“Pygmalion” named a Top 5 Audience Participatory Opera Experience!
By Amanda Angel
May 1, 2014
Standing room used to contain the cheapest seats, but more and more often it’s the only option for adventuresome opera fans around the world. In recent weeks one opera, staged amid the normal operations of an urban train station, was a finalist for one of music’s most prestigious prizes. Another, which lets spectators and singers mix in its set, opened to glowing reviews. We’re counted those and three other innovative performances for this week’s Top five.
5. Rameau in a Chelsea Mannequin Factory (Coming Soon)
While site-specific operas have been realized in seamy nightclubs and windswept beaches, New York-based On Site Opera often takes its production one step beyond setting seats in an unusual venue. For example the young company didn’t just let the audience sit for its presentation of George Gershwin’s Blue Monday, staged at Harlem’s Cotton Club; patrons were invited to arrive early for dancing. As Steve Smith recounted in the New York Times, “Without warning, an opera broke out.” Next up for On Site Opera is the rarely seen Rameau one-act, Pygmalion, set at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum and a Chelsea mannequin factory.