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Barber Program

On Site Opera presents Paisiello’s The Barber of Seville
June 9 & 11-13, 2015 at 7:30pm | The Fabbri Mansion (House of the Redeemer)

A comic opera by Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816)
Libretto by Giuseppe Petrosellini
based on the play by Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

 

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Click HERE to download a PDF version of the E-Program.


CAST

ROSINA
Monica Yunus, soprano

COUNT ALMAVIVA
David Blalock, tenor

FIGARO
Andrew Wilkowske, baritone

DR. BARTOLO 
Rod Nelman, bass-baritone

DON BASILIO
Isaiah Musik-Ayala, bass-baritone

SVEGLIATO/NOTARY
Benjamin Bloomfield, baritone

GIOVINETTA/ALCADE
Jessica Rose Futran, soprano


PRODUCTION TEAM

CONDUCTOR Geoffrey McDonald, Adam Kerry Boyles (6/12)
DIRECTOR Eric Einhorn
COSTUME DESIGNER Candida K. Nichols
LIGHTING DESIGNER Shawn Kaufman
WIG & MAKEUP DESIGNER Ellyn Miller
PRODUCER Jessica Kiger
STAGE MANAGER Audrey Chait
LIGHTING ASSOCIATE Coby Chasman-Beck
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Katherine Carter
RÉPÉTITEUR Dmitry Glivinskiy
WARDROBE HEAD Margaret Glass
LIGHT BOARD OPERATOR Rachel Selan
SUPERTITLE OPERATOR Dmitry Glivinskiy
VIDEOGRAPHER Kathy Wittman
PHOTOGRAPHER Rebecca Fay
LOGO DESIGNER Derek Bishop


ORCHESTRA

GUITAR Liz Faure
FLUTE Anna Urrey
CLARINET Paul Won Jin Cho
BASSOON Nanci Belmont
VIOLIN Julia Choi
VIOLIN Matteo Longhi
VIOLA Caterina Longhi
CELLO Colin Stokes

By arrangement with Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., o/b/o G. Ricordi & Co. Bühnen und Musikverlag GmbH.

Supertitles by David Anglin (oparola.com)

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PROGRAM NOTE
Paisiello’s Once and Present Masterpiece

By William Berger

For better or worse (mostly worse), it is impossible to consider Paisiello’s Il barbiere di Siviglia apart from Rossini’s opera of the same name. Because of Rossini’s, Paisiello’s Barbiere is only famous as a sidebar in music history and almost unknown in its truest essence – as an operatic masterpiece in its own right. It bears a worse fate than being merely forgotten: it is buried under a set of half-truths and untruths that have become accepted as fact simply by having been uncritically repeated so often.

The received knowledge about this piece runs roughly as follows:

Paisiello set Beaumarchais’ revolutionary play for the Imperial Russian court at Saint Petersburg in 1782 (true), naturally toning down the radical aspects of the play (not as true as people assume). The Court setting also dictated that the music be extremely refined (not true). It pleased the aristocratic audience with an elegance that bordered on the effete (untrue) and thus became outmoded quickly and holds no interest for post-18th Century audiences (absolute falsehood).

The misinformation only gets worse from there, when Rossini enters the picture. Fast forward to Rome, 1816, for the famous part of the story…. The young whippersnapper Gioacchino Rossini dares to set the same play as an opera. The fusty old guard, partisans of Paisiello and his style, conspires to boo the new work off stage. The opening night of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia is a literal riot, with the composer run right of the theater. It was only after the second (some say third) performance that Rossini’s new, exciting opera established itself as a perennial favorite, consigning Paisiello’s phoofy old opera to the dustbin of history along with powdered wigs and snuff boxes (almost entirely untrue, with just enough truth in it to be truly misleading).

Now let’s scrape away some of the barnacles crusting the legend of the Rossini premiere fiasco in order to get a clearer view of the Paisiello opera. The account of the 1816 premiere is said to derive mostly from Stendhal’s Vie de Rossini (Life of Rossini). However, if one actually bothers to read the Stendhal (which is delightful but admittedly no easy matter given that author’s gnarly prose and heavy agenda) the account does not come across quite as people like to remember it. The curtain was brought down mid-performance, but there were accidents on stage and the audience was more bored and disenchanted than savage. And that audience was not merely hidebound in its conventions. Many of Stendhal’s accounts of their pique that night show they were rather insightful. For example, Rosina’s aria “Una voce poco fa,” – now among the best known arias in the operatic repertory – was judged to be all wrong for the character, turning her into a “virago”. If we today were not so familiar with this piece (thanks to Bugs Bunny, among many others [“ Can’t you see that I’m much sweeter? I’m your little señorit-er…”]), we might have the clarity to make the same judicious assertion.

Furthermore, we have to remember that the 18th century tradition was to set the same libretto several, even dozens, of times, or more. The great librettist known as Metastasio, (a Roman, perhaps not incidentally), was the supreme example: his Adriano in Sirio was set by over 60 composers; his La clemenza di Tito by over 40, including (with alterations) Mozart. Composers were not as proprietary about libretti as they later became. True, Stendhal tells us that Paisiello, still alive (barely) in Naples in 1816, relished the possibility of a disaster for Rossini, “Il comptait apparemment sur une chute éclatante.” But this is personal and petty (if funny), and not conclusive proof of a battle of wills between a conservative, pro-Pasiello faction and the emerging young Rossinians. The situation was rather different and less competitive than it would be today when, say, different Batman movies are made within a year of each other, or, to use a more operatic (if mind-boggling) example, if Philip Glass decided to set Cats as an opera. The opening night of Rossini’s Barbiere shows a much deeper set of issues than is normally ascribed to it, and if examined closely, helps us to appreciate Paisiello’s accomplishment rather than dismiss it. The problem was not that Paisiello’s Barbiere was dated. The problem was that audiences in the 19th century could no longer understand it. The world changed between 1782 and 1816. The world is always changing, of course, but you’d be hard-pressed to find three decades that encompassed a more radical shift than those. It’s deeper than the map of Europe having been rearranged by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars (1789 – 1815); it’s deeper than the map of the Americas having transformed from three colonial empires into an emerging patchwork of a couple of dozen sovereign nations. The bigger issue of what had changed was people’s understanding of time.

As we found in On Site Opera’s production of another all-but-forgotten 18th Century gem last year, Rameau’s Pygmalion, there are certain questions one must ask about how any given opera was meant to be understood. How are the characters meant to be perceived (eg., real people, allegories, mythological beings, historical abstractions)? And the most important idea – how is time treated in this work? That sounds recherché, but trust me – failing to consider this issue leads to the same spurious dismissals of past art that has kept Paisiello in the doghouse these last two centuries.

Consider time in the ultimate Baroque operas, those of Handel. Linear time happens in the recitatives, while the glorious arias suspend time to explore and revel in every possible aspect of that moment. The Greeks, whose dramas were the prototypes of opera, clearly understood the two different aspects of time, chronos (linear) and kairos (non-linear). Someone who cannot experience time in both aspects is likely to be bored to death in a Handel opera, and it must be admitted that there are those for whom that particular art form is not a possibility. One sees them fidgeting with the invisible thought bubbles over their heads clearly reading “My God, why don’t they just get on with it already!” while the rest of us are writhing in the exquisite ecstasies of Planet Handel.

Maybe the best example of Handel’s use of stopped-time is found in his Messiah (I know… not an opera, but bear with me). Consider the “Amen” that concludes the massive oratorio: four minutes on a single word – and it’s among the greatest creations of the human mind. It is a choral number, we hear the sopranos, then the tenors, then combinations of voices, every conceivable sound giving us its own unique expression of this marvelous word of acceptance to the Universe. There is no question of finishing quickly. It is because Handel’s genius that we never want it to end. Audiences never abandoned Messiah because as an oratorio it was understood to be a “non-dramatic,” that is, “non-linear,” experience. In fact, “dramatic” is considered a negative word when applied to non-operatic works (eg., Verdi’s Requiem). His operas, however, were thought to be goners. 19th century critics didn’t hate them – they had simply ceased to exist. Handel did not see his operas and his oratorios so distinctly. Some of his oratorios were operas in all but name, and several (Samson, Semele, et al) have come to be categorized as operas.

Now let us once again use the period of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars as a boundary between epochs. In this period, passenger steamboats began running (1808) and commercial railroads appeared (1813). Time had to become standardized in the industrializing nations. In the 18th century, lunch time was when the guy who rang the bell looked up at the sky and decided it was time for lunch. This was sufficient – in fact, it was better than anything else, because the lunch-ringer was connected in a deep way to the people around him. By Rossini’s time, this was insufficient. Trains famously needed standardized time so they didn’t run into each other. Steamships began operating on fixed schedules. Suddenly, the rhythm track was louder: chronos triumphed, and no one remembered kairos – or it seemed like stasis, at least. Everything had to move in the 19th century, from Point A to Point B. Witness Verdi’s obsession with “keeping the action moving.” The novel became the standard form of literature, replacing the poem (in a process whose acceptance among the bourgeoisie of the 19th Century has been explored well, as in Ian Watt’s famous study The Rise of the Novel).

It’s high time to reconsider Paisiello, and not as merely Rossini’s stepping stone to fame. We can see what the 19th century could not see – that time is not always linear. There is no one definition of time. That’s why we can enjoy Handel’s operas as core repertory when our 19th Century forbearers thought they were dead. Some moments take longer than others – like a Handel aria. We’ve had Einstein to show us that time is relative, and we had Picasso to show us that time’s correlative, space, is also fluid. A nose can logically appear on the side of a face because faces turn – one moment this way and the next that way – and if two moments in time can exist in one (as in, say, memory), then a nose can be over there as well as over here, or even over there entirely. Quark theory reinforces this. But Handel and his contemporaries sensed this the whole time. We the public have, in my grandmother’s quaint phrase, gone all around the block to get to the house next door.

The New Grove Dictionary ends its description of Paisiello’s opera by enumerating all the ways in which “it pales in comparison to Rossini’s”: Thin orchestration (so? Rossini’s orchestration then pales in comparison to Berlioz’, or Wagner’s, or…); Paisiello’s vocal writing is not as difficult as Rossini’s (perhaps, if that were the only measure of worth – but there is also the question of the beauty of tone and refinement of style that Paisiello’s audience could appreciate so much better than later ones); Rossini’s harmonic vocabulary is “richer” (again, Paisiello wasn’t trying to be harmonic in the orchestra – the beauty of the voice reigned supreme for his audiences). In short, this is the sort of critique that sees all music in Darwinian terms, how everything points to a modern ideal. It represents the best thinking of 1860.

Now consider Paisiello’s accomplishment. For example, Lindoro’s serenade to Rosina. In Paisiello, it is the exquisite aria “Saper bramate.” The gorgeous (and yes, simple) melody repeats itself, never going anywhere, content to float suspended as if admiring its own beauty. It is only after it concludes that you realize you have spent a few minutes outside of your body, suspended, perhaps. The original orchestration is certainly “thin” by the Romantic standards of the 19th century, with prominent roles for the solo cello and mandolin. One can imagine the beaux and belles of the 18th century promenading endlessly around geometrical gardens, satiated in the perfect beauty of the moment – and in fact, this was exactly how that master of suspended time, Stanley Kubrick, used it so marvelously in his sumptuous (but not entirely understood, least of all in our nation of “doers”) Barry Lyndon. Compare Rossini’s, wherein Lindoro’s serenade accompanied by guitar is comically interrupted. It’s stiffness is a comic foil, and becomes part of the motion of the plot.

Now a bit of Paisiello on his own: Note Rosina’s aria that concludes Act II, “Giusto ciel,” a powerful and genuinely human plea for some sanity in her unhappy life. The complex finale “Cara, sit tu il mio bene,” is as fun and bubbly as a bel canto comedy, but remaining firmly within Paisiello’s vocabulary (the same can be said for this opera’s “Buona sera” quartet). Throughout the opera, Paisiello’s gift shines – especially in the sort of intimate context for which it was intended. We are truly fortunate that we live in an era that can once again appreciate his art’s unique beauty.

 

Will Berger-3

William Berger is an author, lecturer, radio commentator and Creative Content Producer for the Metropolitan Opera.

 

 

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 | Program Note | Artist Bios |
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CAST BIOGRAPHIES


Monica Yunus
Equally at home in concert, recital or on the operatic stage, Monica Yunus (Rosina) has established herself as one of America’s most promising young sopranos. She has been called “especially winning” by The New York Times and commended for her “rich and sensuous voice [that] was utterly captivating.” Her roles include Norina in Don Pasquale, Adina in L’Elisir D’Amore, Alice in Le Comte Ory, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Gilda in Rigoletto, Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera among many others. She can be seen in several Metropolitan Opera HD broadcasts ranging from The Magic Flute to Le Comte Ory to La Rondine. Ms. Yunus is a graduate of The Juilliard School and is the Co-Founder of the Sing for Hope charitable organization based in New York, whose mission is to make the arts available to all. For her contributions to the field of arts activism, Ms. Yunus has been honored to give special performances at The United Nations, the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit and received a 2009 DOHA 21st Century Leader Award in the category of Outstanding Humanitarian. Born in Chittagong, Bangladesh and raised in New Jersey, Ms. Yunus is the daughter of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus. monicayunus.com/ | Back to top of Bios


 

David BlalockIn the 2014-2015 season, American tenor David Blalock (Count Almaviva) is slated to perform Jaquino in Beethoven’s Fidelio with Madison Opera, Don Ottavio in North Carolina Opera’s production of Don Giovanni and in Silent Night with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Last season, as a Virginia Opera Emerging Artist, David Blalock was heard as First Priest in The Magic Flute, Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos and Le Remendado in Carmen. David has also recently completed his second summer as an apprentice artist with Santa Fe Opera, singing Bertram in Rossini’s La donna del Lago and Infirmary Patient in the world premiere of Theodore Morrison’s Oscar. In the spring of 2013, David made his Fort Worth Opera debut as Young Thompson in Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied. From 2009-2011, David was a member of the Maryland Opera Studio in College Park, Maryland. He has also performed as a young artist with the Seagle Music Colony and Ash Lawn Opera, singing roles in La Cenerentola, La bohème, The Magic Flute and Brigadoon. www.cami.com/ | Back to top of Bios


 

Baritone Andrew Wilkowske (Figaro) Baritone Andrew Wilkowske, whose voice has been described as “nimble,” with an “impressively open top,” is one of the most versatile performers on the stage today. His recent performance of La Rocca in Verdi’s King For a Day at Glimmerglass Festival was called “superb” by The New York Times and “brought impressive command to the text” according to The Wall Street Journal. Highlights this season include the world premiere of Lucy by John Glover and Kelley Rourke with Milwaukee Opera Theatre; Dr. Dulcamara in L’Elisir D’Amore with Minnesota Opera; the critically acclaimed rock recital Guns N’ Rosenkavalier with 5 Boroughs Music Festival; Ponchel in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, a role he created in 2011 with Minnesota Opera and has reprised with Opera Philadelphia and Cincinnati Opera and concerts with Minnesota Bach Ensemble, Schubert Club and Minnesota Orchestra. www.andrewwilkowske.com |Back to top of Bios


 

With a repertoire of over 80 roles, bass-baritone Rod Nelman (Bartolo) has performed leading roles with Washington National Opera, Arena di Verona, Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Nante, Utah Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Florentine Opera, Fort Worth Opera and Long Beach Opera, among others, and has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera since 2009. He has performed Leporello and Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Bartolo in both Barbiere and Figaro, Mustafa in L’italiana, Dulcamara in Elixir, Magnifico in Cenerentola, Alfonso in Cosi, Pasquale in Pasquale, Osmin in Abduction, Basilio in Barbiere, Mephistopheles in Faust, Fasolt in Rheingold and Wotan and the Wanderer in The Ring. Other roles include contemporary works such as Kissinger in Nixon in China, Einstein in Einstein on Mercer Street (Kevin Puts), Leopold Mozart in Letters, Riddles, and Writs (Michael Nyman), Kublai Khan in Marco Polo (Tan Dun), the title role in Sweeney Todd, George in Of Mice and Men and Blitch in Susannah. http://www.rodnelman.com/ | Back to top of Bios


 

American bass-baritone Isaiah Musik-Ayala (Basilio) is an alumnus of Irene Dalis’ Resident Artist ensemble at Opera San Jose, where he performed the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Count Des Grieux in Manon, Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville, Colline in La Bohème and Alexei Karenin in the West Coast Premiere of Anna Karenina. Musik-Ayala most recently performed as an Apprentice Artist with the Caramoor Music Festival, competed as a finalist in the 2014 Irene Dalis Vocal Competition and performed Escamillo in Opera San Luis Obispoʼs Carmen. Other recent engagements include Simone (Gianni Schicchi) and Frank (Die Fledermaus) in a return to Opera San Jose; Raimondo (Lucia di Lamermoor) with West Bay Opera; Colline (La Bohème) with Hidden Valley Music in Carmel, under the baton of Stewart Robinson; and a recital with the Beverly Hills Recital Series. Other performance highlights include Ramfis (Aida), Baron Duphol (La Traviata), Pistola (Falstaff), Sacristan (Tosca), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte) and Sharpless (Madame Butterfly). Musik-Ayala is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied with the late Richard Miller. http://www.isaiahmusik-ayala.com/ | Back to top of Bios


 

Baritone Benjamin Bloomfield (Svegliato/Notary) is originally from Concord, New Hampshire, and earned degrees from Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School. Highlights this season include Marcello in La Boheme with DC Public Opera, Leporello in Don Giovanni with Opera Company of Brooklyn, Tonio in Pagliacci with Vocal Productions NYC, Ben Weatherstaff in the east coast premier of Nolan Gasser’s opera The Secret Garden, soloist in Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem with the Rochester Oratorio Society and a return to the Castleton Festival to sing roles in Ravel’s L’heure Espagnol and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet. In previous seasons, Mr. Bloomfield has appeared at the Castleton Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, Chautauqua Opera, New York Lyric Opera, NY City Opera, Music Academy of the West and Prelude to Performance. He was a Regional Finalist in New York for the Met National Council auditions in 2007, and finalist for Chicago Lyric Opera’s Ryan Center auditions in 2012. www.benjaminbloomfield.com | Back to top of Bios


 

New York City-based soprano Jessica Rose Futran (Giovinetta/Alcade) recently made her Off-Broadway (and stilt-walking) debut in Mind the Art Entertainment’s FringeNYC Encore production of Fatty Fatty No Friends (Fast). NYC credits include Whiskey Pants: Mayor of Williamsburg (Patience) as part of the FRIGID New York Festival at Horse Trade Theater Group, Revival (Eve) at The Players Theater Annual Boo Festival, The Dream Vault Cycle (dancer) at La Mama Experimental Theater, and internationally renowned Scottish rapper S. Cree’s hit music video Ballerina (hip-hop dancer). Theater and opera highlights include Fatima, in the premiere stage production of the Oscar Award-winning film, West Bank Story, Sally (Sally), El retablo de maese Pedro (Trujaman), Man of La Mancha (Antonia), Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Sweeney Todd (Johanna), My Favorite Year (KC Downing), and Little Women (Jo). She holds a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. http://www.jessicarosefutran.com/ | Back to top of Bios


PRODUCTION TEAM BIOGRAPHIES

Hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a “promising and confident” member of the newest generation of conductors, Geoffrey McDonald (Conductor, June 9, 11 & 13; Music Director, On Site Opera) commands a broad repertoire with extensive experience in operatic, symphonic and choral works. He is the newly appointed music director of On Site Opera and the music director at the Longy Conservatory Orchestra and the Bard College Orchestra. He is also an instructor in the Bard College Conservatory’s Masters Program in Conducting. A proponent of new works and new approaches to presentation, McDonald has led operatic performances ranging from baroque to contemporary. Recent performances of Händel’s Alcina at the Whitebox Arts Center in downtown Manhattan garnered praise from The New York Times (“Geoffrey McDonald led a performance alert to both the overall momentum and the shape of individual numbers”). Other recent engagements include guest performances of Xavier Montsalvatge’s El gato con botas for Gotham Chamber Opera, workshops of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird by Daniel Schnyder and Breaking the Waves by Missy Mazzoli for Opera Philadelphia. www.geoffreymcdonaldmusic.com | Back to top of Bios


 

Adam Kerry Boyles (Conductor, June 12) is currently Director of Orchestras at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Music Director of the Brookline Symphony Orchestra, and a conductor at Opera in the Ozarks. Recent orchestral engagements include concerts with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Muncie Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Grand Harmonie, Austin Chamber Ensemble, Audio Inversions, Michigan State University, and Rhode Island College. With the Boston Opera Collaborative, he led three operas (The Crucible, Le nozze di Figaro, La bohème) between 2009-2012. He has worked with many notable conductors, such as Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Roger Norrington, Kurt Masur, and Gunther Schuller. An accomplished vocalist, Boyles performed in numerous operas with the Indiana University Opera Theater, and in Arizona Opera’s first complete presentation of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. He has sung with many professional choral ensembles across the country. | Back to top of Bios


 

Eric Einhorn (Director, The Barber of Seville; Cofounder and General & Artistic Director, On Site Opera) has been praised by The Austin Chronicle as “a rising star in the opera world” and by Opera News for his “keen eye for detail and character insight.” He is the founder of On Site Opera, a company dedicated to immersive, site- specific productions. Mr. Einhorn has directed productions for Chicago Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Ft. Worth Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Florentine Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Utah Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, the Pacific Symphony, and Gotham Chamber Opera. He has been a member of the stage directing staff at the Metropolitan Opera since 2005. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named Mr. Einhorn’s production of Dialogues des Carmélites for Pittsburgh Opera one of the top ten classical music performances of 2011. He originally created the production for Austin Lyric Opera in 2009 and was awarded “Best Opera” at the Austin Critics’ Table Awards in addition to garnering him a nomination for “Best Director.” During summer of 2014, he directed Rameau’s Pygmalion at Madame Tussauds wax museum and the Lifestyle-Trimco mannequin showroom. This production featured the world’s first implementation of supertitles for Google Glass.  | Back to top of Bios


 

Candida K. Nichols (Costume Designer) is a costume designer and photographer based in New York City. Candida has designed costumes for productions at the Lincoln Center Theater/Institute, The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, the National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO), Prospect Theater Company, Gotham Chamber Opera, On Site Opera, Perseverance Theater, Future Cinema, Nerve Tank, Williams College, and Dancecorés, among others. Her work includes designs for theatre, dance, opera, independent short films, and commercial work. Candida is also a resident artist with Theater Mitu, which focuses on world performance traditions. She has designed for them in the United Arab Emirates and United States, supporting their mission of artist training and research. www.candidaknichols.com | Back to top of Bios


 

Shawn Kaufman (Lighting Designer) is the Director of Lighting Design at CS Lighting, a firm specializing in providing lighting design and lighting resources for theatre, film, television, special events and fashion. Shawn created this new division for CS Global in 2010 after working for the last 15 years in the industry. Selected clients include Celine, Givenchy, Chloe, Armani Exchange, Vogue Magazine, Estee Lauder, Kohl’s, St. John, Bombardier, Target, GQ, Hermes, Y3, The Elder Statesman, Microsoft, Tom Ford, Hugo Boss and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Recent theatrical work includes Carmen at Portland Opera, Dialogues of the Carmelites at Austin Lyric Opera and Pittsburgh Opera, Orpheus in the Underworld at Glimmerglass Opera, I Pagliacci and Xerxes at Pittsburgh Opera. Television: QVC Red Carpet Style, The Face Finale, CNBC studio relight, The Big Gay Sketch Show (Logo Channel), Wendy Williams (Fox Network), episodes of The Apprentice Martha Stewart and Donald Trump, Associate for Martha Live and Rachael Ray Live. | Back to top of Bios


 

Ellyn Miller (Hair & Makeup Designer) Ellyn is a New York City based hair and make-up artist as well as wig technician. She works primarily as a builder and technician in the studio of Charles G. LaPointe and Tom Watson. A recent transplant from Washington D.C., Ellyn has worked with Ford’s Theatre, (Liberty Smith, 1776, Parade, Hello Dolly, A Christmas Carol) Signature Theatre (Shirlington, VA), Washington Ballet, Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. Ellyn holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. She also completed an internship with the Shakespeare Theatre Company after which she spent a season as the hair and make-up supervisor at the Harman Center for the Arts. | Back to top of Bios


 

Jessica Kiger (Producer, The Barber of Seville; Cofounder and Executive Director/Producer, On Site Opera) is a New York-based producer experienced in creative development, publicity, marketing, brand messaging, logistical planning, project management, performance in non-traditional venues, and event coordination. She is co-founder and Creative Producer of On Site Opera; a Score Reader and Production Associate for the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD broadcasts; and Producer and Event Coordinator for cellist Inbal Segev. During the 2013-14 season, Ms. Kiger served as the production assistant for WQXR’s Operavore where she was the lead producer on two radio shows. In recent years, she has also worked for Christina Jensen PR, CU Opera, as well as The Boulder International Fringe Festival, of which she is a founding member. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Ms. Kiger holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder with additional studies at the Goethe Institute, Berlin; TOP Opera in Maurach, Austria; The University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria; and La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy. | Back to top of Bios


 

Audrey Chait (Stage Manager) is a Brooklyn-based stage manager and director of opera and theater. She is delighted to return to On Site Opera for her third production, after working on Blue Monday (2013) and Pygmalion (2014). She has recently worked with the New York Philharmonic, Sarasota Opera, Manhattan School of Music, American Opera Projects, Mannes College, Carnegie Hall, Opera North, Ash LawnOpera, Opera Southwest, and others. Later this summer she will be an assistant director at Santa Fe Opera. Ms. Chait holds a BA in Literary Arts from Brown University, where she studied playwriting with Erik Ehn. Ms. Chait speaks Japanese, is a proud member of AGMA, and has also worked as an administrator for Juilliard Vocal Arts. | Back to top of Bios


 

Katherine Carter (Assistant Director) is a Michigan born, New York based director. She is the founding Artistic Director of The Other Mirror, and the co-founding Artistic Director of The MITTEN Lab. Katherine is a two-time director in the Directors Company Adaptations for the Stage Workshop, the 2011-2012 Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident, a 2015 Drama League Rough Draft Recipient and a current a guest director at New York University’s Stella Adler and Atlantic Schools. As a teaching artist, Katherine has worked at the Metropolitan Opera Company, Stagedoor Manor, and the Oberlin in Italy program. Katherine is a proud member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, Associate Member Stage Directors and Choreographers, The Lark Litwing, and The Directors Lab Chicago. www.KatherineMCarter.com | Back to top of Bios


 

DSC_0020Dmitry Glivinskiy (Répétiteur) is a Ukrainian accompanist. After settling in New York, he has participated in many festivals and performed in venues such as CAMI Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Ukrainian Institute and Bohemian National Hall among others around Europe and in China. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Mannes College of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music and of the Peabody Institute where he received a Master of Music degree and held a Graduate Assistantship in accompanying. Among his teachers are Genya Paley, Pavlina Dokovska and Boris Slutsky. Dmitry has worked with numerous opera companies as a répétiteur and made his debut as conductor with Secret Opera in NYC and recently conducted “The Barber of Seville” in March 2015 with Regina Opera. | Back to top of Bios


ORCHESTRA BIOGRAPHIES

Classical Guitarist, Liz Faure (Guitar), is currently going into her final year at Mannes College of Music. While at Mannes, she has participated in masterclasses with world-renowned guitarists such as Julian Gray (Peabody Institute of Music), Martha Masters, and Benjamin Verdery (Yale School of Music). Liz has performed throughout New York City and the tri-state area as both a soloist and with her duo partner, Joseph Landi. In addition to performing, she also arranges and composes solo and duo music. Liz’s duo group specializes in arrangements of Romantic and video game music. She studies with Frederic Hand and Michael Newman.


An avid solo and chamber music artist, Finnish-American flutist Anna Urrey (Flute) is celebrated as “a great young talent” (Il Giornale, Spoleto, Italy). Ms. Urrey is also an active orchestral musician and has performed with the New Jersey Symphony and the American Symphony Orchestra, among others. Internationally, Ms. Urrey has collaborated with Philippe Entremont at Les Concerts du Cloître in Nice, France and performed in Muscat, Oman with the Castleton Festival Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Lorin Maazel. A dedicated pedagogue, Ms. Urrey is an adjunct flute teacher at the City College of New York. Ms. Urrey earned her M.M. and Performance Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music and B.M. from Rutgers University. Her principal teachers include Robert Langevin, Michael Parloff, Bart Feller and Kaoru Hinata.


“Stylish clarinetist” and alumnus of Ensemble ACJW by Carnegie Hall, Paul Won Jin Cho (Clarinet) has performed throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and the US with the organizations of American Youth Symphony, Asian Youth Orchestra, Cornell Chamber Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center, and Youth Orchestra of the Americas. He also enjoys his resident conductor tenure with Albano Ballet as he directs music of Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Ballet in December. He plays throughout New York City with organizations such as Associated Solo Artists, Decoda, Ensemble 212, and Le Train Bleu, as well as in Broadway musical Les Miséables.


Praised as “outstanding” by the New York Classical Review, bassoonist Nanci Belmont (Bassoon) is a dynamic performer striving to find new and exciting ways to bring her music making to a wide variety of audiences. Nanci is the bassoonist with the City of Tomorrow, a touring wind quintet dedicated to the promotion and performance of contemporary works. She has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Argento Chamber Ensemble, and Decoda, and has made additional orchestral appearances with the Cape Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestras. Passionate about teaching and music advocacy, Nanci recently completed a fellowship with Ensemble ACJW- A Program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute. Nanci holds degrees in Performance from Florida State University (BM) and Manhattan School of Music (MM). Her primary teachers include Jeff Keesecker and Frank Morelli. www.nancibelmont.com


Praised by critics for her “delightful idiosyncrasy,” violinist Julia Choi (Violin) has gripped audiences internationally. Ms. Choi performs a vast range of repertoire, from classical to contemporary, and has performed concerts at well-known venues including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Hall. Ms. Choi has also served regularly as concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra, Music Academy Orchestra, and of the New York String Orchestra Seminar. She has also held principal positions at the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and is currently a substitute violinist of The San Diego Symphony and of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Choi is a prizewinner of several competitions, and as an avid chamber musician she has performed in New Juilliard Ensemble, Juilliard’s ChamberFest, and is a founding member of the Hyon Trio. Ms. Choi holds both her BM and MM degrees from The Juilliard School. Born in Korea, she was raised and is currently based in New York City and New Jersey. www.juliachoiviolinist.com


Matteo Longhi (Violin) recently finished a dual music education/violin performance masters at Syracuse University where he was an orchestral teaching assistant. He previously received a B.M. in Violin Performance at Ithaca College where he was awarded the James J. Whalen Young Artist Award. He is a recipient of the Irene L. Crooker Award, Simeon Popov Memorial Award and the Civic Morning Musicals Award at Syracuse University. Matteo has subbed in orchestras such as the Binghamton Philharmonic, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra and Symphoria and has participated in the Castleman Quartet Program.


A native of New York, violist Caterina Longhi (Viola) completed her Master of Music Degree this spring at The Juilliard School. Having also received her Bachelor of Music degree from Juilliard, Caterina studied with Misha Amory, Hsin-Yun-Huang, Steven Tenenbom and Heidi Castleman. Caterina has served as Principal viola for the Juilliard Orchestra, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA and Schlesvig Holstein Music Festival. She was a recent member of the New Haven Symphony, and has frequently subbed with the New World Symphony in Miami. She has attended festivals in Europe and the U.S. including the Verbier Festival, Spoleto USA, Taos School of Music, Heifetz Institute, Music Academy of the West and the Perlman Music Program. Caterina is excited to be joining the San Diego Symphony starting this July.


Colin Stokes (Cello) is a New York based cellist performing and recording extensively in the United States and Europe. His wide ranging interests have led to collaborations with artists from many genres, including Yo-Yo Ma, Rodney Crowell, Olafur Arnalds and Magda Giannikou. Current projects include a genre-defying electronic ensemble based in Berlin, a multi-medium project formed at The Juilliard School and a new music collective based in New York City. Stokes has been performing to critical acclaim from a young age. At 17 he was featured in concerts with Yo-Yo Ma at the Baltimore Symphony’s Meyerhoff Hall and Strathmore Hall, which were broadcast on NPR’s Performance Today. Stokes completed his Bachelor of Music degree and Performer’s Certificate in the studio of Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott at the Eastman School of Music. In 2012 Stokes completed the Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School with Richard Aaron. www.colinstokes.com

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ABOUT OUR VENUE

About the Fabbri Mansion – (House of the Redeemer)

The House at 7 East 95th Street was built between 1914 and 1916 to serve as the town residence of Edith Shepard Fabbri, a great granddaughter of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, and her husband, Ernesto Fabbri. The House was designed by Grosvenor Atterbury, an American architect and town planner, and the interior decoration was executed by Egisto Fabbri, Ernesto Fabbri’s brother, who incorporated Edith Fabbri’s collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque furnishings and architectural fragments into his designs. The House was designated a New York City Landmark in 1974, and is considered by many architectural historians to be one of the most distinguished examples of early 20th century residential architecture in New York City.

House of the Redeemer offers a unique setting for reflection, study, fellowship, and prayer. It is a place apart, providing worship and hospitality for individuals seeking spiritual renewal. The House lends itself to group and individual retreats, conferences, meetings, and wedding receptions. Often a place of music and verse, the House is also a place of silence and meditation. To many, it is where insights and ideas are originated and shared, through programs offered by The House or sponsored by outside groups. www.houseoftheredeemer.org

 


 

ABOUT ON SITE OPERA

Founded in 2012, On Site Opera is dedicated to producing site-specific opera in non-traditional venues throughout New York. On Site Opera molds its productions to specific locations using physical space to create an environment in which the concept, storytelling, music, and performers unite to form an immersive, cohesive, and meaningful whole.

Praised by BBC News as “innovative” and by The New York Times for their “seductive” productions, On Site Opera has presented Shostakovich at The Bronx Zoo, Gershwin at Harlem’s legendary Cotton Club, and Rameau at Madame Tussauds New York and the Lifestyle-Trimco mannequin showroom as well as a site-specific workshop of Clarimonde, a new work by Frederic Chaslin and P.H. Fisher. Committed to exploring new technology in opera, On Site Opera implemented the first-ever Google Glass supertitles during its 2014 run of Rameau’s Pygmalion, of which The Vergereported “Few things seem like obvious fits for Google Glass so far, but this is one of them.”

In addition to site-specific productions, On Site Opera’s mission is to forge community partnerships in order to bring opera to new and underserved audiences, as well as to foster the development of emerging talent through performance and production opportunities. On Site Opera, a registered 501(c)(3), is a member of Opera America and the New York Opera Alliance.


 TPF-OSOTHE FIGARO PROJECT

On Site Opera kicks off its most ambitious undertaking to date: The Figaro Project.

On Site Opera kicks off its most ambitious undertaking to date: The Figaro Project. On Site Opera will present lesser-known operatic adaptations of French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais’ (1732-1799) famed trilogy of Figaro plays: The Barber of Seville (1775), The Marriage of Figaro (1784) and The Guilty Mother (1792). The Figaro Project will reacquaint audiences with their favorite Beaumarchais’ characters in unexpected and new ways in non-traditional venues across New York City. On Site Opera’s three-year journey through Beaumarchais’ Figaro Trilogy consists of adaptations that, in the company’s view, adhere more faithfully to the original plays. The Figaro Project continues with the North American premiere of Marcos Portugal’s The Marriage of Figaro (Summer 2016), followed by the U.S. premiere of Darius Milhaud’s The Guilty Mother (Summer 2017), in celebration Milhaud’s 125th Birthday.


ON SITE OPERA STAFF

Eric Einhorn, General & Artistic Director
Geoffrey McDonald, Music Director
Jessica Kiger, Executive Director/Producer
Blake Zidell & Emily Reilly, Blake Zidell & Associates, Publicity
Christine Mickletz, Development Manager
Teresa Bayer, Assistant Producer


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jane A. Gross, President
Marie Golda, Treasurer
Miriam Sondag, Secretary
Stacey Anderson
Eric Einhorn
Shelley Einhorn

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OUR DONORS

On Site Opera is extremely grateful to our donors for their philanthropic commitment to our mission! If you are interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to support On Site Opera’s work, please visit www.osopera.org/support.

 

Standing Room  $1-49
Carmen Acosta
Yahaira Alonzo
Louisa Brill
David F. Cope
Laurie Squire
Zeldie Stuart

Overture  $50 – $99
Marie Golda*
Neal Goren
Kurt A. Howard
Andrew Ostrowski

Recitative  $100 – $249
Janet & Ivan Brown
Jesse Blumberg
Jason Canavan
Chris Creatura
Mario Diaz-Moresco
Karen McLaughlin & Mark Schubin
Miriam Sondag*

Aria $250 – $499
Alexandra Atkin
Mickey & Jeannie Kiger
Lisa Giuffra Diaz
Jamie Checkett McLaughlin

Duet $500 – $999
Goldman Sachs
Nomi Ghez
Alice Hall

Trio $1,000 – $4,999
Lynn Cohen
Barbra Heller

Quartet $5,000 – $7,499
Jane A. Gross*

Encore $10,000+
The Einhorn Family Foundation

* Denotes a member of On Site Opera’s board of directors


SUPPORT ON SITE OPERA!

As a patron of On Site Opera, you’ve experienced the thrill of our immersive site-specific productions. Get even closer today by donating and help On Site Opera continue to produce opera of the highest quality as well as provide education and engagement programs to the New York community. As a supporter, you also receive a range of benefits including tickets to our 2016 production of Marcos Portugal’s The Marriage of Figaro. Make a tax-deductible donation and reserve your tickets today!  Add your name to the list above and be a part of creating exciting site-specific opera! Make your tax-deductible contribution at www.osopera.org/support.

 

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SPECIAL THANKS

On Site Opera would like to thank the following individuals and companies:

 

 

CS Lighting is pleased to be an official corporate sponsor of On Site Opera. With our broad experience in design and special events in NY and throughout the world, we are excited to contribute to the exciting and ongoing work that On Site Opera presents. It is alliances like these that allow for the arts to thrive in new and exciting ways. CS Lighting is a division of CS Global. www.csglobal.co/

Mannes College The New School for Music
The House of the Redeemer

William Berger
Judi Counts
William Gustafson
Erica Livingston
Alex Mead-Fox
Katie Pappa
Elena Park
Samantha Scully
Nikolas van Egten

 

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