OPERA ON TAP’S HISTORY AND COLLABORATION WITH THE OLD STONE HOUSE & WASHINGTON PARK
Opera on Tap has collaborated on concert events with the Old Stone House & Washington Park (OSH) since our inception as an organization in 2005. In the past we have focused on presenting traditional opera repertoire with piano accompaniment. Beginning in 2016, with the inception of The Immersive Opera Project, we began to explore new ways of presenting live operatic performances for audiences in a way that immerses them in the experience. OSH expressed interest in creating an immersive musical experience, which led us to the creation of our interactive musical walk through America’s volatile political history.
With immersive theater, location is crucial to developing the narrative- serving as a character itself within the story. Given OSH’s ’ remarkable history in relation to the Revolutionary War, it serves as an incredible venue for an immersive musical experience exploring our nation’s current political divide and how it relates to our history. We are partnering with famed American song archivist Paul Sperry on curating a collection of American song dating from and focused on moments in our history when politics has led to heightened violence in our nation:
1790s (America in the wake of The Revolutionary War and during the highly influential French Revolution concurrent with a swift rise in the evolution of partisan newspapers)
1830s-1850s (era of abolitionists and anti-abolitionists literally coming to blows on the floor of the Senate Chamber)
1960s and 1970s (the age of civil rights activism and unrest)
NOW (the age of social media and virtual voyeurism)
The experience is being designed as a walking tour for audience members. A full treatment of the experience is included as an addendum to this proposal. Performances will occur over the course of 4 evenings with up to four performances each night serving 50-70 audience members per performance (serving 200-280 audience members per evening, totaling 800-1120 audience members over the course of the 4 nights). In addition to ticketed experience-goers, performances will be enjoyed by anyone who happens to be in the park area at the time of our performances. The performances will be free of charge to the public, but they will need to sign up for a showtime in advance of the performances to experience the entire walk. A diverse cast of Opera on Tap singers and accompanying instrumentalists performing on portable instruments and/or pianos provided by our partners at Sing For Hope and Anti-Social Music as well as actors will be positioned at strategic points along the park pathways and gardens. . They will present songs and spoken material relative to our narrative in a sequential historical fashion along the route.