Opera On Tap Maine’s Inaugural Concert

Opera Party on a Winter Wednesday 

Opera on Tap is the largest network of performing artists in the country. We take a local, grassroots, and VERY fun approach to community outreach in the name of our art form. We sing anywhere people will let us, aside from concert halls and opera houses. 

Please join us for the Maine chapter of Opera on Tap’s inaugural event where we will sing some of opera’s greatest party hits.  “Warm up with us” as we embark on this exciting new adventure! 

Featuring…

Shaunna Lucas, soprano (Co-Managing Diva)

Mary Johnston Letellier, soprano(Co-Managing Diva)

Alexandra Alene Dietrich, mezzo soprano 

Lindsay Conrad, soprano 

David Worobec, tenor

Colin Whiteman, baritone

Scott Wheatley, piano

Where: Cadenza in Freeport, ME

When: Wednesday February 12th, 8 PM

Tickets:

https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4488730

Opera on Tap receives lead funding from Infosys Foundation USA to integrate technology advancements to its Playground Opera program.

AUGUST 2022 – Opera on Tap is thrilled to announce a major grant from Infosys Foundation USA to fund an augmented version of its popular Playground Opera education program. Reimagined as Playground Operatronics, the program will be available to 400 Title 1 classrooms, serving 12,000 students and 400 classroom teachers, at no cost to the participating schools. The Playground Operatronics curriculum includes all of the existing Playground Opera lessons plus the integration of new technology. Opera on Tap is excited to enter into a partnership with Chibitronics, also a longtime curriculum partner of Infosys Foundation USA for their signature Pathfinders Institute, to facilitate the creation and distribution of this new technology. Chibitronics blends circuit building with arts and crafts using paper circuits so everyone can create and design their own expressive electronics. Using Chibitronics tool kits, students can learn to code and create electronic costume and prop assets such as crowns that light up as well as background scenery that blink and illuminate their opera video performances for their final project.  The first of its kind, this exciting new collaboration between Opera on Tap’s Playground Opera program and Chibitronics’ circuit technologies will be delivered and promoted in partnership with the Infosys Foundation’s Pathfinders Online Institute digital learning platform.

OOT Artistic Director Anne Hiatt says “we are so honored to receive this important leadership grant from the Infosys Foundation USA. This critical funding will truly be an arts education  game-changer, allowing us to bring STEAM-based learning to more diverse communities, and provide every learner with direct access to key skill sets that will one day be highly-desirable in the tech and creative economies.” Kate Maloney, Executive Director of Infosys Foundation USA affirmed  “Infosys Foundation USA is committed to advancing innovative ways of bringing computer science and technology to the classroom.  We are thrilled to partner with Opera on Tap and Chibitronics to blaze a new trail at the intersection of the arts and tech – and to do so with laser focus on equity in Title 1 classrooms. . We have high hopes for this dynamic program that it will ignite that curious spark in a student’s life, and transform it into a life-long passion for the arts and sciences.”

Watch our info trailer here.

 ABOUT PLAYGROUND OPERA

Playground Opera is a 2021 Infymaker Award-winning STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) interdisciplinary program that emphasizes music and media concepts with life and career skills. The cornerstone of this popular Opera on Tap program is the National Education Foundation’s “Four Cs”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity–and prioritizes active learning in order to create a participatory, interactive experience for a broad and diverse student community. To create a more active student engagement beyond passive viewing of videos, we explore innovative approaches to real- time interaction between students and our teaching artists, and our episodic curriculum is thoughtfully designed to be accessible and relatable to the 21st century learner by immersing students in every aspect of the creation, production and performance of an opera. In upcoming productions we will be utilizing game engine design and using virtual world-building tools to further immerse our students into the art form.

ABOUT INFOSYS FOUNDATION USA

Infosys Foundation USA was established in 2015 with the mission of expanding computer science and maker education to K-12 students and teachers across the United States, with a specific focus on increasing access to underrepresented communities. The Foundation achieves impact through delivering professional development programs for teachers, partnering with leading nonprofits, and delivering innovative media campaigns that inspire everyone to be creators, not just consumers, of technology.

To learn more visit: https://www.infosys.org/infosys-foundation-usa/about.html

ABOUT CHIBITRONICS

Chibitronics blends circuit building and programming with arts and crafts. They make circuit stickers and other tools for educators, artists and crafters so everyone can create and design their own expressive electronics. Through Chibitronics’ community, tutorials and resources, educators can seamlessly integrate art, STEM, social studies, and language arts. Students can create interactive artwork, illuminate haikus, map the stars and the world around them, invent cardboard arcades and paper cities, and much more.

To learn more visit: https://chibitronics.com/

ABOUT OPERA ON TAP

Opera on Tap began as a small monthly gathering of ambitious, classically-trained singers looking for more performance opportunities. OOT has grown into a producing organization that has gained a loyal audience base and national recognition as an innovative force on the classical music scene. Through its Chapter program, which now has twenty-five vibrant national and international chapters, OOT has created the world’s largest network of operatic performers, creators, and supporters. Visit our chapter page to view our chapters. Along the way, Opera on Tap has developed the Immersive Opera Project, New Brew, and other programming that commissions living composers, and performs works of contemporary composers. Our flagship education program, Playground Opera, educates children in the world of opera, music and theatre across the globe. We are headquartered as a national organization in Brooklyn, NY and, in addition to supporting our chapters around the world, present locally produced programs intended to adhere to our mission of community engagement through opera. 

*****

For more information visit

https://playground.operaontap.org

Are you an educator who wants to see if your school qualifies for free programming?  

Fill out the form here.

a one-act opera by Oklahoma artists Chris Prather, Kenneth R. Woods, and Megan Prather
World Premiere of No Justice, No Peace
Auditions Alert

Opera on Tap is happy to announce that we are holding auditions for our second Virtual Playground Opera production, Hansel and Gretel!  Come play with us!   

The children in the classroom program will be playing the title roles, and Opera on Tap will be taking submissions for the following roles:

Mother
Father
Sandman
Dew Fairy
Witch

More information:

Our 35 minute Playground arrangement (by J. Hudgins) includes several excerpts of the Humperdinck score. 

All music will be sung in German, with English dialogue.

Studio audio recording (rehearsals w/ MD and orchestra) will take place mid-January 2022.

Filming (and rehearsals) will take place in February 2022.

ALL ROLES ARE PAID.

Process:

Opera on Tap is committed to Equity in all aspects of our company and programming.  All artists of any voice type, gender, ethnicity, age, and background will be considered, respectful of the vocal requirements of the role and at the discretion of the Music Director and Film Director.

Auditions will be held by video submission. 

Please include a (link to) resume or website as well.

Selections (arias or art songs) should preferably be in German (or English)x

Please slate with your name, role(s) you would accept, and three of your favorite sweets, and why.

All recording formats and technologies are welcome, from phone to studio, with accompaniment or a capella.  We will not take technology into consideration when review submission – we want to see your personality and hear your voice!

Submissions will also be considered for roster membership and future projects.

Deadline for submission (it’s coming up!)

Please submit to auditions@operaontap.com by the 23rd of December.

Opera on Tap Presents: The Longest Night

JUST ANNOUNCED:

In honor of the solstice and batting an eyelash towards holiday-triggering depression, Opera on Tap returns to HERE to present a female-driven cabaret of contemporary classical songs. 

Featuring commissioned world premiere songs by Obie-award-winning composer Diedre Murray with text by Samantha Nahra and Beth Morrison Projects Next Generation Finalist composer Laura Jobin-Acosta with text by Joanie Brittingham.  


The Longest Night

Everything is not as it seems, and everyone’s journey is not as aesthetic as we are led to believe.

Performances: December 21 @ 7pm, December 22 @ 7pm
The Dorothy B. Williams Theatre @ HERE (145 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013)
Tickets available November 24, starting at $21. BUY HERE


The Longest Night is a compilation of three concepts: Bitterness, Solstice, and finally, Witchcraft. The entrancing voices of Joanie Brittingham, Kayleigh Butcher, Victoria Davis, Rocky Duval, Mary Rose Go, Joy Jan Jones, and Samantha Nahra accompanied by Candace Chien, will take you through the journey of being “that girl”. Follow the story of being a woman in New York City, PC (Post Covid), and the emotional journey from then until now. 

The cabaret will feature an eclectic array of solstice-ready songs by Paul Ayres, Christopher Berg, William Bolcom, Tom Cipullo, Raphael Fusco, Whitney George, Ricky Ian Gordon, Benton Hess, Lori Laitman, Libby Larsen, Kamala Sankaram,  Kirsten Volness, Joelle Wallach, and Philip Warton.

Direction and Set Decoration by the Opera on Tap Coven
Song Curation: Joanie Brittingham and Victoria Davis
Projection Design:  cari ann shim sham* 
Lighting Design: Tyler Dubuc
Stage Management: Alex West

Performed by Joanie Brittingham, Victoria Davis, Rocky Duval, Mary Rose Go, Joy Jan Jones and Samantha Nahra, and with piano accompaniment by Candace Chien

ABOUT THE COMMISSIONS

“The Divergent Night” with music by Diedre Murray and “Apprentice Crone” with music by Laura Jobin-Acosta are pieces based on the unique experiences of the poets, Samantha Nahra and Joanie Brittingham. In Apprentice Crone, Joanie expresses both vulnerability and empowerment seen through the lenses of women. She leaves the age of the woman to be interpreted by the audience, but with a nod to changes that come with age, and societal expectations of an aging woman.  Her inspiration is found in Jody Day’s Gateway Women, inspiring her to turn a painful experience of involuntary childlessness into one of power and fearlessness. In Samantha’s poem, “The Divergent Night,” she too takes back her power. In recent years, neurodivergence has entered social awareness. Many people use these disabilities as an “out” for moments when they don’t fit into societal norms. For Samantha, this sonnet is written with her former and present self in mind. Written sonnet style reversed, she writes an ode to herself in nature.

Opera on Tap (OOT), now 12 years old, was one of the pioneers in the movement to bring opera out of the opera house and into alternative venues. OOT has made a name for itself by presenting laid-back, entertaining, and irreverent operatic concerts that break out of the stereotypical mold of opera. By doing so, Opera on Tap shines a light on the core elements that make opera great: the beauty of the music, the (often bizarre) stories, and the incredible talent it takes to sing operatic repertoire. Opera on Tap’s credo is that the power of the human voice is best appreciated about 20 feet away, with a beer in hand.

The Longest Night has been a labor of love, in more ways than one. “As singers and leaders and curators in the industry who identify as women, we have been through several transformative moments over the last year or so. The Longest Night is a compilation of our feelings, thoughts and even struggles with what we have gone through. From grappling with identity, suffering through loss and mourning from dreams that were once so clear to us, we share it all here. Unfortunately, the general public still has not come to terms with the multifaceted nature of women. And we don’t plan to explain ourselves here. In this space, we want you to laugh, cry, sit in stillness and even join us in expressing your woes.”- Co-Curators Joanie Brittingham and Victoria Davis

“When Joanie and Victoria approached me with this concept for a cabaret, I was immediately intrigued. In my mind I keep envisioning this program as sort of a ‘Wiccan Winterreise’.  They have put together a really incredible list of songs, and I am so proud that we have been able to commission Diedre Murray and Laura Jobin-Acosta especially for this program.  Audiences can expect a rollicking good time, soaked in bitterness, silliness, sadness and everything else that comes along with being ‘that girl’ in today’s society. Equally exciting will be the projection design integration by cari ann shim sham*.  I have had the honor of collaborating with her on multiple projects and her work is always gorgeous, thoughtful and truly immersive.”Opera on Tap Executive and Artistic Director, Anne Hiatt

ABOUT OPERA ON TAP

Opera on Tap began as a small monthly gathering of ambitious, classically-trained singers looking for more performance opportunities. OOT has grown into a producing organization that has gained a loyal audience base and national recognition as an innovative force on the classical music scene. Through its Chapter program, which now has twenty-five vibrant national and international chapters, OOT has created the world’s largest network of operatic performers, creators, and supporters. Visit our chapter page to view our chapters. 

Along the way, Opera on Tap has developed the Immersive Opera Project, New Brew, and other programming that commissions living composers, performs works of contemporary composers. Our flagship education program, Playground Opera, educates children in the world of opera, music and theatre across the globe. We are headquartered as a national organization in Brooklyn, NY and, in addition to supporting our chapters around the world, present locally produced programs intended to adhere to our mission of community engagement through opera.  Learn more about our programs here.

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ABOUT OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH HERE:

Since 1993, HERE has been one of New York’s most prolific arts organizations. Today, it stands at the forefront of the city’s cultural scene, producing and presenting daring, new, multidisciplinary performance experiences.

HERE builds an inclusive community that nurtures artists of all backgrounds as they disrupt conventional expectations to create innovative performances in theatre, dance, music, puppetry, media, and visual art. By providing these genre-blending artists with an adaptive, flexible home for developing and producing their work, we share a range of perspectives reflective of the complexity of our city. 

HERE welcomes curious audiences to witness groundbreaking performances, responsive to the world in which we live, at free and affordable prices.

HERE strives to create an equitable, diverse, and inclusive home in which all people have fair access to the resources they need to realize their visions. We acknowledge structural inequities that exclude individuals and communities from opportunities based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class, age, and geography, and seek to counter those inequities in our work. Through mindful actions on sustainability and regenerative practices, we work toward climate justice, and a safe, livable planet for present and future artmakers and audiences.

Opera on Tap has collaborated with HERE on projects including the Grammy-nominated LOOKING AT YOU by Rob Handel and Kamala Sankaram, and the upcoming project JOAN OF THE CITY co-created by Kamala Sankaram and Kristin Marting. 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Joanie Brittingham

Joanie Brittingham, soprano, has been praised for her “dramatic versatility” (Opera News), “meltingly beautiful” interpretations (Forbes), “lucid diction” (New York Times), “captivating stage presence” (New York Classical Review), and “full-bodied voice” (Tulsa World), all while demonstrating “strength and resistance” (Opera Wire) throughout her “outstanding solo work” (New York Concert Review). Brittingham has performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, and Symphony Space and with Riverside Theatre, Fresh Squeezed Opera, New Amsterdam Opera, Opera on Tap, IconoClassic Opera, Hartford Opera Theater, and Chelsea Opera, the New Works Festival with OPERA America, American Lyric Theatre, Opera Lancaster, New York Lyric Opera, Light Opera Oklahoma, Peach State Opera, and Wichita Grand Opera.  In addition to performing, Joanie is the Development Director for Opera on Tap, Associate Editor for Classical Singer Magazine, and a piano technician.Brittingham’s recordings can be heard on all streaming platforms.

Kayleigh Butcher

Described as a singer with “commanding interpretive depth” (New York Times) as well as having a “pure vocal talent” (Opera Wire Magazine), Kayleigh Butcher (mezzo soprano) has gained critical and audience acclaim as a soloist and contemporary chamber musician.

Kayleigh is also a founding member and the director of Quince Ensemble, an all-treble, acappella vocal quartet that explores experimental vocal techniques and improvisation. She is also a founding member of Shepherdess with Hajnal Pivnick, an NYC-based violin and voice duo. And lastly, she is a member of LOVELERVLUV, a musical, performance art trio with Paul Pinto and Bonnie Lander.

Kayleigh received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, where she studied with Dr. Anne DeLaunay and Dr. Denise Knowlton.  She was a graduate teaching assistant to Dr. Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers at Bowling Green State University, where she earned her Master of Music.  She currently resides in Kensington, Brooklyn with her fat cat, Cherubino.

www.kayleighbutcher.com

Candace Chien

Lauded for her “particularly lovely” playing, collaborative pianist, Candace Marie Chien is a graduate of The Juilliard School, studying with Jonathan Feldman and Margo Garrett.  She received her Master’s degree in piano performance at the Manhattan of School of Music with the guidance of Jeffery Cohen and obtained her undergraduate degree in piano performance at Temple University under Professor Harvey Wedeen, and also completed an undergraduate there in Music Education, cum laude.

An avid chamber musician, Candace regularly performs with chamber groups Alighieri Duo, a violin piano duo, and piano trio Trio Portinari.  Her chamber music performances have taken her all over the east coast of the US, Canada, and Sweden, and has performed with members of the New York Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony.  She has coached with members of Juilliard String Quartet, American String Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet and Nash Ensemble.  Other influential mentors include JJ Penna, Gina Levinson, Lucie Robert, Kenneth Cooper, and Charles Abramovic. Recent engagements include appearances at Kaufmann Center Merkin Hall, Kimmel Center Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall, WMP Concert Hall, Rutgers University’s Mallery Room, Islip Arts Council and Heliconian Hall in Toronto and concerto appearances with New Westchester Symphony and New York Session Symphony.  She has participated in masterclasses with Lambert Orkis, Warren Jones, and Czech pianist Ivan Klansky. 

In her spare time between private teaching, Juilliard, and concertizing, one can also find Candace in the kitchen.  Her personal connection to music and food can be seen on Food Network tv show, Cooks Versus Cons, Season 4 in the episode “Fry, Fry Again!”.

Victoria Davis

Victoria Davis, Soprano, is a recent Graduate of Mannes College of Music. She has been a featured soloist in many concerts and events including the Welcoming of the First lady of Russia with Michelle and Barack Obama and the Kennedy Center’s Young Artist in America presentation. She had also participated in the Washington National Opera’s Juneteenth celebration as a soloist.

Ms. Davis has been seen in the roles of Lady Billows in Albert Herring and Die Sändmanchen in Hänsel und Gretel in The Oberlin Opera theater. Ms. Davis is a proud alumni of Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with Soprano Marlene Rosen. Ms. Davis has been a recipient of many awards including the fifth place winner of Opera Ebony’s vocal competition as well as a prize winner of the Premiere Opera Foundation’s Vocal Competition. Recently, Ms. Davis has been seen in the role of First Lady with Opera On Tap’s Playground Opera Program. She has also performed with the Masterworks Chorus as the Soprano soloist for the Brahms Requiem. In addition to that, Ms. Davis performed the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica with Opera Susquehanna in August of 2019. In the upcoming season, Ms. Davis will speak on a panel for Black Women In Opera: Community in Opera. Ms. Davis will also make a virtual appearance with the Kirsten Lewis Foundation, for their Gala Performance. In addition to this, Ms. Davis is proud to announce her participation with the Metropolitan Opera Guild and All Star Outreach, in giving back to the community through the arts. Victoria currently studies under Michael Paul. In addition to her vocal talents, Ms. Davis enjoys trying new recipes and writing poetry.

Tyler Dubuc

Tyler D. Dubuc (Lighting Designer) – As a Washington DC & New York City based designer, Tyler is equally at home in the worlds of theatre, opera, dance, as well as TV. NYC credits include productions with the Public Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, 59E59, New York City Center, and The Manhattan Theatre Club. Regional Credits include productions with Arena Stage, Signature Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, etc. TV: 74th Annual TONY Awards/The TONY Awards Present Broadway’s Back! (Asst. Lighting Director), 44th Annual Kennedy Center Honors (Asst. Lighting Director), and many performances on Saturday Night Live (Asst. Lighting Director). Education: American University (B.A. Theatre Design/B.S. Criminology); NYU-Tisch (MFA Lighting Design). Instruction: American University (Adjunct Professor).

Rocky Duval

New York based opera singer, performance poet, actor, and TEDx speaker Rocky Duval has been performing professionally since the age of 11 and has appeared in opera, television, stage, concert, and off-Broadway. Ms. Duval has performed with many companies, including The Metropolitan Opera Guild, The Glimmerglass Festival, Festival Bach Montréal, Opera on Tap NY, Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance, The Westchester Baroque Festival, The Colorado Music Festival, The Seattle Symphony, Opera Steamboat, The Barcelona Opera Studio, among others. She has performed at a wide range of venues internationally including, The Apollo Theatre, The High Line, on Spanish National Television (La1), CBGB, WQXR’ s The  Green Space, Opera America, Monestir Pedralbes Barcelona, Schauspielhaus Bochum, The English Theatre Frankfurt, as well as ARTE television, Germany.
Other highlights include: The Flower Power Duet with OperAerobics, with over 30K views, which was described as “What the world was waiting for” and “what the [redacted] did I just watch?”. Since March 2020, Rocky has taken to the screen and is passionate about opera innovation. As a specialist in early music and contemporary classical music, she has been in three filmed operas, one opera podcast with Experiments in Opera, and an exciting virtual learning platform that takes Rossini’ s La Cenerentola to children all over the world. Rocky is an Executive Producer for Opera on Tap, and has a thriving business as a public speaking coach. Her clients have gone on to do TED talks, book launches, and successful webinars. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music from the University of Washington, and a Diploma in Coaching from NYU.

Mary Rose Go

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Honolulu, Mary Rose Go is a classically trained coloratura soprano and actress. Recent credits include Columbina/Rapunzel in RagTag Theater’s Rapunzel, Cindy in an virtual performance of Cindy the Dreamer (Or No Small Potatoes) with Hudson Stage Company, Hope in a staged reading of Inside Siberia (Root Beer Occasion Theatre) and Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte with Opera on Tap’s Playground Opera at PS 129 in Harlem. Other roles include 17th century diva La Rochois in La Maupin with Fresh Fruit Festival, Amor (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica), Rosina (The Barber of Seville).

Ms. Go has participated in a Hamilton Project Residency with Barn Arts Collective, OperaWorks, Bay Area Summer Opera Training Institute at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Hawai’i Performing Arts Festival. Equally comfortable in solo concert, Ms. Go has given numerous solo and joint recitals with Civic Morning Musicals and Cantanti Project singing difficult cycles such as Bernstein’s La Bonne Cuisine, Ravel’s Histoires Naturelles and Strauss’s Brentano lieder. She also debuted a jazz arrangement of Walter Loving’s “Beloved Philippines” at Cave Canem with Guggenheim Fellow Patrick Rosal. Other engagements include solo and collaborative public performances with Tuesday Night Project, Lompoc Valley Orchestra, and the Cantanti Project. Ms. Go has been recognized by the Art Song Preservation Society, the National Association of Teachers for Singing – Central New York, the Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, and the Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute.

Follow Mary Rose on Instagram at shortnmorose or subscribe to her permaculture gardening YouTube channel for kids called Auntie Mary Rose – her last video features an Italian disco song about beans and farting!

Laura Jobin-Acosta

Laura Jobin-Acosta (Composer commissioned for this event) is a motivated and passionate composer. She recently graduated with her master’s degree in classical composition from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Laura Kaminsky and Kamala Sankaram. Laura Jobin-Acosta is a 2021 IDEA Opera Resident Artist hosted at the National Opera Center, where she will be under the mentorship of composer, Jake Heggie. Laura is also a 2021 BMP: Next Generation finalist as part of Beth Morrison Projects.

​Jobin-Acosta realized her compositional skills by attending the Walden Creative Musicians Retreat in 2017, where she wrote a piece for Mivos Quartet that was premiered. While still in graduate school, she was commissioned to compose The Seven Last Words of Christ by Calvary-St. George Episcopal Church in Manhattan. As part of her Opera America Residency, Jobin-Acosta is currently working on an opera miniature about paleontologist Mary Anning with librettist Kaitlin Sullivan, as well as a full length opera about Puerto Rico’s Doña Felisa Rincón de Gautier with librettist Sandra Flores-Strand. Laura is also working on art song commissions for Opera on Tap and Five Boroughs Music Festival in collaboration with On Site Opera.

​Jobin-Acosta’s unique multi-cultural upbringing and singing background is reflected in her music, which can be described as beautiful, weird, and full of layers and dialogue. She has significant local and international singing experience that expands to Munich, Vienna, and Israel, and regularly performs new music in New York City, where she resides.

Joy Jan Jones

Joy Jan Jones is a versatile performance artist in high demand. She is an independent, multi-genre singer, instrumentalist, writer, producer, & model. NYC based, she has been featured @ Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York Fashion Week 2018-2020 & NYC’s annual Village Halloween Parade 2021. She has been featured in TimeOutMagazine twice & became a contributor to Classical Singer Magazine last summer, w/ her provocative & very personal article, The Four Corners. Born and raised in Houston, TX Joy has a Bachelor of Music Performance from Sam Houston State University & a Master of Music Performance from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. While in Potsdam she won 1ST PLACE in the New York State MTNA vocal competition & 1ST PLACE in the Classical Singer vocal competition (graduate university level). Additionally, she completed her Graduate Thesis & initial training in Music Therapy w/ adolescents. Particularly those bereaving, or living w/ neuro-divergent & neuro-developmental disorders.

Joy is a professional singer, recording artist, & songwriter. She curates live performance art pulling from several genres of music, from Coltrane to Baroque, Gospel to German Lieder, & Yacht rock to Dream-pop.

Currently, she is collaborating w/ New Brew: A collective of OperaonTap.org performers & creators that present original, curated concerts of new music w/ a focus on local emerging & established composers.

Diedre Murray

Diedre L. Murray (Composer commissioned for this event), is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, two-time OBIE Award winner, innovative composer, cellist, and producer. From the 1970s through the 1990’s she pioneered the use of the cello as a jazz instrument, playing domestically in the USA and extensively throughout the world. She’s best known for her work as a cellist with Hannibal Marvin Peterson’s Sunrise Orchestra, The Fred Hopkins/Diedre Murray ensemble and The Henry Threadgill Sexette.
Musical and theater work: score for Best of Both Worlds for A.R.T.; Unending Pain, a jazz oratorio, copresented by the Performance Garage and the Whitney Museum of American Art; Let’s Go Down to the River, a score for octet, Willasau Jazz Festival in Switzerland; The Eyes of Nhor, a string trio for National Dutch Radio and De Effenaar Festival in Eindhoven, Holland; Kamerados, for mixed ensemble, The Women’s Improviser Festival in New York; Five Minute Tango, a score for the inaugural concert at the Danny Kaye/Sylvia Fine Playhouse, performed by the Manhattan Brass Quintet; The Conversation, for the Seattle-based New Performance Group at the Walker Arts Center in Minnesota; You Don’t Miss Your Water, a music theater piece, in collaboration with Cornelius Eady, produced by the Music-Theatre Group (MTG); Women In The Dunes, a dance piece created by Blondel Cummings at the Japan Society; score for Strings Attached, a dance piece choreographed by Risa Jaraslow at The Joyce Theater; music adaptation and arrangements for The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at The Richard Rodgers Theater in 2012; MTG produced  chamber opera Running Man, for which she wrote the original story and score with libretto by Cornelius Eady, Here Theatre in New York City (two OBIE Awards, finalist for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama); original music and arrangements for Eli’s Coming (OBIE Award) Vineyard Theatre.
Ms. Murray wrote the score for the MTG/Kathryn Walker coproduction of the Rage of Achilles and the Odyssey which were performed at the 95th Street Y and the Lensic Theater in Santa Fe; The Blackamour Angel, an opera written by Carl Hancock Rux, Bard College; score for an adaptation by Diane Paulus of James Baldwin’s Another Country, Columbia University; score for an adaptation of The Voice Within with Marcus Gardley, Harlem Stages and the Apollo Theatre. 
Recent projects include scoring Chesney Snow’s The Soil Beneath, a streamed choreopoem produced by Primary Stages. In collaboration with Regina Taylor, Ms. Murray did the new arrangement for Crowns, produced at the Long Wharf and McCarter Theaters, and scored Oo-Bla-Dee, produced by Three Rivers Theater. Score for Patient Zero, an opera, libretto by Cornelius Eady and Ms. Murray for MTG. She is currently in production with choreographer Dianne McIntyre, writing the music for a dance retrospective of Ms. McIntyre’s career.
Ms. Murray has received numerous grants and awards for her work as a composer. She received a B.S. degree from Hunter College in ethnomusicology, and has appeared on over 50 recordings as a cellist, composer, arranger and/or producer.

Samantha Nahra

Soprano, Samantha Nahra, has sung the roles of Micaela in La tragedies de Carmen, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, Suor Dolcina in Suor Angelica and Bianca in La Rondine. She has covered the role of Arinyae in the premiere of A Metamorphosis with the Christman Opera Company and she has sang scenes from Tosca, Der Fliegende Hollander, and Die Walküre with the New York Dramatic Voices. She has been involved in Oberlin in Italy, CoOPERAtive, Operaworks, Sherrill Milnes VOICE Studio, Le Chiavi di Bel Canto, International Vocal Arts Institute, and Utah Lyric Opera program UVAA. Recently she received an honorable mention in NJS International Vocal Competition, was a finalist in the Elaine Malbin competition and a semi-finalist for the SAS Vocal Competition. She is the creator of “A Dramatic Soprano Tries Cooking…” on YouTube, and the librettist for “A Dramatic Soprano Tries Cooking…The Opera” composed by Philip Wharton. Currently her YouTube show has partnered with Opera on Tap in NYC.

cari ann shim sham*

cari ann shim sham* is a wild artist working at the intersections of dance & technology. She experiments with still & moving images, movement, sound, experiential interactive spaces & street art stickers. Her art engages the dream world through light, movement, nudity and impossible bodies across the mediums of film, immersive installation & interactive media design, theater, dance, video art, virtual reality, xr, and artificial intelligence. Her live work and interactive video art has shown at notable venues such as Jacob’s Pillow, BAM, PS 21, Peak Performances, the Joyce Soho The Krannert Center, Clarice Smith Art Center, Danspace in NYC, Dance Place, DC, REDCAT Los Angeles and she was commissioned by the Trisha Brown company to be the first video artist to redesign the set/sound and video art of Rauschenberg’s Shiner for Set & Reset, Reset. She is actively engaged in the disruption of negatively addictive crowd sourced platforms that expect user generated content for free in a scheme to sell advertising to manipulate & influence its users and currently teaches a Big Ideas Course on “The Ethics of Big Tech and Social Media: Technoethics”, school wide at New York University. As a curator she creates spaces that cultivate new ideas for sustainable arts practices. with a curation practice over a decade deep, her commitment offers free submission and innovative programming for new artists with a focus on dance film, vr, ar, xr, and interactive installation, with the recent launch during the pandemic of The museum of Wild and Newfangled Art, online worldwide digital art museum that hosts a biennial, a store, a collection, a blog, screenings, artist talks, private events and parties at www.mowna.org.

She is honored to serve as a guide to young artists at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts as an Associate Arts Professor of Dance & Technology. www.cariannshimsham.com

Opera on Tap receives funding from the Renée Fleming Foundation for Playground Opera Educational Research

Opera on Tap is pleased to announce a grant received from the Renée Fleming Foundation to fund research into the effects of the Playground Opera project on the development of empathy and social-emotional learning in children.  Playground is Opera on Tap’s collaborative, project-based learning tool prioritizing free and low cost music education in an immersive, interactive format. Opera on Tap is partnering with Dr. Indre Viskontas, USF neuroscientist and member of the Opera on Tap Advisory Council, to develop a study that will track improvements in emotional regulation,  and other cognitive and social skills by surveying children and teachers who participate in the program.


Renée Fleming and The Renée Fleming Foundation awarded Opera on Tap a grant to begin work on the Playground Opera research project. Fleming’s Sound Health initiative, which she spearheads in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, focuses on research and practice at the intersection of music, health, and neuroscience. Other projects by the Renée Fleming Foundation include a partnership with the Foundation for the NIH to develop a toolkit for standardizing music & health clinical research for brain disorders of aging.

Dr. Indre Viskontas is an opera singer turned director with a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is on the faculty of both San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the University of San Francisco. She conducts research on the neuroscience of creativity, and is the author of How Music Can Make You Better. She has published more than 50 original papers and chapters related to the neural basis of memory and creativity, including seminal articles in top scientific journals.

ABOUT PLAYGROUND OPERA:

Beyond passive viewing of videos, Playground Opera explores innovative approaches to real time interaction between students and teaching artists. This ‘active learning’ online platform allows students to interact with teaching artists and upload their own work relative to each episode’s project focus. Additionally, they will see their own self-created art and video content integrated into the cumulative opera video production. Opera on Tap’s curriculum can be implemented with assistance from a music teacher or a classroom teacher, and we provide our schools and educators with all the necessary support and materials. 

Playground Opera offers regular, consistent music instruction by:

  • Expanding and scaling our reach into more public schools nationally, utilizing an equitable fee model that particularly supports children enrolled in Title I schools, which can receive the program free of charge.
  • Providing guides for parents and caregivers to build a deeper community involvement even through a digital, musical arts platform.
  • Contributing to research on the effectiveness of our program in particular, and music education in general, on cognitive, emotional and pro-social development in school-aged children.

Opera on Tap believes in nurturing the totality of cognitive, emotional, social, and physical factors that impact student learning, building confidence that goes far beyond the four walls of the classroom and affirming a positive sense of self and respect for the identities of others. Opera on Tap also creates opportunities for a vast array of emerging and professional artists, teaching artists, administrators, and production staff who face barriers in the traditional models of opera and arts education. 

Opera on Tap enjoys expanded support from the National Endowment for the Arts, NY State Council of the Arts, Teach for America Enduring Ideas Innovation Lab, the West Harlem Development Corporation and Opera America; as well as many individuals and various family foundations including Friends of Public School Harlem, the Seth Sprague Charitable Trust, and the Lee MacCormick Edwards Foundation.

ABOUT OPERA ON TAP

Opera on Tap began as a small monthly gathering of ambitious, classically-trained singers looking for more performance opportunities. OOT has grown into a producing organization that has gained a loyal audience base and national recognition as an innovative force on the classical music scene. Through its Chapter program, which now has twenty-five vibrant national and international chapters, OOT has created the world’s largest network of operatic performers, creators, and supporters. Visit our chapter page to view our chapters. 

Along the way, Opera on Tap has developed the Immersive Opera Project, New Brew, and other programming that commissions living composers, performs works of contemporary composers. Our flagship education program, Playground Opera, educates children in the world of opera, music and theatre across the globe. We are headquartered as a national organization in Brooklyn, NY and, in addition to supporting our chapters around the world, present locally produced programs intended to adhere to our mission of community engagement through opera.

ABOUT RENÉE FLEMING

Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. Honored with four Grammy® awards and the US National Medal of Arts, Renée has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. In 2014, she became the first classical artist ever to sing The Star-Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl. 

In recent years, Renée has become known as a leading advocate for research at the intersection of arts, health, and neuroscience, giving presentations with scientists and practitioners around the world, and winning Research!America’s Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion.  In 2020, Renée launched Music and Mind LIVE, a weekly online interview show exploring the connections between arts, human health, and the brain, amassing nearly 700,000 views, from 70 countries. The series was inspired by the Sound Health initiative she leads as Artistic Advisor to the Kennedy Center, in partnership with the NIH and the NEA. She is a Founding Advisor for the Sound Health Network at UCSF and Co-Chair of the Johns Hopkins/Aspen Institute NeuroArts Blueprint.

Renée’s latest album is Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene, with Yannick Nézet-Seguin as pianist. A collection of classic songs and specially commissioned world premieres, the album focuses on nature as both inspiration and casualty of humans. Her voice is featured on the soundtracks of Best Picture Oscar winners The Shape of Water and The Lord of the Rings.

Artistic Advisor-at-Large to the Kennedy Center, Renée also leads SongStudio at Carnegie Hall. She is Co-Director of the Aspen Opera Center and VocalArts at the Aspen Music Festival. Renée’s other awards include the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. www.reneefleming.com

Join Us for a Special Holiday Performance!

Sunday, January 3rd, 2pm ET/ 20:00 GMT+1

Opera on Tap Vienna in Cooperation with Art and Culture Association TAKE 5 presents a special holiday performance by our Vienna-based artists. The performance was recorded live at the beautiful St. Peter’s Church in Vienna. Opera on Tap will broadcast the performance live via Emmie & Harry’s TV at 2pm ET/ 20:00 GMT+1 this Sunday January 3rd. Join us!

We have arrived in Vienna!

We are so pleased to announce the launch of Opera on Tap in one of the world’s great opera cities!  We are happy and proud to announce a new partnership with the Art and Culture Association TAKE 5. The Austrian-based organization is committed to “support administratively artists to help them to perform their art whenever and wherever possible” TAKE 5 has a production series “Oper für Einsteiger” (Opera for Beginners) (http://www.vereintake5.wien/eigenproduktionen.html) that aligns perfectly with our mission of supporting opera artists. We look forward to working with TAKE 5 to help support artists we work with in both the US and Europe in realizing all possible projects. Please join us in welcoming our new partners!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Opera on Tap Colorado Presents
SEE/HEAR Illuminated Stories in Song

November 16, 2020, Denver, CO​ Opera on Tap Colorado presents a visual album of four song cycles featuring live Colorado singers and video artists from across the US featuring Richard Strauss ​Four Last Songs/Vier letzte Lieder​, Ernesto Cordero’s​ Four Works for Voice and Guitar​, Robert Owens’ ​Mortal Storm,​ and Nkeiru Okoye’s ​Brooklyn Cinderella​.

“We wanted to do something on a larger scale while responding to the limitations that COVID-19 has created for live performance.” Said Opera on Tap Colorado co-managing diva Eve Orenstein. “We came up with the concept of pairing video artists with song cycles – groups of songs that share a narrative theme – to create something that would be collaborative and also safe for singers and audience members. The videos will bring the music to life and can be experienced from home or in a socially distanced performance setting, like a drive-in.”

Five Colorado singers, Nnamdi Nwankwo, Asha Romeo, Jerome Síbulo, Luisa Marie Rodriguez, and Julie Silver Campbell will record four song cycles that were selected by the Opera on Tap Colorado singers.

Through an open call process, Opera on Tap Colorado received submissions from video artists around the country and four were chosen, including Cai (NYC), David Fodel(CO), Annanya George(CO), and Corwin Evans(Los Angeles), and paired with each song cycle to augment and illuminate the music.

SEE/HEAR​ will be launched with a hybrid live performance/live-streamed event on December 13 at 4:00pm at the Broomfield Auditorium.

SEE/HEAR

Sunday, December 13th, 4:00PM Doors open at 3:30PM Broomfield Auditorium
3 Community Park Road

Broomfield, CO 80020
Limited seating will be available for $10, with social distancing protocols in place

Ticket: ​B-REx.com

This performance of SEE/HEAR will be live-streamed at Facebook.com/creativebroomfield/live Facebook.com/ootco
Youtube.com/operaontapco

About Opera on Tap Colorado

Opera on Tap was founded in New York City in 2005 when a few singers, out for a drink in Brooklyn, wondered what it would be like if classical singers could gig at local bars like bands do. Opera on Tap has since grown to boast chapters in cities across the country – and now in Colorado! Opera on Tap Colorado will be bringing opera to unexpected places throughout the state, offering audiences exceptional music by outstanding singers, and giving professional singers the opportunity to sing regularly in public in a welcoming, supportive atmosphere. While casual and even raucous, Opera on Tap is not an open mic. Each month, shows will have a theme and singers will perform arias that more or less match that theme. Audiences can expect singers to be top notch performers singing music from actual operas – often with a drink in hand!

About Four Last Songs/Vier letzte Lieder

“Richard Strauss was…living in Switzerland at the end of World War II. Throughout his successful operatic and orchestral career, he’d written songs…inspired by his wife Pauline. She was a successful soprano who performed Strauss’s songs to great acclaim. Towards the end of 1946, Strauss read a poem by Eichendorff, “Im Abendrot” in which an ageing couple at the end of their lives together look at the setting sun and ask, “Is that perhaps death.” The words matched the composer’s feelings entirely, and became the inspiration for the start of a five-song cycle which he never completed. But he did compose four, although they weren’t linked as a group until after his death when Strauss’s publisher named them “Four Last Songs.”

The Eichendorf poem which translates as “At Sunset” is fittingly the last of the four, with the first three songs all settings of poems by Herman Hesse. Beginning with “Spring,” the second is “September” followed by “Going to Sleep” – each seems to be part of Strauss’s preparations for death and it’s hard to imagine a more conscious or deliberate farewell from this master of song.” (​https://www.classicfm.com/composers/strauss/guides/richard-strauss-four-last-songs/​)

About Four Works for Guitar and Voice

With music by Ernesto Cordero and texts by Juan Ramon Jiménez, Luis Llorens Torres and Nimia Vicens, this song collection is a beauty to behold. ​Cordero used these four poems from three poets of great import to Puerto Rican identity to illuminate his Puerto Rican experience. ​The first piece, “Zenobia” has text from a poem by Juan Ramon Jiménez called “Para quererte” (“To love you”). The poem was written to his wife, Zenobia Camprubí, a half Puerto Rican, half Spaniard. The final line “us together, just like the sea and the sky, the sky and the sea, without even trying, just are,” is a metaphor for how two lovers that are a perfect fit for one another, can just be, just like the sea and the sky. The second song, “La Hija del Viejo Pancho,” was written by Luis Llorens Torres, a well-known poet and politician in Puerto Rico’s founding. He spent some time in Spain in law school, and being away from his home, this poem seems to tell the story of where he finds ultimate happiness in his home, Puerto Rico. The third song, “Cadencia” has text from a poem by Nimia Vicens by the same name. It is also a metaphor for perfect love through the beauty of nature. Vicens wrote much of her poetry following Spain’s loss of the Spanish American War, which meant that Puerto Rico belonged to the United States. It has been suggested that artists use the beauty of their homeland, belonging to them, as a response to the trauma of the war and the trauma of their new identity. The fourth piece, “​El Viaje Definitivo,” also written by ​Juan Ramon Jiménez​, is a beautiful imagining of what life would be like after death, what continues, what will change and what will remain.

About Mortal Storm

Mortal Storm, a cycle of five songs on poetry by Langston Hughes, was composed in 1965 for Thomas Carey. Having previously sung the composer’s ​Four Motivations, Carey commissioned the work of Owens after having won First Prize in the Ard International Competition in 1963. Carey sang Mortal Storm frequently throughout Europe and the United States.

Mortal Storm r​ epresents a marked change in Owens’ songwriting. In the composer’s words, “I moved from realms of Schubert lieder and demanded of the singer the passion and drama of opera.” The broader public was introduced to Owens’ songwriting via Patterson’s A​nthology of Art Songs by Black American Composers​, This 1977 publication featured two of Owens’ songs from M​ortal Storm, “​ Genius Child” and “Faithful One.”

About Brooklyn Cinderella

Brooklyn Cinderella​ by Nkeiru Okoye is a ​set of songs born out of the I Hear America Singing program that commissions composers to create operatic songs based on the poetry and prose of Americans of all ages and all walks of life. These songs are based on poems written by Brooklyn children in classes headed by poet Angeli Rasbury. Brooklyn Cinderella​ was commissioned by American Opera Projects and the Walt Whitman Project.

Singers

Nnamdi Nwankwo https://www.instagram.com/nnamdiknwankwo/

Luisa Marie Rodrigurez https://www.instagram.com/luisamarierodriguez/

Jerome Síbulo https://www.instagram.com/jsibulo/

Asha Romeo https://www.instagram.com/asha_romeo/

Julie Campbell http://juliesilversoprano.com

Video Artists

Cai https://shashrvacai.com/

Corwin Evans http://corwinevans.com/

Annanya George https://www.instagram.com/annanyageorge/

David Fodel https://vimeo.com/davidfodel

www.operaontap.com/colorado

www.facebook.com/ootco www.twitter.com/ootco

## #

Announcing a New Virtual Playground Opera Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS CONTACT: ANNE HIATT
ANNE@OPERAONTAP.ORG
917-538-7413

Virtual Playground Opera is a collaborative experience between students, educators, teaching artists from Opera on Tap, and internationally acclaimed opera singers from around the world. The portal will be available for schools in Spring 2021. Demonstrations and tours of the portal begin in December 2020.

Let’s Play Opera!

Accessible via an Interactive Web Portal.
In this program, students will learn about the fundamentals of opera and take a deep dive into what a production entails. Students will be able to sing, act, and dance in their very own video production of an opera (Spring 2021 – Rossini’s Cenerentola). Using best practices in classroom pedagogy and music and film technology, each group of students will understand the exhilarating beauty of opera, and be able to connect it to their own lives and communities.

This project is taking place with the support and collaboration of our city and neighborhood partners, as well as nationally recognized foundations and educational organizations, including the West Harlem Development Corporation, the Seth Sprague Educational & Charitable Foundation, Enduring Ideas Award from Teach for America’s Reinvention Lab, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera on Tap is also partnering with Plussed, and Teach for America Reinvention Lab. We enjoy the support of Music and the Brain and the office of Kristin Gillibrand.

“Your team has been selected by a group of participatory decision-makers, almost half of them young people under 20, as having an idea that is making significant leaps to a radically different future of learning.”
Enduring Ideas Grant Co-Chairs Susanna (Reinvention Lab at Teach for America)  and Jenee (Transcend Education)

The program, accessible through our web portal, consists of  Live teaching artists (2) zoomed into their space(s) OR pre-recorded lessons by Opera on Tap’s teaching artists, pre-teaching materials, 8 sessions, and a final video including every student singing and dancing, that will be live-streamed for their community. With a strong STEAM integration, Virtual Playground Opera builds lasting relationships with educators and students and presents creativity as a life skill essential for success. Our curriculum immerses students in every aspect of the creation, production and performance of an opera. Virtual Playground Opera is an active learning video production education program in an innovative, interactive web series hosted on a comprehensive learning portal.

Culture Track’s 2020 key findings, Culture + Community in a Time of Crisis, reports rising feelings of worry, boredom and disconnection. 81%  of respondents expressed themselves creatively in quarantine. 37% reported singing alone or with others. 66% found that livestream performances were valuable, and 76% reported online activities for kids to be important. We look to provide a balm for anxieties through our creative programming. Digital culture has changed the way audiences and participants experience community and intimacy. Playground Opera increases access and availability for high level arts curriculum, with consideration for system implications from the start, and incorporating DEI strategies through all levels of the programming: staff, production team, casting, teaching artists, and more. When in person performances return, our foundational approach to digital programming will increase reach and equity, driving innovation in ways that create fundamentally better arts programming for all children.

We also address the National Education Foundation’s “Four C’s”- critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity through our approach to storytelling, the collaborative nature of our art form, character work and analysis, and student ownership of aspects like costume, prop and backdrop creation. A core priority is arts education through active learning, and to place this participatory, interactive experience in the hands of as many students as possible, while at the same time maintaining active self direction for student agency of learning and customization, tailoring each learner’s identity, prior knowledge, development, and ways of learning to help them be successful. Playground addresses CASEL standards in the curriculum, and while we are not an SEL (social emotional learning) program, we create and revise the curriculum with SEL in mind. Playground Opera is a STEAM interdisciplinary project with a high emphasis on music and the performing arts, integrating tech concepts and skills, emphasizing 21st century skills of information, media, and technology skills, with special focus on video and audio recording, and life and career skills.

Exciting future programming is already in the works to deeply engage students with the work of BIPOC artists and composers and to nurture the totality of cognitive, emotional, social, and physical factors that impact the learning of our students, and hold our students to high expectations, building confidence that goes far beyond the four walls of the classroom and affirming a positive sense of self and respect for the identities of others.


Cenerentola staff and performers include:


Jenny Lee Mitchell, Director
Mila Henry, Music Director
Ramona Ponce, Costume and Production Designer
Eric McKeever, Co-Writer
David Gordon, Assistant Director/ Co-Writer
Du’Bois A’Keen, Choreography
Blake Kile, Production Manager
Eric Mattingly, Assistant Production Manager
Jeff Hudgins, Audio Engineer, Music Arranger
T-Stop Pics, Video Production Partner (Post-Production, Special Effects, Animation)
Anne Hiatt, Executive Producer
Rachel Duval, Creative Producer


LA CENERENTOLA PRODUCTION FEATURING:
Taylor Raven as Angelina
Victor Hernandez as Ramiro
Eric McKeever as Dandini
Ben Bloomfield as Don Magnifico
Joy Jones as Clorinda
Rachel Duval as Tisbe
Javier Ortiz as Alidoro
Glen Heroy as Co-Narrator
Introducing Meila Price as our young Co-Narrator

INSTRUMENTALISTS:
Eleonore Oppenheim, Bass
James Moore, Banjo/Mandolin
Andie Tanning, Fiddle
Kamala Sankaram, Accordion
Alexander Rovang, Rehearsal Pianist

EDUCATION TEAM:
Victoria Davis, Teaching Artist/ Curriculum Development
Joy Jones, Teaching Artist/ Curriculum Development
Eric McKeever, Curriculum Development
Rachel Duval, Curriculum Development/ Director of Education Films
David Gordon, Scriptwriter- Education Films


Select Creators (bios)

Jenny Lee Mitchell (director) is a NYC based actor, vaudevillian, director, singer, musician, and producer, who spent 18 years performing across Europe in musical theater and operetta. Since moving back to New York, she has directed Greek Tragedy, British Panto, numerous solo performances as well as the commissioned opera, Smashed, for Opera On Tap and 5 seasons with Opera On Tap’s Playground Series opera program at PS 129 in Harlem. Favorite performing credits include: Off Bway: Outside Inn at 59East59, Sleep No More. NY Theater: Much Ado About Nothing directed by The Ridiculous Theater’s Everett Quinton, Vaclav Havel’s Hunt for a Pig, Iphigenia in Aulis with UTC, The Curse of the Mystic Renaldo, and Chuck Mee’s Fire island at 3 Legged Dog. Europe/Regional: Dance of the Vampires, Jekyll and Hyde, Dames at Sea, Falsettos, Wonderland, Orpheus In the Underworld, and Die Czardas Furstin. She plays with The Jazz Bastards, a comedy jazz troup at Pangea monthly and is a variety show host at Slipper Room as drunk jazz singer Muffy Styler. Education: NYU Experimental Theater Wing, clown and physical comedy with David Shiner, voice: Barbara Maier Gustern, clarinet: Richard Philbin. Jennyleemitchell.com. 

Mila Henry (music director) is a music director, pianist and conductor, as well as Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based producing company The American Opera Project (AOP). Hailed “a stalwart contributor to the contemporary opera scene” (Opera Ithaca), she provides musical dramaturgy to AOP works in development and serves as Head of Music for their renowned Composers & the Voice training program for composers and librettists. Outside of AOP, Mila maintains an active and versatile career, leading works spanning rock musicals (These Girls Have Demons, Pittsburgh CLO; Something Blue, Page 73) to folk operas (The World is Round, Ripe Time, Obie-winner), multi-composer collaborations (Magdalene, PROTOTYPE; Words on the Street, Baruch Performing Arts Center; SWELL, HERE) to multi-persona monodramas (Love & Trouble, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra), classical traditions (La liberazione di Ruggiero/The Infinite Energy of Ada Lovelace, Opera Ithaca; Hansel and Gretel, Opera on Tap) to crossover rebellions (Barnum’s Bird, Circle in the Square’s Circle Series; The Moon’s Silent Modulation, Lincoln Center’s Atrium 360°). A “terrific” pianist (Opera News), Mila traveled to Dutch National Opera and The Apollo for We Shall Not Be Moved (Opera Philadelphia; synthesizer double), LA Opera for Thumbprint (Beth Morrison Projects, PROTOTYPE; harmonium double), Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for Persona (BMP) and the Library of Congress for Fierce Grace: Jeannette Rankin (OPERA America), in addition to playing for the premieres of Looking at You (HERE) and Mata Hari (PROTOTYPE) in her home base of New York. 

Jeff Hudgins (music arranger/mixing and mastering), a transplanted Texan whose music has been described as “somewhat menacing” (New York Music Daily), is a founding member of opera/Bollywood/surf noir ensemble Bombay Rickey. He has toured in the US and Europe, has premiered John Zorn, Tim Berne and John Harbison, has performed in Kamala Sankaram’s award-winning operas Miranda (2012) and Looking At You (2019), Yara Travieso’s multimedia show, La Medea(2017), and David Dorfman’s Aroundtown (2017) at BAM. In addition to Bombay Rickey, he writes for the NYC groups Anti-Social Music and Opera On Tap, and performs with Matt Bauer and Lizzie & The Makers, amongst many others.

American baritone Eric McKeever has won consistent praise for his voice of “power and brilliance” (Chicago Tribune) and “considerable flexibility and a communicative presence enhanced by expressive, crystalline diction.” (Opera News) His past experience includes serving as a Teaching Artist in the MET Opera Guild’s Urban Voices Program as well as serving as Administrative Director for the Capital University/Opera Columbus Vocal Summer Camp. Mr. McKeever’s passion for Arts Integration and Opera Education stems from a belief that the arts, especially opera, connect to multiple academic disciplines and the exploration of those connections make more intelligent, creative and disciplined learners. Mr. McKeever debuted with Opera on Tap/s Playground Opera program last year and is excited to be joining the Administrative Team creating a new digital/interactive experience for schools. Mr. McKeever performed Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opera Columbus, David in L’amico Fritz with Baltimore Concert Opera, Germont in La traviata with Pacific Opera Project and he joined Knoxville Opera as Enrico in excerpts from Lucia di Lammermoor. Mr. McKeever has performed Don Pizarro in Skylight Music Theater’s Fidelio, starred as the title role of El Cimarrón with the Center for Contemporary Opera, took on the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth with Opera Company of Middlebury and joined Opera Project Columbus as Michele in Il Tabarro. A frequent performer of Rossini, Mr. McKeever was seen with Little Opera Theatre of New Yorkas Don Parmenione in L’occasione fa il ladro, Fernando in Bronx Opera’s La gazza ladra and singing Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the North Shore Music Festival.Other roles in his repertoire include Valentin in Faust with Winter Opera St. Louis, Escamillo in Carmen with Long Island Opera, Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in his Opera Naples debut, Der Musiklehrer in Ariadne auf Naxos with St. Petersburg Opera and Jake in Porgy and Bess with Dayton Opera. Early in his career, Mr. McKeever covered the roles of Burnah/The Ship Cook in Amistad by Anthony Davis at Lyric Opera of Chicago. He also participated in Lyric Opera’s Opera in the Neighborhoods portraying Figaro (The Barber of Seville) and Alidoro (Cinderella).

David Gordon (Assistant Director/ Co-Writer/ Scriptwriter) has been a part of Opera on Tap since the first show at Freddy’s. David was an inaugural teaching artist for OOT’s Playground Opera and is a member of New Brew.  As a tenor, David specializes in German and English character roles and new music.  He has sung with NYCO, AOP, CCO, HOT and many more. David has directed productions of Spring Awakening, Urinetown, Trojan Women 2.0, Top Girls, Le nozze di Figaro, Filthy Habit, Prairie Dogs from Wild Beasts of the Bungalow, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, David holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan and a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music. He is on the faculty of the Precollege Division of MSM, where he teaches voice, acting, and directs the Opera Workshop.

Ramona Ponce is a New York costume designer for a broad range of artistic disciplines: theater, film, opera, cabaret, performance art, and installation art, who has been nominated for both the Innovative Theatre Award and Hewes Design Award. She is Costume Designer In Residence at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, where she lectures and runs a practical studio lab program to support student productions. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Ramona administers New York CIty Emergency Management’s Manhattan borough Community Emergency Response Teams as a volunteer and is a long-time community gardening and tenant advocate in the Harlem community.

Du’Bois A’Keen (choreographer), a true renaissance spirit and Georgia-Native residing in NYC, is a choreographer, dancer, singer and performer with the renowned performance ensemble and contemporary dance company Urban Bush Women. A’Keen has been with UBW since December 2014. During his time with the company he has toured both nationally and internationally; developing and performing in 3 world premier shows and is now UBW’s branding and marketing strategist. Aside from working with UBW, A’Keen has produced and premiered his own work on the Kennedy Center stages, been featured in the New York Times and Dance Magazines and jazz clubs throughout New York. When he is not performing A’Keen works as the CEO & Creative Director of A’KEEN BRAND, LLC a Creative Agency with an attached lifestyle blog and brand platform: ‘KEEN Thinking. He has had much success working across the industries of film, fashion, dance and music. A’Keen is an IFP Screen Forward Lab Fellow for the 2017 cohort and 2018 NYTV Featured Artist. While he works across many genres and industries as a producer, consultant and artist one of his main passions is dance. He is joining the Arizona Opera with his Operatic Debut as choreographer and guest artists of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird. With this new venture A’Keen looks forward to continued growth and success nationally and internationally, alongside his beautiful wife and life partner Camry Vonyae’ A’Keen.

Mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven is in her third-year of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at the Los Angeles Opera. This season, she sings Zweite Dame in the Kosky production of Die Zauberflöte conducted by James Colon. As a Filene Artist at Wolf Trap Opera she performed Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Concepción in L’heure espagnole. This season she made her Alice Tully Hall debut, with the American Symphony Orchestra for a concert of Bach arias. Upcoming engagements include a debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Grimgerde in Die Walküre and Mother in Blue, as well as a debut at Finger Lakes Opera as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In 2020-2021 she will make a role/house debut as Carmen at Opera San José and a house debut at Minnesota Opera as Angelina in La Cenerentola. In 2018-2019 Taylor made her Los Angeles Philharmonic debut as a soloist in the Hollywood Bowl, she appeared with the New West Symphony in Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky under Mikhail Agrest and made her Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra debut as a soloist in Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied. In 2017-18 Taylor performed with Wolf Trap Opera and the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic, making a Naxos Classical recording of Bernstein’s Songfest conducted by James Judd. She is a recipient of a 2017 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation and won 1st prize in the 2018 Loren L. Zachary competition.

Rachel Duval is an opera producer, public speaking coach, opera singer, and educator, based in New York City. She has been producing shows for Opera on Tap for two years, including The Mile Long Opera and the Virtual Playground Opera. She has performed at The Metropolitan Opera Guild, The Glimmerglass Festival, on Spanish National Television (TVE), and on ARTE television in Germany. A sought after consultant, Ms. Duval leads Vocal Expression workshops at The Cooper Union School of Engineering, and has worked with ConAir, Opera on Tap, Cantanti Project, Herbalife Nutrition, and Riverdale Country School. With a Bachelors of Music in Music Education from the University of Washington, Rachel has taught in Seattle, Barcelona, and New York as a classroom music teacher and private voice instructor. She holds a Diploma in Coaching from NYU, and lives in the Bronx with her partner and two children. 

Joy Jan Jones is a versatile artist in high demand. She is an independent, multi-genre singer, instrumentalist, writer, producer, and model. NYC based, she has been featured at Carnegie hall, Lincoln Center, Rockwood Music Hall, and New York Fashion Week 2018, 2019, and 2020.Born and raised in Houston,  Joy has a Bachelor of Music from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Music from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. While in Potsdam she completed her graduate thesis and initial training in Music Therapy with special needs and autistic children. As a writing member of ASCAP,  Joy is also Director of Music & Guitar at Camp Junior Feliz and Camp Mariah Carey, where she exclusively plans and participates in all music related activities at the Fresh Air Fund camps every summer since 2014. February 20th, Joy sang the National Anthem and Black National Anthem for Brooklyn Democratic Representative Hakeem Jeffries, honoring Vietnam war veterans in partnership with Black Veterans for Social Justice.

Victoria Davis (teaching artist), Soprano, is a recent Graduate of Mannes College of Music. She has been a featured soloist in many concerts and events including the Welcoming of the First lady of Russia with Michelle and Barack Obamaand the Kennedy Center’s Young Artist in America presentation. She had also participated in the Washington National Opera’s Juneteenth celebration as a soloist. Ms. Davis has been seen in the roles of Lady Billows in Albert Herring and Sändmanchen in Hänsel und Gretel in The Oberlin Opera theater. Ms. Davis is a proud alumni of Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with Soprano Marlene Rosen. Ms. Davis has been a recipient of many awards including the fifth place winner of Opera Ebonys vocal competition as well as a prize winner of the Premiere Opera Foundation’s vocal competition. Recently, Ms. Davis has been seen in the role of First Lady with Opera On Tap’s Playground Opera Program. She has also performed with the Masterworks Chorus as the Soprano soloist for the Brahms Requiem. In addition to that, Ms. Davis performed the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica with Opera Susquehanna in August of 2019. Victoria currently studies under former Metropolitan Opera Tenor Dan Marek. In addition to her vocal talents, Ms. Davis enjoys trying new recipes and writing poetry.

Benjamin Bloomfield, bass baritone, grew up outside of Concord, New Hampshire.  He has covered at both the Met and New York City Opera, and has been a regular performer at Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival in Virginia.  Other career highlights include performances in Munich, Oman, Hong Kong, and an historic first full performance of Schubert’s Winterreise in Sarajevo.  He was a Regional Finalist in New York for the Met National Council auditions in 2007, and finalist for Chicago Lyric Opera’s Ryan Center auditions in 2012.  His concert career includes performances at many of the great halls of New York, including Carnegie, Avery Fisher, and Alice Tully.  He is especially known for his interpretation of Mozart’s Requiem, and has performed it internationally and with ensembles such as the Munich Symphony and the New England Wind Ensemble under conductors such as Phillipe Entremont and John Rutter. Ben currently lives in Berlin, and worked last season as a chorister with the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.

Víctor Hernández, began his career at 13 years of age with the teacher Dolores Oropeza Domínguez. He graduated with honorable mention for his excellent performance from the Faculty of Music of the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas and then decided to embark on the path to UNAM to perfect himself with maestro Arturo Rodríguez Torres. In his first years as a lyricist, he participated in works such as: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, “The Magic Flute” by W.A. Mozart, Turandot and Giacomo Puccini’s Bohème within the Excpedia choir led by Mtra. Patricia Flóres Gómez. He has been directed by Juan Maldonado Martínez, Carlos Spierer, Enrique Patrón de Rueda, Lucy Arner, Guido Maria Guida, Marco Balderi, Eduardo García Barrios, Gordon Campbell, Jesús Medina, Rodrigo Macías, Ramón Shade, Alejandro León Islas, among others. On stage he has been directed by Miguel Lombana, Medardo Treviño, José Antonio Morales, Rosa Blanes Rex, Alonso Gutiérrez, Luis Martín Solís, José Solé, Leticia Lira, Leticia López, Joseph McClain, Juliana Faesler and Agnese Sartori.His broad vocal qualities allow him to tackle roles of great difficulty such as Ernesto de la Ópera Don Pasquale, Count Almaviva from the Barber of Seville, Le Comte Ory both by Rossini, to Des Grieux by Manon de Massenet, Il Duca de Rigoletto or Alfredo in La Traviata de Verdi. His teachers have been: Yvonne Garza, Heiner Hopfner, René Velázquez, Arturo Rodriguez Torres, Cesar Ulloa. Among his awards are: the 1st. place in the Francisco Araiza contest; the scholarship awarded by the INBA in the Carlo Morelli National Singing Competition, the “Pepita Serrano” award in the First International Singing Competition Sinaloa 2009 and the latter opens the doors to enter SIVAM. He has been selected on several occasions to represent Mexico in the most important competitions in the world: Il Concorso Internazionale di Canto directed by the renowned tenor Marcello Giordani, La Competizione dell´Opera, the Neue-Stimmen directed by the great Francisco Araiza and Operalia. In 2011 he traveled to Shanghai representing Mexico offering a series of concerts for the World Expo, in turn he performed in the Mexican Republic, as well as New York. He made his debut at the National Palace of Fine Arts with the national premiere of the Opera “Die Frau ohne Schatten” by Richard Strauss, as well as at the National Auditorium with the cantata: Carmina Burana, being the first Tampico tenor to perform in both artistic venues.

Bass-Baritone Javier Ortiz has portrayed twenty-seven leading and supporting opera roles and appeared as a soloist in fifteen major orchestral works. Mr. Ortiz has been engaged as a Resident Artist at Opera North, Opera Studio Nederland, Sarasota Opera, and New Jersey Verismo Opera and regularly appears as a guest artist in both opera and concert works with many regional orchestras and opera companies in a varied repertoire. Internationally, he has performed in a concert of duets and arias at Amsterdam’s famous Concertgebouw, sung a duet from Verdi’s La Traviata for the 25th Anniversary Jubilee of The Netherlands Opera’s residence in the Muziektheater, appeared as Sarastro in a concert version of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, and participated in the Rotterdam Opera Days in both solo recital and in the role of Colline in Puccini’s La Boheme. He also performed a recital in the foyer of the Muziektheater in Amsterdam for their 2012 spring concert series. Recently, Mr. Ortiz has toured Mexico with the Chicago Arts Orchestra as the bass soloist in Al Combate by Ignacio Jerusalem in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México’s campus being designated as a UNESCO world heritage site and appeared as Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte with Connecticut Lyric Opera. Mr. Ortiz began the 2018 season at Opera Southwest in the role of Narciso in the world premiere of Héctor Armienta’s Bless Me, Ultima, based on the famous novel by Rudolfo Anaya. He also performed the bass solo in the southwest premiere of Christopher Tin’s The Drop that Contained the Sea and portrayed both Masetto and the Commendatore in a condensed and updated off-Broadway version of Don Giovanni in New York City.

Meila Price (Co-Narrator) is an up-and-coming young actress with experience in professional theatre, film, television, modeling and voice-over work. Learn more about her artistic work here.

Glen Heroy’s performance career started during the Kennedy administration at age 4 in a production of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery. At age 12 Glen became a professional clown with the Issac A Van Amberg Circus, and at 14 studied and performed on scholarship with the Ulster Ballet Company. After working with the Big Apple Circus as a supervisor and clown in their Clown Care Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Glen then toured from 2008-2009 in the Big Apple Circus’ 31st production titled Play On, and was a featured subject in the documentary CIRCUS on PBS. Glen spent 6 summers as a Clown in Residence at Paul Newman’s Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, and currently is a member of the teaching faculty at the American Clown Academy in Forsyth, GA. 2020 marks Glen’s 40th year portraying Santa Claus in and around NYC, including 12 years at Macy’s Santaland, and as the on-air commercial Hess Truck Santa in 2012. Glen is one of New York’s most prolific tribute artist/lookalikes with impersonations including Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne, The Dude, Dame Edna, WC Fields, Oliver Hardy, and others. Most recently Glen Is a host at The Slipper Room, and is a vocalist and spoon player with The Jazz Bastards. He was also once the dead guy on Law & Order.

Anne Hiatt is the co-founder and General Director of the national organization Opera on Tap, which has the mission of bringing opera to new audiences by taking it to places where people least expect to experience it. She is the executive producer of the world’s first VR/AR, live and site specific opera series, PARKSVILLE, the pilot of which won ‘Best VR Video’ at the NYC Indie Film Festival in May 2017 and premiered online as featured content on SamsungVR, October 2017. With over 12 years of experience in non-profit management, development and opera production, she currently oversees the programs, and operations of 25 Chapters of Opera on Tap across the nation and world and has acted as executive producer of Opera on Tap’s major new works programs since 2012. She currently oversees the development of The Immersive Opera Project which marries opera and tech industry partners in the creation of new immersive works of opera utilizing immersive technologies. Under Anne’s leadership, Opera on Tap has grown into a large national network of artist-entrepreneurs, performers, creators, supporters and audiences.  It has gained international recognition as an innovative force on the classical music scene with features in such media outlets as The NY Times, NPR All Things Considered, The Wall Street Journal, NY1, USA Today, NHK/ Japan National Public TV, Tagesspiegel, The NY Daily News, WNYC, Boston Globe, Chicago Today, Chicago Reader, the LA Times, LA Weekly, and Seattle Weekly among many others.


About Opera on Tap

HISTORY
Opera on Tap (OOT) was born in 2005 at Freddy’s Bar and Backroom in Brooklyn and incorporated in 2007 to promote opera as a viable, living and progressive art form and to support the developing artists who continue to keep the art form alive.  Founded in 2006 and incorporated in New York in 2007, OOT is a Brooklyn-based organization that has blossomed into a national organization with 27 vibrant Chapters across the nation and Europe. What began as a small monthly gathering of ambitious, classically trained singers looking for more performance opportunities, has grown into a producing organization that has gained a loyal audience base and national recognition as an innovative force on the classical music scene. Currently OOT presents 4 programs: The Playground Operas, The Theme of the Month Series, New Brew, and the Immersive Opera Project.

MISSION
Expose new audiences to opera and classical music by taking opera and classical music out of the concert hall and performing it in alternative venues

VISION
Making the drama, beauty, and exhilaration of opera  truly accessible to diverse communities around the world.

To learn more…

Opera on Tap Boston has built a dedicated website to share events and more information on their roster. You can check it out here: operaontapboston.com