New Opera Showcase
Experience the cutting edge of opera

When: Monday, January 18, 2016
8:00 p.m.
Location: Trinity Church
75 Broadway (at Wall Street)
New York, NY 10006
Tickets: $25 — General admission
$10 — OPERA America members
$5 — Students with valid ID*

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OPERA America presents a special one-night-only concert of excerpts from these four new operas, performed with live orchestra and vocalists at historic Trinity Wall Street:
  • Beowulf by Hannah Lash (composer/librettist)
  • The Invention of Morel by Stewart Copeland (composer) and Jonathan Moore (librettist)
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns, the Opera by Sheila Silver (composer) and Stephen Kitsakos (librettist)
  • Dream of the Red Chamber by Bright Sheng (composer) and David Henry Hwang (librettist)
Excerpts from these works will be performed by NOVUS NY orchestra under the direction of Julian Wachner, with guest conductors Daniela Candillari and Sara Jobin.

The vocalists featured in the program are sopranos Lucy Fitz Gibbon, Maureen McKay, Molly Netter and Vira Slywotzky; mezzo-sopranos Margaret Lattimore and Aleksandra Romano; tenors Thor Arbjornsson, Jonathan Blalock and Vale Rideout; baritones Jesse Blumberg, Ron Loyd and Christopher Magiera; and bass Jonathan Woody.

Not in NYC? The New Opera Showcase will be streamed live at

*Students may purchase tickets at the door (credit card only) on a first-come, first-served basis, pending availability. If you would like to purchase tickets in advance, send an e-mail from your school e-mail address to Patricia Kiernan Johnson, director of marketing and communications, at

Hannah Lash (composer and librettist)

In this adaptation of the well-known epic poem, Beowulf is a doctor caring for his elderly mother while suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by a recent war. He discovers that his mother is being abused by the nursing home staff and removes her, determined to care for her himself, though she begs him to help end her life. This piece explores the psychological stresses placed upon someone whose role it is to save lives and take care of others.

The Invention of Morel
Stewart Copeland (composer) and Jonathan Moore (librettist)

Based on Adolfo Bioy Casares’ science fiction novel, this work focuses on an escaped fugitive on a strange, isolated island. While exploring his surroundings, the fugitive sees a group of tourists, including a beautiful woman with whom he becomes obsessed. However, something is not quite right in this paradise. He discovers that these eccentric visitors exist in an alternate reality invented by Morel, a mad scientific genius who willingly leads the group to their death.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, the Opera
Sheila Silver (composer) and Stephen Kitsakos (librettist)

Based on the international best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns is an inspiring story of love and triumph of the human spirit. Two women from different generations and walks of life are forced into marriage with the same troubled and cruel man. Enemies at first, they grow to love each other like mother and daughter. This bond gives them the strength to survive and ultimately risk their lives for one another and for a chance to be free.

Dream of the Red Chamber
Bright Sheng (composer) and David Henry Hwang (librettist)

Dream of the Red Chamber, an 18th-century masterpiece of Chinese fiction, is a detailed, episodic record of the lives of members of the Jia clan, whose good fortune rises when one of its daughters becomes an imperial concubine and then declines after her death. The story centers on a love triangle between the protagonist, Bao Yu, and two of his cousins — his future wife Bao Chai and the sickly but beautiful Dai Yu.

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The New Opera Showcase is part of the New Works Forum, OPERA America’s annual gathering of opera creators. This program is made possible by a generous and deeply appreciated grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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All OPERA America facilities are handicapped accessible. The National Opera Center features ground-level entry with elevators to the venue. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, and modular seating can be arranged to accommodate wheelchair users for all programs and performances. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available on all floors.
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