2011 Season


UrbanArias is excited to announce its first Festival:

March 31 – April 10, 2011

At Artisphere’s Black Box Theater

Orpheus and Euridice by Ricky Ian Gordon

March 31 at 8 p.m., April 1 at 6:30 p.m., April 3 at 2 p.m. (double-bill with Green Sneakers), and April 5 at 7:30 p.m.

The ancient myth seen through the prism of modern life.  In Gordon’s version, Orpheus is a clarinetist, Euridice a soprano.  They sing together, with and without words; Gordon shows us their domestic bliss before we see them torn asunder.  Orpheus and Euridice has been produced many times to great acclaim – but never in the Washington, DC area.  UrbanArias’ production features the 2006 OBIE award-winning cast!

Elizabeth Futral, soprano

Todd Palmer, clarinet

Melvin Chen, piano

Directed by Kevin Newbury

Green Sneakers by Ricky Ian Gordon

April 1 at 8:30 p.m., April 3 at 2 p.m.( double-bill with Orpheus), April 6 at 7:30 p.m., April 8 at 8 p.m., April 9 at 7 p.m., and April 10 at 7 p.m.

Green Sneakers is an elegy for Gordon’s partner, Jeffrey Grossi, who died in 1996; it gives us a searing, but also humorous glimpse of his partner’s life before his death from complications of AIDS.  Written for baritone and string quartet, this lush, introspective yet exuberant piece examines how we say goodbye.

Ian Greenlaw, baritone

The Adelphi String Quartet

Directed by Kevin Newbury

Glory Denied by Tom Cipullo

April 2 at 8 p.m., April 3 at 7 p.m., April 7 at 8 p.m., April 9 at 9 p.m., and April 10 at 2 p.m.

Captain Jim Thompson was captured in Vietnam in 1964.  Imprisoned for nine years, Thompson became the longest-held POW in American history.  His wife, Alyce, created a new life for herself and their children in his absence . . . a life that was shattered when he unexpectedly returned.  Based on the book by Tom Philpott, Tom Cipullo’s masterful 90-minute opera pares this harrowing saga down to its core: the story of  two people, portrayed by four singers as older and younger versions of Jim and Alyce, who try and overcome an unspeakable tragedy and pick up their old lives after a nine-year separation.  At times dissonant, at times achingly beautiful, Cipullo’s score mesmerizes.

Older Thompson – Michael Chioldi

Younger Thompson – Kevin Vortmann

Older Alyce – Caroline Worra

Younger Alyce – Colleen Daly

Directed by Scott C. Embler

Conducted by Robert Wood