One doesn’t go to Urban Arias expecting masterpieces. The whole adventure is about sharing in Founder and Artistic Director Robert Wood’s risk-taking in mounting new or almost new operatic works. The shows selected are always smart and (blessedly) short. The production values are always good, as they are here in Shining Brow. There are high-caliber […]
UrbanArias pulls off a seemingly impossible task with Independence Eve by Sidney Marquez Boquiren and Daniel Neer, a chamber opera of three scenes with two singers, which deals with race relations in the US from the recent past to the near future all within 70 minutes.
UrbanArias has gone wild! The company that pushes boundaries, reconceiving opera that is short, smart and fast, has given us an opera about a chimpanzee. Luckily, the chimpanzee, which we learn could perform just about everything else (and she does smile and laugh,) does not sing.
– 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 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 […]
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!”
“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.”
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.
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 […]
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 […]