Beth Morrison Projects & Here Announce
Prototype: Opera / Theatre / Now
January 5-15, 2017
Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now invigorates New York City January 5-15, 2017, with its fifth annual explosion of provocative and pioneering opera- and music-theatre, curated by co-founding producers, Kristin Marting (of HERE), Beth Morrison (of Beth Morrison Projects) and Kim Whitener (of HERE). Since its launch in 2013, the Prototype Festival has presented a staggering 23 new works across four seasons, propelling the industry forward and quickly establishing influence as a first-rate presenter on the international stage.
Socially conscious, visually stimulating, and culturally diverse, Prototype brings an audacious swath of artists to the fore each season. The 2017 Festival boasts six new presentations from such daring women and men. It opens with the world premiere of HERE Resident Artists Matt Marks/Paul Peers’ Mata Hari, a hybrid opera-theatre exploration of the legendary and controversial Dutch mystic dancer who was executed for espionage during World War I (at HERE’s Mainstage).
Two heralded operas come to Prototype for New York debuts this season. Missy Mazzoli/Royce Vavrek’s Breaking the Waves, based on Lars von Trier’s radical film of the same name, follows a harrowing tale of unconditional love and the ultimate sacrifice (at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts). Breaking the Waves is a Beth Morrison projects (BMP) co-commission and will come to Prototype after the world premiere with Opera Philadelphia in September 2016. Pulitzer Prizewinner David Lang/Mark Dion’s triumphant anatomy theater premiered in June 2016 at Los Angeles Opera and the Prototype performance marks both its East Coast and New York premieres. Also a BMP co-commission, this immersive, darkly humorous and arresting work is presented in the macabre style of an 18th century British public dissection (at BRIC Arts Media House in downtown Brooklyn).
Self-proclaimed ‘Negrogothic Devil-worshipping free black man in the blues tradition,’ M. Lamar, joins with Liturgy frontman Hunter Hunt-Hendrix and co-librettist Tucker Culbertson for Funeral Doom Spiritual: For Male Soprano, Piano, and Electronics. The piece draws on themes of apocalypse, end times, and rapture found in Negro Spirituals and gets its New York premiere on the Festival (copresented with National Sawdust).
Five commissioned composers come together for a preview presentation of Silent Voices, a collaborative multimedia piece conceived of and performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus (Artistic Director Dianne Berkun). Composers Sahba Aminikia, Jeff Beal, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Toshi Reagon, and DJ Spooky explore AfricanAmerican and immigrant experience around issues of race, gender, inequity and social disparity, giving voice to those who have been silenced or marginalized in our society (co-presented with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) at Florence Gould Hall).