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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2018 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Festival Preview: They're All Over the Map

NY OperaFest 2018 brings music to the masses.
by Paul J. Pelkonen
The Bronx Opera staging of Sir John in Love. The company will mount Der Freischütz as part
of NY Opera Fest 2018. Photo © 2018 Bronx Opera courtesy Unison Media.
The Metropolitan Opera's spring 2018 season is in its last weeks but the opera season rolls ahead undaunted. This week marks the start of the annual NY Opera Fest, a coalition between a number of the exceptional small companies that dot New York, members all of the New York Opera Alliance.. From pyramids in South Brooklyn to a hunt through the wilderness of the North Bronx. the city resounds with a cornucopia of opera productions.



Full details of the events of the Festival are available on the official website of NY Opera Fest. Here is a quick breakdown of the most interesting parts of this sprawling and fascinating festival schedule.

Heartbeat Opera: Fidelio 
Baruch College, Opens May 3
This gutty young company takes on Beethoven's only opera with an updated libretto examining crime, punishment and imprisonment in the 21st century. Fidelio is the story of a brave wife who cross-dresses to save her husband from unjust imprisonment and is more relevant than ever today.

Bronx Opera: Der Freischütz
Lovinger Theater at Lehman College, opens May 5
Carl Maria von Weber's masterpiece is one of the most German (and thus most neglected) operas of the early 19th century. The thrilling tale of a huntsman who sells his soul for a magic bullet that cannot miss, it has memorable melodies, a great overture and a terrific villain part. Save a trip to Vienna: go to the Bronx instead!

And Here We Are
National Sawdust, opens May 8.
Javanese shadow puppetry and innovative new music are at the heart of this work presented by the acclaimed Williamsburg venue for modern music.

Opera On Tap: Home Brewed Opera 
Freddy's Bar, Park Slope, May 10.
Bend an elbow and listen to the divas of this neighborhood opera company as they give a special concert at the venerable Freddy's a Park Slope institution. On May 15, OOT collaborate with Crash Chorus offers a pop-up choral evening with a chance to raise your own voice in song. As long as the beer isn't flat.

Regina Opera: Aida 
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, opens May 12.
Verdi's evergreen ode to the desert sands of Egypt comes to Sunset Park, Brooklyn in a stripped-down production by Regina Opera. Regina is one of Brooklyn's oldest and most venerated opera companies, providing professional productions in this writer's own neighborhood. Four performances.

Brooklyn College Opera Theater: Lucio Silla  
240 West Quad, Brooklyn College Campus May 11-13
Two performances of this early Mozart example of opera seria, a work that has not been performed in New York since 1992. The 16-year old Mozart constructed a complex retelling of Roman history.

operamission: Handel Warehouse
National Opera Center, June 2
This 12-hour marathon is a combination "workshop, class, open rehearsal, performance, party" held at the National Opera Center. Jennifer Peterson will be at the harpsichord, taking a break from her mission to perform all the Handel operas in chronological order.

New Amsterdam Opera: La Favorita
The Center at the West Park Presbyterian Church  (June 2)
The company that stunned New York last season with La Forza del Destino offers an ambitious take on one of Donizetti's greatest and rarest operas. Go see it. 

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.