Last week we announced the New Moon Opera 2019-2020 Season, and it is an exciting one! This season we have the opportunity to work with a living composer on their new opera based on Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline.” We decided to pair that workshop performance with another ensemble show, L’enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Magic Spells) by Maurice Ravel for our spring full production. One amazing thing about both of these works is that they feature a large number of roles for soprano and mezzo voices, something sorely lacking in most of the frequently-performed operas like La traviata (two soprano roles and one mezzo), La bohème (two soprano roles), and The Barber of Seville (one mezzo and one soprano). We will also be holding a few soirées throughout the season at some of the homes of our biggest fans, featuring a variety of music performed by NMO artists.
Dedicated NMO fans probably remember Elizabeth Rudolph from her hilarious yet tender portrayal of Madame Madou in Mesdames de la Halle in 2017 (picture left to right: Elizabeth Rudolph, Jennifer Barrett, Mishelle Cipriani), but they may not know that she is also a composer. I had the pleasure of attending a recital of music by Rudolph and was excited when she told me she was working on an opera called Imogen. The use of a Shakespeare text and abundance of roles for treble voices were extremely appealing for New Moon. The opera is complete as of a few weeks ago, so at the end of October we will be starting the rehearsal process with pianist and music director Myron Silberstein, a composer in his own right, and stage director Aaron Hunt. Throughout rehearsals, Elizabeth Rudolph will be there to see how the music and drama works out with live artists, and on November 22 we will do a final workshop performance of the opera in front of some trusted experts (for feedback) as well as some of our donors. Using the feedback Rudolph receives from the artists involved as well as the people who attend the workshop performance, she will have the opportunity to then edit, change, or add to make Imogen the best opera it can be. We are extremely excited and honored to have the opportunity to be involved in a living, breathing opera creation! To learn more about the composer Elizabeth Rudolph, visit her website here and check back here next Thursday for an in-depth look at the background behind Imogen according to the composer herself.
Our spring production, L’enfant et les sortilèges was written by the French author Colette (yes, just Colette, like Bono or Madonna) and composed by Maurice Ravel. The director of the Opéra de Paris asked Colette to write a libretto that would appeal to children and many composers wanted to write the music for it, but she was only excited by Ravel. Most people have probably heard Ravel’s Bolero before.
L’enfant et les sortilèges contains some gorgeous music like the bolero, along with a Wagner-inspired duet between two cats, a coloratura-filled aria sung by Fire personified, and a fox trot duet between a teapot and teacup. This whimsical opera will be the perfect opportunity for NMO to invite some local children to join us in the production and learn more about singing and theatre.
In addition to our workshop of Imogen and our staged production of L’enfant et les sortilèges, NMO artists will also throwing some soirées at our biggest fans’ homes throughout the season. If you would like to throw a New Moon Opera soirée, or if you’re holding an event of your own that you’d like music for, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Another way you can get involved is by making a tax-deductible donation to New Moon Opera. Help make our upcoming season a success and donate today online here, or you can mail a check (email email@example.com to receive our mailing address).
We can’t wait to see our favorite fans, and hopefully some new ones, this season for all of our upcoming events! And don’t forget to take a trip to Ravenswood this Saturday, July 20 for Borelli’s Festa Italia, an Italian street festival featuring music all afternoon and evening! New Moon Opera will be performing at 2:00 pm at Lawrence and Hamilton. Visit the facebook event to find out more here. See you there!