Chamber Opera Focus
What is Chamber Opera?
one player per part.
The New Grove Dictionary of Opera:
A term used to designate 20th-century operas of small and relatively intimate proportions using a chamber orchestra.
• Strauss, Ariadne auf Naxos (1916)
• Hindemith, Hin und zurück (1927)
• Stravinsky, The Rake’s Progress (1951)
• Britten, The Turn of the Screw (1954)
The term has also been applied, retrospectively, to small-scale 18th-century works such as Pergolesi’s La serva padrona (1733)
Recent opera seasons have included a number of smaller works, frequently in alternative venues, in place of — and in addition to — works from the standard repertoire of grand operas. Many companies have found new artistic excitement and financial success in projects that were, at first, conceived as cost-containment strategies. Explore the many perspectives of smaller-scale productions — or chamber opera — through these informative sessions, made possible with special support from Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Is Scale the Key to Success? (Part of the New Works Forum)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
For many people, opera is synonymous with "large" and "expensive." But many new works in recent years have been limited in length, as well as in the size of cast and orchestra. Some of these operas have been conceived to premiere in small theaters or alternative venues. Discover how the intimate aesthetic of chamber opera can create new opportunities for artists, engage new audiences, and diversify a company’s brand, as well as how the economic and logistical advantages of smaller-scale works can lead to success for both creative artists and producers.
All the Opera that Fits: Chamber Opera from Baroque to Contemporary
Friday, June 15, 2012
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (includes lunch)
Selecting chamber opera repertoire can be a challenge, as the definition of chamber opera can vary dramatically across the industry. With options including Baroque pieces, new works and reductions of larger scale repertoire, a producer of chamber opera may need to do significant research to identify the right repertoire for the company. Learn ways to develop your own networks and tools for identifying the right repertoire for your company.
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Repertoire from Baroque to Contemporary
To launch this extended session, specialists in Baroque operas will provide information on research specific in their fields and offer suggestions for unexplored opportunities to expand the repertoire. (Speakers include: Ryan Brown, Opera Lafayette; Michael McCarthy, Music Theatre Wales; Michael Ching, composer of Slaying the Dragon; Neal Goren, Gotham Chamber Opera.)
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Reductions of Large Repertoire
Following this discussion, publishers and other experts will give insight into the copyright, contract and other issues that emerge from taking a bold and creative approach to orchestral reductions of works from across the repertoire. (Speakers include: Jacques Desjardins, Ensemble Parallele (to be confirmed); Andrew Kurtz, Center City Opera; Peggy Monastra, G. Schirmer.)
2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Chamber Operas in Alternative Venues
Alternative venues for chamber opera is an important consideration in strategic planning. After lunch, a panel of chamber opera producers will explore the opportunities smaller-scale works create for performances outside of the traditional opera house, and debate the benefits and challenges of using unconventional venues. (Speakers include: Mark Streshinsky, Artistic Director, West Edge Opera; Nick Stuccio, Live Arts Festival (Philadelphia); Beth Morrison, Beth Morrison Projects.)