Opera Unlimited, a collaboration between Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Opera Boston, announces additional casting, production and ticket information for the North American premiere of Peter Eötvös's Angels in America, based on the Tony Kushner play. Opera Unlimited presents four performances on June 16, 17, and 20 at 8:00 pm and June 24 at 3:00 pm at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts.
Newly announced cast members include baritone Drew Poling as Roy Cohn, tenor Matthew DiBattista as Louis, baritone Nikolas Sean-Paul Nackley as Joe, soprano Amanda Forsythe as the Angel, Ja-Nae Duane as Hannah, and countertenor Matthew Truss as Belize. They join previously-announced baritone Thomas Meglioranza as Prior and soprano Anne Harley as Harper. Meglioranza, Harley, and Poling appeared in Opera Unlimited's acclaimed Nixon in China in 2004.
Kushner's apocalyptic saga of people struggling with AIDS in the 80's won a Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Awards, and the HBO miniseries, directed by Mike Nichols, won multiple Emmys. Opera Unlimited's premiere will be directed by Steven Maler, Vice President for Artistic Programming at the Wang Center for the Performing Arts and Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and conducted by Gil Rose, Artistic Director of Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Music Director of Opera Boston. Kushner's two-part 7-hour work is compressed to two hours and 25 minutes. The opera is sung in English.
"Angels in America captures the struggles of the time with intimate detail and epic scope," said Maler. "The play naturally lends itself to opera. Fueled by passion and rage, the writing captures the struggle for dignity and companionship in a world gone terribly wrong. As I approached the piece with the design team, I revisited my experiences of this period. Remembering the last conversation I had with a friend in California before he died, I reflected on the fear and confusion we all felt. Mostly I remember too many days spent in hospitals, with men far too young to be so sick. Our humble attempt with the production is to reveal both the external and the internal struggles we endured and to rejoice in the revelation that despite living in the valley of death, angels were indeed walking among us."
Transylvanian-born Eötvös is internationally known for his composing and conducting. Angels in America was commissioned by Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and premiered there in November 2004. Summer 2005 saw its German premiere in Hamburg. This is Eötvös's third opera. The Paris production was filmed for PBS's "Great Performances" and will air in Spring/Summer 2006.
Said Gil Rose, "The opera distills Kushner's themes, and underscores the very human story with brilliant and evocative music. Those familiar with Angels in America will find that the opera takes this powerful, important work to a whole new level. It is an honor and a privilege to present this work."
Opera Unlimited is a collaboration between the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Opera Boston, that stages contemporary chamber opera. Founded in 2003, Opera Unlimited seeks to expand the boundaries of opera and new music performance in Boston, using exciting new works, experimental staging and world-class talent to change the way Boston audiences see opera and listen to contemporary music.
Tickets go on sale April 29 and are available through BostonTheatreScene.com and the Huntington BU Theatre and Calderwood Pavilion box offices, or by phone at 617-933-8600. Tickets are $45 and $65. Half-price student rush tickets are available with valid student ID, subject to availability two hours before performance time (cash only). The theater is ADA compliant.
In addition to Angels in America on the main stage, Opera Unlimited will feature auxiliary events, including artist talks with members of the design team and cast, satellite performances featuring members of Opera Boston and Boston Modern Orchestra Project in the Nancy and Edward Roberts Studio Theatre, and a forum hosted by AIDS Action Committee of Boston on the 25th anniversary of AIDS. Details to be announced.
The opening night of Angels in America on June 16 will be part of a gala event at the Calderwood Pavilion to benefit the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, Opera Boston and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. The evening, which will begin with Angels Unlimited: A Heavenly Party in the Nancy and Edward Roberts Studio Theater prior to the performance, will honor Larry Kessler, Founding Director of the AIDS Action Committee, as we mark 25 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Tickets for the opening night events begin at $150, and sponsorships are available at higher levels. For more information about the gala, contact Miguel Rodriguez at Opera Boston at 617-451-3388. The opening night is sponsored by The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation.
Funding for Opera Unlimited is provided by The Boston Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Randolph J. Fuller, and other organizations and individuals.
For more information call 617.451.3388.
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Press contact for Opera Unlimited:
Joyce Linehan, Ashmont Media
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