Madame Tussauds New York; Lifestyle-Trimco Showroom
Rameau’s 1748 acte de ballet is widely considered one of his greatest one-acts. In Ballot de Sovot’s libretto, based on Ovid, the sculptor Pygmalion creates a statue to which he professes his love, and which he asks Venus to bring to life. L’Amour (Cupid) arrives to praise Pygmalion’s artistry and faith in love, and animates the statue. On Site’s new production explored the themes and lessons inherent in the myth.
On Site Opera performed Rameau’s one-act Pygmalion in two unusual—and unusually apt—venues in the summer of 2014, just before the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death: Madame Tussauds New York, on June 17, and Lifestyle-Trimco Showroom, on June 20 & 21.
Pygmalion for Google Glass™ Explorers
On Site Opera partnered with Figaro Systems, developer of groundbreaking libretto simultexting technology, to preview a future in which opera is further freed from the opera house. On Thursday, June 19, 2014 at Lifestyle-Trimco Showroom in Manhattan, the companies gave a special performance of On Site’s new production of Rameau’s one-act Pygmalion for Google Glass™ Explorers. As the performers moved about the space, audience members were able to read an English translation of Ballot de Sovot’s libretto conveniently in their Glass™ field of vision. This was the world’s first application of supertitles created for Google Glass™.
Produced in partnership with:
Wine for the gala reception generously donated by:
Madame Tussauds New York, West 42nd Street, New York, NY, United States
On Site Opera’s production of Rameau’s “Pygmalion” was a complete delight. The brainstorm of artistic director Eric Einhorn, his choice of Madame Tussauds for its setting was nothing short of genius…The singers were charmers, everyone of them, and Jordan Isadore’s choreography was enchanting.
In a modern-dress production with hipsters in the chorus and Cupid in a three-piece suit with wings, stage director Eric Einhorn smartly makes soprano Emalie Savoy (Cephise) a grieving, ongoing presence who eventually sends a letter of presumed condemnation to Pygmalion. Reuniting with her, and allowing the statue (soprano Camille Zamora) to turn back into the statue.
The very existence of an opera company with the name “On Site” says much about the direction in which opera may be headed. Emalie Savoy handled the scorned Céphise convincingly. She fares better in this staging than Rameau’s original Céphise: here she wins Pygmalion’s love and La Statue’s return to her pedestal.
In its short life On Site Opera has been garnering acclaim for their unusual and unusually creative site-specific productions. Last night, we were dazzled by Artistic and Stage Director Eric Einhorn’s stunning production of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s one act Pygmalion.
I think the idea of immersive opera is great and a new way to open opera to different audiences, and as On Site Opera founder, Eric Einhorn, noted, it’s also a way to bring venues such as Madame Tussauds to New Yorkers who normally do not seek out the tourist attractions in their own city. There were several small children in the audience and this short one act opera may have been appealing to them as the action moved around the room, “statues” came to life, Cupid raced around with a bow and arrow…On Site Opera’s creative approach, energy and enthusiasm towards new opera experiences is just what the art form needs to stay relevant and catch the eye of younger audiences. I look forward to future performances of this promising young opera company.