American Lyric Theater presents ALT Alumni: Composers and Librettists in Concert on January 14, 2018 at 8pm at Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufman Music Center, 129 W. 67th Street, NYC. Tickets are $25 and are available by phone at 212-501-3330 or online at www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org/mch/event/alt-alumni-composers-and-librettists-in-concert.
Alumni of American Lyric Theater's Composer Librettist Development Program are changing the landscape of contemporary opera. ALT's annual alumni concert showcases scenes from three exciting new operas taking the stage around the country, written by alumni of the CLDP.
THE HOUSE WITHOUT A CHRISTMAS TREE (excerpts)
Music by Ricky Ian Gordon | Libretto by Royce Vavrek*
Based on the original story by Gail Rock. Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera.
Adelaide "Addie" Mills wants nothing more than to have a Christmas Tree in her living room during the holidays, but to her father, James, a tree is a reminder of the promises he made to Addie's mom who died shortly after she was born. When Addie wins a tree in a contest at school, it sets off a chain of events that involve her grandmother, teacher Miss Thompson, best friend Carla Mae, and school arch-nemesis Billy Wild, in an attempt to make her house feel more like Christmas. When her father explodes in anger at the forbidden evergreen, Addie reacts with charity, an action that ultimately inspires her father to make a beautiful gesture of his own.
ALBERT NOBBS (excerpts)
Music by Patrick Soluri* | Libretto by Deborah Brevoort*
Based on the novella by George Moore. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize Finalist.
ALBERT NOBBS tells the tale of a painfully shy butler in a 19th century Irish hotel who hides an incredible secret: he is really a she. Albert maintains her disguise for years until one day Hubert Page, a laborer, is boarded in her room and discovers Albert is a woman. Hubert reveals he is also a woman-and that he has a wife. This unleashes a torrent of emotions in Albert and awakens the possibility of a life that includes love. She sets off on a journey to find a wife of her own while maintaining her disguise as a man. She falls in love with Helen, a hotel maid, who rejects her cruelly, plunging Albert into a despair that leads to the revelation of her true identity and ultimately to her death.
MONKEY AND FRANCINE IN THE CITY OF TIGERS (complete)
Music by Kamala Sankaram* | Libretto by David Johnston*
Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera; Developed in partnership with American Lyric Theater.
Bickering siblings Monkey and Francine have to work together to save their royal kingdom from ruin, while battling a hungry crocodile and the greedy Lord of the Tigers. A mash up of West African folk tales, Sanskrit epics and Indian comic books, MONKEY AND FRANCINE is about family, girls' empowerment and cooperation. The 45 minute opera, written for children and family audiences, draws inspiration from Bollywood, Ethiopian jazz, and Psychedelic Mbira, pairing danceable grooves and operatic arias.
* Denotes alumni of the Composer Librettist Development Program.
Featured guest artists: Patricia Schuman, Lauren Snouffer, Jennifer Panara, Elise Quagliata, Daniel T. Curran, Daniel Belcher, and Adrian Rosas. Music Director and Pianist: James Lowe. Hosted by ALT's Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Lawrence Edelson.
Lawrence Edelson, the founder of ALT who created the CLDP, expressed that "there is nothing as rewarding as seeing alumni from the Composer Librettist Development Program creating new works at opera companies around the country. Our Alumni concert series allows us to share the work of these incredible artists - most of which has not yet been seen locally - with audiences in New York City. This season, we have the opportunity to share a complete one-act opera for family audiences; excerpts from a new critically acclaimed holiday opera; and scenes from a very moving new work that deals with finding oneself when gender and sexuality don't conform to societal norms through an 18th century lens. It promises to be a very exciting evening."
Launched in 2007, ALT's Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP) is the most intensive mentorship initiative for opera composers and librettists in the country, with a highly-credentialed faculty and proven track record for developing the skills of gifted artists, incubating successful operas, and fostering lasting collaborations. The CLDP has served as a model of innovation for other training and new works initiatives around the country, but remains the only full-time training program for both opera composers and librettists in the country. This season, ALT has established a new apprenticeship for an emerging opera dramaturg, integrated into the proven CLDP curriculum. While there are training programs for dramaturgy in theater, this apprenticeship at ALT is the first dedicated to opera dramaturgy in the United States.
At the center of the CLDP is ALT's core-curriculum, which consists of classroom training and hands-on workshops with some of the country's leading working artists. For the 2017-18 season, principal faculty mentors will include composer/librettist Mark Adamo; librettist Mark Campbell; dramaturg Cori Ellison; and composer Jake Heggie. In addition, several internationally recognized composers and librettists are invited each season to be guest artists within the classes and workshops of the core-curriculum. Recent and upcoming guest teachers and lecturers include composers Ricky Ian Gordon, David T. Little, Missy Mazzoli, Paul Moravec, Kaija Saariaho, and Stewart Wallace, and librettists Michael Korie, Donna DiNovelli, Gene Scheer, and Royce Vavrek (one of the most prominent alumni of the CLDP).
In addition to the training provided through the CLDP, several other public events will be presented by ALT in New York City to introduce the work of Resident Artists to the public this season:
The Living Libretto: Opera in Eden - Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 3:00PM
The National Opera Center, 330 7th Avenue, NYC 10001
Tickets: $20, including wine and cheese reception
ALT invites audiences to enjoy a look into the process of writing opera libretti during this special event, which will include readings of three libretti of one-act operas being written by CLDP Resident Artists, and an interactive discussion with the audience about dramatic structure, characterization, and the timing of action in opera versus spoken drama.
Opera in Eden - Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 7:30PM
Merkin Concert Hall @ Kaufman Music Center, 129 W.67th Street, NYC 10023
Tickets: $25; $125 VIP Tickets and Reception
The CLDP season culminates with a concert performance of three new one-act operas written by ALT Resident Artists (seen in early development as part of The Living Libretto event in March), featuring guest singers from opera companies across the country, hosted by composer/librettist Mark Adamo and producing artistic director Lawrence Edelson.
The Composer Librettist Development Program is made possible with multi-leadership support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through 2020. The Tenth Anniversary season of the CLDP is also made possible with additional leadership support from The National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. As the program has blossomed over the past ten years, audiences around the country have increasingly been enjoying operas developed through the CLDP and by CLDP alumni at a wide variety of venues, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Saratoga, Utah Opera, Tulsa Opera, Fargo Moorhead Opera, The PROTOTYPE Festival, and many more. During the 2017-18 season, operas developed at ALT, and by alumni of the CLDP commissioned by other organizations, being produced across North America include: The House Without a Christmas Tree (Ricky Ian Gordon/Royce Vavrek*) at Houston Grand Opera; JFK (David T. Little/Royce Vavrek*) at Opéra de Montreal; The Long Walk (Jeremy Howard Beck*/Stephanie Fleischmann*) at Pittsburgh Opera; Steal a Pencil for Me (Gerald Cohen*/Deborah Brevoort*) at Opera Colorado; Proving Up (Missy Mazzoli/Royce Vavrek*) at Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha and The Miller Theater/NYC; and Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers(Kamala Sankaram*/David Johnston*) at Houston Grand Opera/HGOCo [*denotes alumni of the CLDP].
For more information about the Composer Librettist Development Program, Resident Artists, works by CLDP alumni, and upcoming public events at ALT, please visit www.altnyc.org/
ABOUT AMERICAN LYRIC THEATER
Great Operas Don't Just Happen. American Lyric Theater (ALT) was founded in 2005 by Lawrence Edelson to build a new body of operatic repertoire by nurturing composers and librettists, providing an incubator for their collaborations, and contributing new works to the national canon. Many opera companies commission and perform new works; but ALT is the only company in the United States that offers extensive, full-time mentorship for emerging operatic writers. While the traditional company model focuses on producing a season, ALT's focus is on serving the needs of composers and librettists, developing new works, and collaborating with larger producing companies to help usher those works into the repertoire. In 2012, ALT was the first company dedicated to artist mentorship rather than operatic production to be recognized by OPERA America as a Professional Company Member - a testament to ALT's service to the field. For more information about American Lyric Theater, please visit www.altnyc.org.
American Lyric Theater's mentorship programs for composers and librettists and public programs in New York City are made possible by generous lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; with additional support from the National Endowment for the Art, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, OPERA America Innovation Grants (with support from The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation), Howard & Sarah D. Solomon Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, New Music USA's Impact Fund (made possible with funding from The Scherman Foundation's Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund), The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Amphion Foundation, and The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University.