ON SITE OPERA presents
WHAT LIES BENEATH
August 28-September 2, 2021
In Partnership with the South Street Seaport Museum
Aboard the Tall Ship Wavertree
Please be advised that the story of the production centers around the enslavement of African people. This subject matter could elicit a strong or unexpected response from you or those around you.
Required Face Coverings
Please remember to wear your masks at all times aboard the tall ship Wavertree.
The unknown is my realm (Trickster’s Aria)
from the opera Amistad
Music by Anthony Davis | Libretto by Thulani Davis
a monodrama for bass-baritone
Music by Juliana Hall | Libretto by Caitlin Vincent
1619: A Song Cycle
Music and Text by Damien Geter
East Coast Premiere
O beauty, o handsomeness, goodness (Claggart’s Aria)
from the opera Billy Budd
Music by Benjamin Britten | Libretto by E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier
Music by John Ireland | Text by John Masefield
World Premiere arrangement by James Davis Jr.
They are all gone now (Maurya’s Lament)
from the opera Riders to the Sea
Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Text based on the play of the same name by John Millington Synge
For a printable PDF of the program and full text, click here.
(in alphabetical order)
Click names to read bios
Matthew Anchel – JOHN CLAGGART
Lindell Carter – SHACK THOMAS
Edwin Jhamal Davis – JOHN BROWN
Nicholas Davis – THOMAS JOHNS
Chantal Freeman – MARTHA KING
Carami Hilaire – GRANDMOTHER
Bernard Holcomb – TRICKSTER
Zachary James – CAPTAIN AHAB
Tesia Kwarteng – DELLA FOUNTAIN/MAURYA
Elliott Paige – LUKE DIXON
Karmesha K. Peake – AUNTIE ADELINE
Rasaan Talu Green
James Davis Jr.
Winston A. Benons Jr.
COMPOSER – 1619
Sheree V. Campbell
OUR VENUE PARTNER
The 1885 ship Wavertree has a well-documented and fascinating history. Built in Southampton, Great Britain, she circled the globe four times in her career, carrying a wide variety of cargoes. The ship called on New York in 1896, no doubt one of hundreds like her berthed in the city. In 1910, after thirty-five years of sailing, she was caught in a Cape Horn storm that tore down her masts and ended her career as a cargo ship. She was salvaged and used as a floating warehouse and then a sand barge in South America, where the waterfront workers referred to her as “el gran Valero,” the great sailing ship, because even without her masts she was obviously a great windjammer. She was saved by the Seaport Museum in 1968 and towed to New York to become the iconic centerpiece of the “Street of Ships” at South Street. The 130-year-old Wavertree, built of riveted wrought iron, is an archetype of the sailing cargo ships of the latter half of the 19th century that, during the “age of sail,” lined South Street by the dozens, creating a forest of masts from the Battery to the Brooklyn Bridge.
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On Site Opera’s primary activities take place on and around the island of Mannahatta (presently and commonly known as Manhattan), the Homeland of the indigenous Lenape people, and on the ancestral land of the Wappinger people and many other Indigenous groups.
Read our full land acknowledgment here.
ON SITE OPERA STAFF
Eric Einhorn, General & Artistic Director
Geoffrey McDonald, Music Director
Piper Gunnarson, Executive Director
Christopher Staub, Director of Production & Artistic Operations
Pooja Saha, Development Manager
Bowie Dunwoody, Marketing Manager
Yvonne de la Rosa, Audience Experience Manager
Lucy Mallett, Finance Manager
Kimberly Giannelli, Publicist/Social Media
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jane A. Gross, President
Marie Golda, Treasurer
Corey Kinger, Secretary
Sam Roberts II
On Site Opera would like to thank the following individuals and organizations:
“The Unknown Is My Realm” from Amistad composed by Anthony Davis to a libretto by Thulani Davis; presented under license by G. Schirmer Inc. and Associated Music Publishers, copyright owners.
“Ahab” composed by Juliana Hall to a libretto by Caitlin Vincent; Produced by permission of ECS Publishing Group, St. Louis, MO. Sole Agent for E. C. Schirmer Music Company, Publisher and Copyright Owner.
1619: A Song Cycle composed by Damien Geter is presented through special arrangement with DG Music: Sans Fear Publishing www.damiengetermusic.com. Revised narration written by Damien Geter was commissioned by On Site Opera for What Lies Beneath.
“O Beauty, O Handsomeness” from Billy Budd composed by Benjamin Britten to a libretto by E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier; by arrangement with Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., publisher and copyright owner.
“Sea Fever” composed by John Ireland to a poem by John Masefield.
“Maurya’s Lament” from Riders to the Sea composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams based on the play of the same name by John Millington Synge; licensed by arrangement with Oxford University Press.