GOTHAM CHAMBER OPERA
and Trinity Wall Street
La descente d’Orphée aux enfers
January 1-5, 2014
at St. Paul’s Chapel
Gotham Chamber Opera presents Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers, a co-production with Trinity Church, from January 1- January 5, 2014 at Trinity Wall Street, St. Paul’s Chapel, 209 Broadway, NYC. Performances: Wednesday, January 1 and Friday, January 3 at 7pm; Sunday, January 5 at 5pm. Tickets are $15-$125 and are available at www.ticketcentral.com or (212) 279-4200. For more information visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.
For the New York stage premiere of Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers, Gotham Chamber Opera partners with members of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra. The cast will be led by Daniel Curran as Orphée, Jeff Beruan as Pluton, and Jamilyn Manning-White as Eurydice. Charpentier’s 1686 opera retells the story of Orpheus who, upon learning of Eurydice’s sudden death, descends to Hades in order to convince Pluto to allow her to return with him to earth. This classic story of selfless love and the power of music to overcome death will be staged by Andrew Eggert and presented in historic St. Paul’s Chapel.
The creative team for La descente d’Orphée aux enfers consists of Neal Goren, conductor and Andrew Eggert, stage director. Scenic design by Julia Noulin-Mérat, costume design by Vita Tzykun, lighting design by Mark Stanley, projections design by S. Katy Tucker, and choreography by Doug Elkins.
Gotham Chamber Opera’s 2013/2014 season will continue 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.
“[Gotham Chamber Opera] has become New York’s leading alternative to the Met.”
– Alex Ross, The New Yorker
Gotham Chamber Opera, now in its twelfth season, is the nation’s leading opera company dedicated to vibrant, fully staged productions of works intended for intimate venues. Its high quality presentations of small-scale rarities from the Baroque era to the present have earned Gotham an international reputation and unanimous critical praise.
Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Neal Goren, Gotham debuted in 2001 (as Henry Street Chamber Opera) with the American premiere of Mozart’s Il sogno di Scipione. In subsequent seasons, Gotham has produced many more local and world premieres, including such works as Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Milhaud’s Les Malheurs d’Orphee, Bohuslav Martinu’s Les Larmes du Couteau and Hlas Lesa, Sutermeister’s Die schwarze Spinne, Handel’s Arianna in Creta, Britten’s Albert Herring, and Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino. The company renamed itself Gotham Chamber opera and became an independent 501(c)3 organization in 2003.
Gotham has partnered with notable New York and national institutions, including Lincoln Center Festival and Spoleto USA for the 2005 production of Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco; the Morgan Library and Museum for Scenes of Gypsy Life (an evening of song cycles by Janáček and Dvořák) in 2008; and the American Museum of Natural History and the American Repertory Theater for 2010’s production of Hadyn’s Il mondo della luna. That production featured lunar exploration video developed by the Museum and NASA and broadcast on the Hayden Planetarium’s 180-degree dome.
Gotham has earned a reputation for showcasing outstanding young singers alongside established directors and choreographers such as Mark Morris (the 2009 production of Hadyn’s L’isola disabitata), David Parsons (the New York stage premiere of Astor Piazzola’s tango opera, María di Buenos Aires), Karole Armitage (the world premiere of Ariadne Unhinged), Basil Twist (La bella), Christopher Alden (Scipione and Arianna in Creta), and Diane Paulus (Il mondo). In October 2010, Gotham partnered with director Moisés Kaufmann and his company, Tectonic Theater Project, to co-produce the first United States stage performances of Xavier Montsalvatge’s El Gato con Botas, at the New Victory Theater.
For the 2011-2012 season, Gotham celebrated its tenth anniversary with the world premiere of Dark Sisters, by Nico Muhly, and a revival of its first production, Mozart’s Il sogno di Scipione. Moving into its second decade in 2013, Gotham presented a sold-out run of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo at The Box and two performances of Daniel Catán’s La Hija di Rappaccini (Rappaccini’s Daughter) at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cherry Esplanade. That production then toured to Los Angeles, where it was presented by the Broad Stage at the Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills. In October 2013, the company presented Baden-Baden 1927, a fully-staged production of the quadruple bill of short chamber operas by Hindemith, Toch, Milhaud, and Weill, premiered at the legendary Baden-Baden Festival of Contemporary Music performance of July 17, 1927.
The GRAMMY-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street is the premier ensemble of the music and arts program at Trinity Wall Street. Under the direction of Julian Wachner, the Choir leads the liturgical music at Trinity Church during Sunday services, performs in concerts throughout the year—highlighted by their renowned presentations of Handel’s Messiah which annually tops critics’ picks—and has made world-class recordings for NAXOS (Haydn: The Complete Masses, Handel’s Messiah, and Christmas from Trinity) and Musica Omnia (J.S. Bach: Complete Motets, released in September of 2011). It is both a beloved church choir, singing favorite Anglican hymns and historic sacred music, and one of New York City’s most acclaimed professional vocal ensembles. In March of 2011, Trinity began Bach at One, a weekly cantata series at Trinity’s own St. Paul’s Chapel. Bach at One has quickly become a favorite destination each Monday in the Financial District for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Particularly well-versed in major compositions of the Baroque and Classical periods, the Choir’s repertoire also includes Baltic choral music as well as works by Britten, Brahms, Howells, Pärt, and other contemporary composers, including several recent premieres of New Music in their weekly Compline services each Sunday evening. The New York Times has praised the Choir as possessing “voices so pure they suggest a seraphic chorus beyond the human sphere.” Previous Directors of Music at Trinity include Dr. J. Owen Burdick (1990-2008), Dr. Larry King (1968-1989), and George Mead (1941-1968). The Choir of Trinity Wall Street has collaborated with a number of guest conductors including Jane Glover, Harry Bicket, Stefan Parkman, Simon Carrington, Andrew Parrott, Andrew Megill, Steven Fox, and John Scott, and has invited guest artists such as Frederica Von Stade, Joyce DiDonato, Gil Shaham, Luca Pisaroni, Angela Meade, Anthony Roth Costanzo, and Melanie DeMore. In addition to their liturgical and concert presentations at Trinity Church, the Choir has appeared at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, and The Tribeca Film Festival, which invited the Choir to perform Arvo Pärt’s Passio in a mixed-media collaboration with Paolo Cherchi Usai’s film of the same name. In March 2010, the Choir traveled to Moscow to perform Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Recent successes include Handel’s Israel in Egypt (Maestro Wachner’s Trinity concert debut, nominated for a 2013 GRAMMY), and several moving performances as part of Trinity’s shared observances of the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001; a week of events entitled “Remember to Love.”