On Site Opera, Sing for Hope & Drue Kataoka celebrate the launch of the Sing for Hope Pianos



June 5 – June 21, 2015


FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2015 @ 10 – 11am

IN CARL SCHURZ PARK (East 84th Street & East End Ave.)

Location Details: Along the riverfront between 84th and 85th Street

Drue Piano

NEW YORK, NY (June 2, 2015) – At 10:00am on Friday, June 5th, Sing for Hope Co-Founder and Soprano Monica Yunus, Artist Drue Kataoka, and On Site Opera will come together to celebrate the launch of the citywide 2015 Sing for Hope Pianos project with a special pop-up opera performance on Kataoka’s piano in Carl Schurz Park in Manhattan.

Kataoka’s piano is one of 50 unique artist-designed Sing for Hope Pianos placed throughout the parks and public spaces of the 5 boroughs from June 5-21 by the NYC-based “artists’ peace corps” non-profit Sing for Hope. The Sing for Hope Pianos are open for anyone and everyone to play, embodying the organization’s mission of dismantling barriers to arts accessibility and (per its motto) “uplifting lives through the arts.”

Yunus, who co-founded Sing for Hope with fellow soprano Camille Zamora, currently stars as Rosina in On Site Opera’s sold-out run of Giovanni Paisiello’s The Barber of Seville. She will be joined for this pop-up performance by The Barber of Seville colleagues David Blalock (tenor) as Count Almaviva and Andrew Wilkowske (baritone) as Figaro, accompanied by Dmitry Glivinskiy on artist Drue Kataoka’s luminous piano. Kataoka will be in attendance at the performance.

Kataoka’s Sing for Hope Piano, entitled 12 Minutes of Thinking,” is a conceptual artwork integrating references to two of Drue Kataoka’s technological artworks, namely TouchOurFuture.org & The Tree of Pascal, into a full-scale playing piano. “12 Minutes of Thinking” is a musical performance of over 100 brainwave recordings from the original score of “The Tree of Pascal,” transcribed in the form of reflective circles on top of the piano lid, and reflecting the brainwave intensity in a 12-minute excerpt. The visual baseline is set by derivative images from Drue’s TouchOurFuture.org, showcasing hands of mothers, babies & activists, as well as suns, from all over the world.

Artist Drue Kataoka (http://www.Drue.Net) creates at the crossroads of art and technology. Having integrated ancient Japanese brush painting techniques with brainwave installations, mirrors, and even time dilation, her work spans disciplines. In 2008, she created art for the first art exhibit in zero gravity at the International Space Station. Kataoka was named a Cultural Leader and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, & invited to give a solo exhibition at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. Her recent work has been featured at TEDWomen 2015 and on CNN, CBS, ABC, FoxNews, Wall Street Journal, Barrons, Wired Magazine and others. She is a recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute’s award for social service, and is a co-founder of Aboomba (www.aboomba.com), the platform for Intelligent Style. Kataoka is a graduate of Stanford University.

Sing for Hope Pianos (www.singforhope.org) is a public art installation that brings artist-transformed pianos to the parks and public spaces of NYC’s five boroughs for anyone and everyone to play. For two weeks in the summer, the pianos — each a unique art piece created by a different artist or designer — serve as gathering places in their communities, hosting impromptu concerts by professionals and amateurs alike in an open festival of music for all of New York City. After the two-week public exhibition, Sing for Hope donates the instruments to the NYC organizations they serve year round, allowing the pianos to enrich lives for years to come. While their time on the streets is a joyful event for New York City, Sing for Hope Pianos’ true impact lies in their service as ongoing cornerstones of arts access for communities and individuals in need.  As NYC’s largest public art project, Sing for Hope Pianos impacts an estimated 2 million New Yorkers and visitors each year.

Founded in 2012, On Site Opera (www.osopera.org) 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.

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