Cher Public

Different from the others

Those of you who so readily groan, “Oh, dear god, no, not another Carmen! Give it a bleeding rest!” (and you know who you are) may lose that long face, temporarily at least, when you hear the exotic repertoire promised by Gotham Chamber Opera next season.

The 2013-2014 season, featuring four new productions, will include a world premiere and a U.S. premiere. The season begins with Baden-Baden 1927: a staged evening of four one-act operas that appeared together at the Baden-Baden Festival in 1927, from October 23 – November 1, 2013 at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater, followed by a co-production with Trinity Church, Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers from January 1-5, 2014.

The season continues in February with a double bill co-produced with and staged at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, consisting of Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by Monteverdi, and a newly commissioned work, I Have No Stories to Tell You, by Gotham Chamber Opera Composer-In-Residence Lembit Beecher. The United States premiere of The Raven by Toshio Hosakawa at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater concludes the season in May 2014 as part of the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL.

More details of GCO’s tantalizing program may be found in this PDF.

  • CruzSF

    An intriguing season. Makes a compelling case for companies smaller than the Met and the other big houses (and in addition to the Met et al, not in place of them).

  • Camille

    Goody gumdrops, have always wanted to see the Monteverdi work.
    I may not go for baroque but do so love Monteverdi.

    Only trouble is that that Gerald W Lynch is just not the most elegant nor inspired theatre to attend opera in, but small quibble.

    And who would be Lembit Beecher?

  • hagenschmagen

    I just saw Mr. Beecher’s micro opera “In this World, George is Heartbroken” for mezzo, baritone and prepared piano performed at a salon series in Philadelphia on Sunday. It was a brilliant little 10 minute piece about a quarreling couple that whetted the appetite for more.


    In the fall of 2011, Lembit Beecher was appointed for a three-year term as the first Composer In Residence of the Opera Company of Philadelphia in collaboration with Gotham Chamber Opera and Music Theatre Group of New York. Born of Estonian and American parents, he grew up under the redwoods in Santa Cruz, California, a few miles from the wild Pacific. Since then he has lived in Boston, Houston, Ann Arbor, Berlin and New York, earning degrees from Harvard, Rice and the University of Michigan. This varied background has made him particularly sensitive to place, ecology and the strong emotional relationships that people forge with patterns in nature. He is also interested in memory and the various ways we tell stories, from emotional personal narratives to crisp and clean documentaries. Recent pieces have focused on reflections of the immigrant experience and the integration of recorded interviews with music. While a fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities (2008 – 2009), Lembit wrote And Then I Remember, a multi-media, documentary oratorio based on the World War II stories of his grandmother. And Then I Remember won the 2010 Opera Vista competition leading to a fully staged production in March of 2011 in Houston, Texas. Active also as a pianist and conductor, his work has been performed at the Tanglewood, Aspen and Cabrillo Music Festivals and he has received awards and grants from the American Music Center, ASCAP, New York Youth Symphony, NewMusic@ECU, Society for New Music and Austin Peay State University. Lembit served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Denison University for the fall of 2009.

    • Camille

      Mucho spasibo for alles dieses Auskunft, hagenschmagen!

      Now you had best go rest up, as Thursday ev’en approaches and you’ve a lot of HOI HOing to do. I love that part, so much fun! Like being in a Münchner Oktoberfest bierhall, I imagine.

  • Buster

    With Helen Donath, amazingly enough. Will hear her later this month, in a Mozart/Schubert recital with chamber orchestra.

  • That makes two dramatic Hosakawa works in New York in less than a year’s time. Good for him and good for New York.

  • whatever

    how wonderfully different!!!

    i’m a little confused on the logistics for the double-bill at the Met, though; there is an HD transmission noted for the 26 February performance, but not the 24th. I recall that when a Tan Dun opera was performed at the Met last November, there was no “live” seating, only the simulcast — I wonder if that’s meant to be the case here?

    • The Tan Dun-arranged “Peony Pavilion” last year was staged in the Japanese Courtyard at the met (part of the aesthetic, long story). Seating there was extremely limited because, you know, it’s the Japanese courtyard. From what I recall, there was in fact a small, very select audience present at the broadcast of that production. Someone stepped forward at the beginning and addressed them with a few introductory remarks.

      The Metropolitan Museum has a regular theater just off the Egyptian wing, the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium Presumably that’s where GCO will stage their stuff.

    • As it was explained to me, “At the Met Museum, the first half of the double bill (the Monteverdi) will be performed in the Bloomberg Armor Gallery. The second half (the Beecher) will be performed adjacent, in the Medieval Court. One of the performances will feature a live video feed into the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, for which the tickets will be very inexpensive.”

  • Hippolyte

    The Charpentier Descente runs less than an hour; one hopes there will be be more to the show than just this one piece. The Boston Early Music Festival is also doing Descente--on 15 June, along with the same composer’s La Couronne de Fleurs.

    • Hosakawa’s monodrama “The Raven” is only 45 minutes long, too. Short evening, perhaps.