Lesson Plan Press Release


On Site Opera Opens Tenth Anniversary Season with a Little Humor and a Lot of Star Power 

NEW YORK, December 1, 2021 – On Site Opera, New York’s pioneering opera company rooted in site specific storytelling and the immersive experience, revisits the perils, hilarity, and teachable lessons of  2020 with Lesson Plan, a live and interactive digital production based on Georg Phillip Telemann’s Der  

Schulmeister with additional music and new English libretto by Rachel J. Peters, Friday, January 21- Saturday, January 29, 2022. Tailored for the operatically curious with audiences taking an active part in  the performance, opera greats Stephanie Blythe and Laquita Mitchell and an off-camera furry friend  lead a less-than enthusiastic class of students through an opera workshop in the throes of remote  learning. 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. 

Performed in English for a modern audience, this reimagined Baroque cantata brings an internationally  celebrated operatic contralto (Stephanie Blythe) into the world of Zoom teaching while her headlining  stage engagements are put on hold. Thought to be teaching trained singers at a prestigious  conservatory, she catches her assistant in a scheduling faux pas and instead takes the Zoom stage for a  classroom of liberal arts students at a community college with the same acronym – a group with little  singing experience or interest in what the great diva had in mind. Intercepted by an overwhelmed  school administrator (Laquita Mitchell) with a side hustle as an amateur choir director, the pair clash  over teaching technique, singing and the true meaning of art. A humorous exchange injected with audience participation and a feline friend with perfect pitch, the pair leaves with a new understanding of  what it’s like to really listen, learn, and find the shared humanity in all of us.  

“After pivoting to unique digital operatic experiences as a response to COVID closures, we found  tremendous joy in flexing our creative muscles and expanding our On Site Opera family from New York  City to around the globe!” explains Eric Einhorn, General and Artistic Director of On Site Opera. “In this  tenth anniversary season and beyond we are making a commitment to continue to cultivate our global  audience by offering both live and digital performances, and we can’t think of a better way to kick off  our new season than with a little laughter and new work that gives us all a very relatable look at the last  two years of our lives.” 

“Lesson Plan started as a breezy little goof that took a lot of twists and turns. It’s a synthesis of the  Telemann source material, a zillion hours of online talks from anointed musical experts of various  genres, wisdom from both our leading ladies, an extensive oral history archive, and so much more,” 

explains Composer and Librettist: Rachel J. Peters. “It ultimately explores what happens when assumed  absolute truths about the ways we’ve always done things are suddenly challenged, with plenty of  silliness and incredible talent.” 


Lesson Plan will be performed LIVE on Zoom for six performances only: 

Friday, January 21st at 7:30pm EST 

Saturday, January 22nd at 2pm EST 

Saturday, January 22nd at 7:30pm EST 

Friday, January 28th at 7:30pm EST 

Saturday, January 29th at 2pm EST 

Saturday, January 29th at 7:30pm EST 


Tickets are $30 per device and available at https://osopera.org/productions/lesson-plan/ These performances will not be recorded, and a replay will not be available. 


World Premiere 

Based on Georg Phillip Telemann’s Der Schulmeister (1751) 

Additional music, libretto, and singing translation by Rachel J. Peters 


Alice Tommasso: Stephanie Blythe 

Robinetta: Laquita Mitchell 


Composer and Librettist: Rachel J. Peters 

Director: Eric Einhorn 

Conductor: Geoffrey McDonald 

Audio Design: Jon Robertson 

Video Design: Paul Deziel 

Set and Costume: Junghyun Georgia Lee 

Associate Costume Design: Ilana Breitman 

Stage Manager: Danielle Ranno 

Violin: Orlando Wells and Victoria Paterson 

Double Bass: Roger Wagner 

Bassoon: Nanci Belmont 

Piano/Harpsichord: Dmitry Glivinskiy 

Adapted and expanded from Georg Philipp Telemann’s Der Schulmeister, Lesson Plan takes audiences into an  interactive Zoom classroom where opera greats Stephanie Blythe and Laquita Mitchell lead a less-than  enthusiastic class of students through an opera workshop in the throes of remote learning. 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.



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.

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