Opera in Washington – The 2016-2017 Season

– Notes from the talk delivered by Susan Galbraith at The Smithsonian on August 16th – On a good day in the Greater Washington area there are more than 15 opera companies of various ilks and sizes. Not all present regular programming. Some, like Lorin Maazel’s Castleton  (still in hiatus after the maestro’s death), or Wolf […]

After Life and Josephine from UrbanArias (review)

After Life and Josephine are two short operatic works featuring original music by Tom Cipullo.  The first presents Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso in a heated discourse about life decisions and regrets while the world premiere second act features Josephine Baker in a conversation with us …in her dressing room.  Be still my heart, what’s […]

As One, transgender opera from UrbanArias (review)

Pulsing music from a string quartet becomes a cinematic soundtrack to footage of green water swiftly flowing. The images change to handlebars while on stage a seated man pedals the air, the baritone singing ecstatically “Like every other boy, I have a paper route!”

From creation of transgender opera, As One, to UrbanArias’ quick embrace

“This project has changed me completely,” Laura Kaminsky told me, “as an artist and as a composer. It’s been an amazing experience so far. For months, I was taking Hannah’s spirit everywhere with me. She was haunting our household.”

My don’t-miss shows: experimental, opera and theatre for young audiences

The Smithsonian invited DC Theatre Scene to present the next season to their audience, and as part of that presentation, DCTS Senior Writer Tim Treanor talked about shows he particularly anticipated. Today, we reproduce (more or less) what Tim had to say about experimental plays, operas, and theatre for young audiences.

Blue Viola, a bluesy, jazzy new opera from UrbanArias

What would you call the blend of music and genre in UrbanArias’ world premiere Blue Viola? Standard terms like “chamber opera,” “folk opera,” or “comic opera” fall short. Is it Chicago opera? Rosewood blues? Whatever you might call it, it is funny, thought-provoking, absorbing, and certainly not what most of you imagine when you think […]

Three Decembers from UrbanArias

What do you imagine when you think of “going to the Opera?” Vast theaters, draped entirely in tacky red velvet? Huge casts with elaborate sets in sprawling shows that go on for hours in a language you studied half-heartedly in high school? Those are typical answers, but UrbanArias, a local opera company devoted to producing […]

Bastianello and Lucrezia from UrbanArias

It’s delightful sitting in the audience knowing you’re about to write a rave. You relax knowing you have plenty to write. Words will come easily. And in the case of this weekend’s UrbanArias performance, you put your pen down and roll your head back laughing. John Musto’s Bastianello and William Bolcom’s Lucrezia, commissioned and first […]

She, After

Few operas require the soprano to sing in between bites of baked goods. Contemporary opera often goes one of two ways: avant-garde and over our heads, or separate from the grand and often inaccessible genre of opera. She, After, Daniel Felsenfeld’s exploration of women in metaphorical cages, doesn’t reject its genre entirely, but it also […]

Opera based on Cather short story next up for Urban Arias

The world premiere of Paul’s Case, an original opera based on a Willa Cather short story, will be UrbanArias’s next production, opening April 20th, the company announced today.

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