Opera Philadelphia Channel Announces Third Season

By Afton Wooten
Opera Philadelphia Channel has announced its third season.

First up is “Black Lodge” by David T. Little, librettist and poet Anne Waldman, with the story and screenplay directed by Michael Joseph McQuilken blends opera, classical music, and goth rock. The surrealist cinematic opera pays homage to David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks.” “Black Lodge” is produced by Beth Morrison Projects and stars Jennifer Harrison Newman and Timur.

Performance Date: Now Streaming – Jan 8, 2023

Next up is composer Jon Deak’s adapted version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” “The Passion of Scrooge,” which combines the holiday classic with modern themes. Baritone William Sharp takes on the role of Scrooge.

Performance Date: Now Streaming – Jan 8, 2023

Mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti stars in her original multi-media production, “A Jarful of Bees.” Composed by Paola Prestini and Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist Royce Vavrek, the ten-minute immersive short film follows the narrative of family dynamics and memories. Other artists’ collaborations include painter Natalie Frank, artist/animator Erin Pollock.

Performance Date: Now Streaming – Feb. 19, 2023

“Rumspringawakening” is a short comic opera film following an Amish teenager played by tenor Jon Lee Keenan as he experiences Rumspringa in New York City alongside a failed Broadway actress played by soprano Janet Szepei Todd. Nathan Fletcher composed the score for writer and director Adam Taylor’s libretto.

Performance Date: Jan. 13 – April 16, 2023

Soprano Julia Dawson and Evcie Poares headline in “Obscura Nox.” The modern retelling of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” features Mozart’s “Exsultate, Jubilate” (KV 165) and new music by Iranian-Canadian composer Iman Habibi with original Latin text. Mary Birnbaum directs.

Performance Date: Jan. 20 – April 23, 2023

Next is Opera Ithaca’s adaptation of Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.” This production features Annie Rosen as Hansel, Marlen Nahhas as Gretel, Meghan Kasanders as The Witch/Mother, Mario Diaz Moresco as Father, Mariya Kaganskaya as Sandman, and Megnot Toggia as the Dew Fairy.

Performance Date: Feb. 10 – May 31, 2024

“Erwartung / EXPECTATION” is a five-minute live-action, contemporary adaptation of Arnold Schoenberg’s song ‘Erwartung’ (from Vier Lieder, Op. 2, No.1). Timothy McDevitt and Renate Rohlfing tell the story through the lens of a cabaret singer and a ghostly muse. The film is directed by George R. Miller.

Performance Date: March 3-December 31, 2023

Lastly, the channel will air the experimental opera-made-for-TV series “Everything for Dawn.” The 10-part series originally premiered in October on ALL ARTS. “Everything for Dawn” features original music from ten composers and librettos from a six-person writers’ room. The coming-of-age story (TW: Suicide) features soprano Britt Hewitt as Dawn Logan and two-time Grammy-nominated artist Aaron Engebreth as Mac Logan and is directed by Alison Moritz.

Performance Date: April 7 – Oct. 8, 2023

Along with the opera films previously mentioned, Opera Philadelphia will also release a digital commission series with two new works composed by Yaz Lancaster (they/them), a Black transdisciplinary artist, and Raquel Acevedo Klein (she/her), an active conductor, vocalist, composer, and instrumentalist.

Performance Date: TBA

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