Sunday, March 20, 2011

UrbanArias contemporary opera festival at Artisphere

UrbanArias will open Artisphere's first festival of contemporary opera with a performance of Orpheus and Euridice on Thursday, March 31 at 8pm.  The festival runs through April 10.  In addition to performances of Orpheus and Euridice, the festival also includes performances of Green Sneakers and Glory Denied.  

Orpheus and Euridice presents a musician's attempt to rescue his wife from the place of the dead.  Betty, the under-appreciated office worker in UrbanArias' opera Betty Box Office, longed to sing in Orpheus and Euridice.  The UrbanArias' production of Ricky Gordon's work features Elizabeth Futral and Todd Palmer. They presented the work's world premiere in 2005 at Lincoln Center, NY.  In 2008, Long Beach Opera staged the work with Futral and Palmer in a swimming pool.  The beautiful, time-lapse video below gives you some sense of that performance.   

UrbanArias's performances at Artisphere's 10-10-10 debut and its program of short operas on Jan. 14 both attracted a packed house.  The over-arching theme of the upcoming opera festival seems to be going back and looking back.  That theme spans emotions from horror (look at where I was) to nostalgia (perhaps it wasn't so bad) to joy (look at who is coming away with me).   Don't look back is a difficult imperative for humans to follow.  If you attend UrbanArias' upcoming opera festival, at least you are unlikely to look back with regret.

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