiere, Lesson Plan, is based on Georg Phillip Telemann’s Der Schulmeister with additional music and new English libretto by Rachel J. Peters. International opera great Stephanie Blythe stars as an acclaimed opera diva who thinks she will be teaching a master class with trained singers. Instead, due to a logistical faux pas, she takes the stage for a group of liberal arts students from a community college — a group with little singing experience or interest in what the great diva has in mind. Intercepted by an overwhelmed school administrator, sung by Laquita Mitchell, who has a side hustle as an amateur choir director, the pair clash over teaching technique, singing, and the true meaning of art. While scales and arias were part of the curriculum, with a little humor and a lot of heart, they leave with a much more valuable lesson in humility, humanity, and truly finding their voice.
In the second half of the program, Blythe reprises her acclaimed tenor debut in the role of Don José in excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen, joined by Mitchell and Maya Lahyani for a thrilling program of arias and duets from this timeless opera arranged for two piano accompaniment.
“Our 2020 Caramoor performance was the first COVID cancelation we experienced as a company, and we could not have possibly imagined the incredible weight of the pandemic in the years to follow,” explains Eric Einhorn, General and Artistic Director of On Site Opera. “To return to this incredible venue this season and to have a chance to reimagine our newest work Lesson Plan for the stage with a live audience is simply the perfect way to spend a summer evening and continue to celebrate our 10th birthday of making opera in incredible spaces!”
This performance is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts and the Howard Gilman Foundation.
A Night at the Opera with Stephanie Blythe and Laquita Mitchell featuring Lesson Plan and excerpts from Carmen will be held on July 22, 2022, at 8:00 p.m. at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, located at 149 Girdle Ridge Road in Katonah, New York.
A pre-performance conversation with On Site Opera’s General and Artistic Director Eric Einhorn and librettist Rachel J. Peters will be held at 7:00 p.m. for all ticket holders.
TICKET and VENUE INFORMATION
Tickets are $40, $65, $75, $85, and $105 and available at https://caramoor.org/event/an-operatic evening-stephanie-blythe-summer-2022/
Garden Listening tickets are $20 and free for Members and children under 18 years old. It is recommended to bring your own seating for Garden Listening.
For events taking place in the Venetian Theater, proof of vaccination or the use of a mask is not required.
ABOUT ON SITE OPERA
Founded in 2012 and celebrating their 10th anniversary season, New York City-based On Site Opera is the country’s leading presenter of site-specific operas in non- traditional venues. Rooted in collaboration and storytelling, On Site Opera celebrates the connection between artist and audience through highly curated experiences led by exciting opera artists and bold and innovative creative teams. Each On Site Opera production invites New Yorkers to explore their city in new and unique ways, while cultivating a new generation of opera audiences. To date, OSO has produced 19 operas in as many unique locations to critical acclaim, including the Bronx Zoo, Harlem’s historic Cotton Club, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the American Museum of Natural History, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Committed to exploring new technology to make opera more accessible, OSO was the first opera company to employ Google Glass supertitles, and the company has currently developed its own mobile app for multi-language translations and digital program information.
Following extended COVID-related theater closures in 2020, On Site Opera was recognized as a leading organization in reimagining opera, bringing productions to audiences around the world through the telephone, by mail, and online in inventive and creative productions.