“Murasaki’s Moon” Press Release

Download the press release HERE.

On Site Opera and MetLiveArts will co-present the World Premiere of Michi Wiancko and Deborah Brevoort’s new opera, Murasaki’s Moon on May 17, 2019 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Murasaki’s Moon will be presented in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Lyric Theater, with performances in The Met’s Astor Court and is presented in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition, The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated

For immediate release – New York, NY – On Site Opera will present the World Premiere of Michi Wiancko and Deborah Brevoort’s new opera, Murasaki’s Moon on May 17, 2019 in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Astor Court. Made possible by Opera America’s 2018 Female Composer Grant, the work was commissioned by On Site Opera, MetLiveArts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the American Lyric Theater. 

Murasaki’s Moon tells a dramatic tale inspired by the life and work of Lady Murasaki, a member of the Japanese Imperial Court in 11th century Japan. Granddaughter of a writer and daughter of a scholar, Lady Murasaki was well known in her time for her poetry and story-telling, and is historically famous for authoring what many scholars consider the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji. 

Throughout the hour-long, one-act Murasaki’s Moon, Lady Murasaki attempts to escape the boundaries of her sequestered life as a lady-in-waiting by writing an epic tale of love and freedom. Though her life in the palace helps to shape the world of her novel, the story she creates (and the perils of new found fame) will begin to shape her life in return. Murasaki must contend with a delicate balance between the relationships with the rest of the royal court, the characters she creates, and the far-reaching impact of her writing.

Produced by both On Site Opera and MetLiveArts, Murasaki’s Moonwill feature mezzo soprano, Kristen Choi as Lady Murasaki and tenor Andrew Stenson as Genji. Geoffrey McDonald will conduct a unique orchestration of traditional Japanese instruments including koto, percussion, Japanese flutes, and taiko performed by Yoko Reikano Kimura, Satoshi Takeishi, Kaoru Watanabe, and the Aizuri Quartet, respectively. The production also features stage direction by Eric Einhorn, and costume design by Beth Goldenberg.

Murasaki’s Moon will be presented in conjunction with The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition, The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated, with six performances across May 17, 18, and 19. Tickets will go on sale beginning Thursday, December 27. Murasaki’s Moon will be performed in English and will be an engaging opera for audiences of all ages.

The commissioning of Michi Wianko for Murasaki’s Moon received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. Additional funding support is provided by Kara Unterberg.

Listing Info

Murasaki’s Moon
Music by Michi Wiancko
Libretto by Deborah Brevoort

Produced by On Site Opera and The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Commissioned by On Site Opera, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and American Lyric Theater
Friday, May 17 at 4:00pm & 6:30pm
Saturday, May 18 at 2:00pm & 6:00pm
Sunday, May 19 at 11:00am & 3:00pmAstor Court
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

Tickets will be available beginning Thursday, December 27

Stage Director: 
Eric Einhorn
Conductor: Geoffrey McDonald
Costume Designer: Beth Goldenberg
Koto: Yoko Reikano Kimura
Percussion: Satoshi Takeishi
Japanese Flutes, Percussion, Taiko: Kaoru Watanabe
Aizuri String Quartet

Lady Murasaki: Kristen Choi, mezzo soprano
Genji: Andrew Stenson, tenor

Relevant Links

Tickets & Info
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Website
MetLiveArts Website
The Tale of Genji Exhibition Page
American Lyric Theater Website

About Michi Wiancko
Michi Wiancko is an internationally-acclaimed,multi-dimensional composer, violinist, and collaborator. Her works have been performed by orchestras, ensembles, and bands around the world. She has been commissioned by the Ecstatic Music Festival, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Enso Quartet, Sybarite5, String Orchestra of Brooklyn, East Coast Chamber Orchestra, Spokane Symphony, Harvard Chamber Orchestra, Boston Conservatory Orchestra, and The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (among others). She also composes for films, commercials, and for her own band, Kono Michi. Michi has worked closely and performed with musicians across a vast musical spectrum including Missy Mazzoli, Steve Reich, Silk Road Ensemble, Yo-Yo Ma, Emily Wells, Laurie Anderson, Daniel Wohl, Vijay Iyer, International Contemporary Ensemble, and the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Music in performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Master’s degree from Juilliard.

About Deborah Brevoort
Deborah Brevoort is a playwright and librettist from Alaska who now lives in the New York City area. She was a resident artist in the American Lyric Theater’s Composer Librettist Development Program. She is also an alumna of New Dramatists, one of the original company members of Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre and a co-founder of Theatre Without Borders. Deborah has written the libretti, books, and lyrics for numerous operas and musicals. She received the Paul Green Award from the National Theatre Conference for her musical book writing and a Performing Artist/Writer Research Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society in 2012. She has received grants and commissions from the NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, NYFA, CEC Arts Link, New Jersey Arts Council, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Danish American Society, Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Brown University, The Harburg Foundation, Banff Playwright’s Colony and others. She received the Joe Calloway Award and was a MacDowell Fellow.

About On Site Opera
On Site Opera produces site-specific operas in non-traditional venues throughout New York City (and beyond!). By staging each opera in an environment specific to the piece, OSO surrounds the audience and artists in the music and drama of the story, amplifying the connection between the world of the opera and the reality of the audience. To date, OSO has produced operas in more than a dozen unique venues, including Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, Shostakovich’s The Tale of The Silly Baby Mouse using large-scale puppets in performances for families at the Bronx Zoo; Gershwin’s Blue Monday in the historic Cotton Club of Harlem; and Rameau’s Pygmalion in Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum which explored new technology in opera through the use of Google Glass supertitles.

About MetLiveArts
The groundbreaking live arts series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art explores contemporary performance through the lens of the Museum’s exhibitions and unparalleled gallery spaces with singular performances. MetLiveArts invites artists, performers, curators, and thought leaders to explore and collaborate within The Met, leading with new commissions, world premieres, and site-specific durational performances that have been named some of the most “memorable” and “best of” performances in New York City by The New York Times, New Yorker, and Broadway World.

About American Lyric Theater
Great Operas Don’t Just Happen. American Lyric Theater (ALT) was founded in 2005 by Lawrence Edelson to build a new body of operatic repertoire by nurturing composers and librettists, providing an incubator for their collaborations, and contributing new works to the national canon. Many opera companies commission and perform new works; but ALT is the only company in the United States that offers extensive, full-time mentorship for emerging operatic writers. While the traditional company model focuses on producing a season, ALT’s focus is on serving the needs of composers and librettists, developing new works, and collaborating with producing companies to help usher those works into the repertoire. Works by ALT alumni have been produced by diverse companies across the country, including Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Fort Worth Opera, Utah Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Saratoga, Prototype Festival, and The Industry LA. In 2012, ALT was the first company dedicated to artist mentorship rather than operatic production to be recognized by OPERA America as a Professional Company Member – a testament to ALT’s service to the field. For more information about the Composer Librettist Development Program, Resident Artists, works by CLDP alumni, and upcoming public events at ALT, please visit www.altnyc.org.

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