Sunday, June 3, 2018

Opera isn't dying, but you can find it at Green-Wood Cemetery

Andrew Bogard and Samantha Hankey
Opera isn't dying, but it will be at the Green-Wood Cemetery starting on June 6th and making a ghostly reappearance on June 8 and 10.

The world premiere of David Hertzberg's chamber opera The Rose Elf will be presented in the catacombs of the historic cemetery, which was founded in 1838. The opera will be directed by the visionary director R. B. Schlather and features bass-barihunk Andrew Bogard, along with the amazing, award-winning mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey, as well as lyric soprano Alisa Jordheim and hunkentenor Kyle Bielfield.

The Rose Elf, which is based on Hans Christian Anderson's 1839 story The Elf of the Rose,  tells the tale of two lovers torn apart by a senseless act of violence; and of a strange and sensuous being, at once near and distant, who witnesses this tragedy and is transformed.

Andrew Bogard (left) and Kyle Bielfield (right)
When the "rural cemetery" movement started in the 1830's and burials moved from churches to park-like settings, cemeteries became gathering places for the public. They were often designed by noted landscape architects like Frederick Law Olmsted and included Victorian gardens, beautiful statues, fountains and gathering areas.

Opera companies are also seeking out more original spaces to perform operas, with West Edge Opera performing in an abandoned train station and an old pipe and steel factory, On Site Opera put on a production at Madame Tussauds Wax museum as well as the Bronx Zoo, and an interactive opera was performed at the old Los Angeles Train Station complete with headphones and unsuspecting passengers as part of the "cast".

The amazing young mezzo Samantha Hankey:

For The Rose Elf, spectators will be placed in long single rows along the sides of the central space, with a nine-piece orchestra at the far end and the singers moving up and down. The catacombs, which were built in the 1850s are normally closed to the public. Ticket information is available online.

Andrew Bogard has a Master of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School. He won first place in the 2014 Mario Lanza Scholarship Competition, second place and audience choice in the 2015 Cooper-Bing Opera Columbus Competition, and was a Mid-Atlantic regional finalist and encouragement award recipient in the 2015 MET Competition. Last season he joined the Washington National Opera's Young Artist Program, where he sang the title role in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Leporello in Don Giovanni.

No comments:

Post a Comment