Gotham Chamber Opera
October 14 – October 18
A bridge to nowhere. A singing painting. An intermittent beard. Take a dip into the 20th-century absurd as Gotham Chamber Opera begins its 13th season with a double-bill of short comic operas by Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů. Alexandre bis (Alexander twice) is a surrealist comedy about a man who decides to test his wife’s fidelity by shaving off his beard and posing as his own cousin from San Francisco. She recognizes him but falls in love anyway. Martinů’s answer to Mozart’s Così fan tutte observes the conventions of comic opera while tweaking them, thus proving that a composer, if not a husband, can have it both ways. Comedy on the Bridge tells the story of two rival principalities separated by a river. A woman returning from one side gets caught in the middle by a bureaucratic snafu; soon she’s joined in this absurdist limbo by a letch, a fiancé, a vengeful wife, and a schoolmaster with a riddle. Everyone has a secret, but no one has a clue – except the composer, who gets them all happily sorted by the end. Featuring Jenna Siladie, Abigail Fischer, Cassandra Zoé Velasco, Jason Slayden, Jarrett Ott, Joseph Beutel. Gotham Chamber Opera previously presented a Martinů double-bill of Les larmes du couteau and Hlas lesa in 2003, a hit with the press and the public, resulting in lines around the block for returned tickets.