“Morning Star” Press Release

Download the press release HERE.

On Site Opera presents the New York premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s “Morning Star” at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, March 21-22, & 25, 2018

The work traces the story of an immigrant Jewish family on the Lower East Side of Manhattan whose lives are forever changed by the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, the 107th anniversary of which coincides with the final two performances on March 25

This second-ever production of “Morning Star” also includes the world premiere of a newly-commissioned chamber orchestration by Tony Award-winning orchestrator Bruce Coughlin

October 25, 2017 – New York, NY – Known for pioneering rare and captivating site-specific performances, On Site Opera (OSO) will produce the New York premiere (and the first production since its world premiere) of Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star on March 21-22, and 25, 2018, at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, in partnership with the Museum at Eldridge Street. This follows their acclaimed recent productions of Mozart’s Secret Gardener in an NYC community garden, Milhaud’s Guilty Mother in a Hell’s Kitchen garage, and the world premiere of Musto’s Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt at the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs.

Based on the Sylvia Regan play by the same name, the opera tells the touching story of an immigrant Jewish family struggling to find a better life on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early 20th century. The characters’ destinies are shaped by actual historical events: the tragically horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 in which over one hundred immigrant garment workers died after having been locked in the upper floors of a New York City sweatshop, as well as the Great Depression, and World War I. Through it all, the family must learn how to adapt to the country’s ever-changing landscape. OSO’s performances will fall on and around the 107-year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25.

The site-specific production will take place in the Museum at Eldridge Street, an historic Lower East Side synagogue, placing the audience in the same pews once occupied by immigrant families like those in the opera. The intimacy of the production will highlight the timeliness of the opera’s message of the struggle, perseverance, and strength of the immigrant experience, as well as illustrate the universality of the human experience. The production’s staging occurs throughout the entire venue: singers will appear in and around the audience for an entirely immersive experience.

Performed in English, this production will also feature a newly-commissioned chamber orchestration by Tony Award-winning orchestrator Bruce Coughlin, supervised by the composer.

Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star

Libretto by William Hoffman
Based on the play by Sylvia Regan
Partnership with the Museum at Eldridge StreetDATES & LOCATION:
March 21 & 22, 2018 at 7pm
March 25, 2018 at 1:00pm & 6:00pm [These performances coincide with the 107th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire]
at the Museum at Eldridge Street
12 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002Tickets: $60; General admission. On sale January 11, 2018 at www.osopera.org

Conductor: Geoffrey McDonald
Stage Director: Eric Einhorn
Costume Designer: Summer Lee Jack
Lighting Designer: Shawn K. Kaufman
Orchestrator: Bruce Coughlin
Audience Experience Producer: Kathryn M. Carter
Stage Manager: Samantha Greene
Assistant Stage Manager: Lucy Coarsey
Assistant Costume Designer: Brenna McShane

BECKY FELDERMAN, a Latvian-Jewish immigrant: Emily Pulley, soprano
ESTHER FELDERMAN, Becky’s youngest daughter, about age 17: Cree Carrico, soprano
FANNY FELDERMAN, Becky’s middle daughter, late teens: Jennifer Zetlan: soprano
SADIE FELDERMAN, Becky’s oldest daughter, late teens: Blythe Gaissert, mezzo soprano
AARON GREENSPAN, a Latvian-Jewish immigrant: Joshua Jeremiah, baritone
IRVING TASHMAN, a young songwriter: Blake Friedman, tenor
HARRY ENGEL, a teacher: Andrew Lovato, baritone
RABBI ENGEL, Harry’s grandfather, a Polish-Jewish immigrant: David Langan, bass-baritone
MARY, African-American fish peddler, an immigrant from the rural South: Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo soprano
PRINCE, African-American fish peddler: Martin Bakari, tenor
KATHLEEN O’FALLIN, an Irish immigrant: Allison Gish, mezzo soprano

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