She, After

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SHE, AFTER: a double bill of two one-woman shows.

 

“Emily Pulley nailed it . . . a musically compelling experience.” – Joan Reinthaler, The Washington Post

 

“UrbanArias has created the antidote for the traditional opera – engaging, intimate, daring, and maybe above all, short.” – Justin Schneider, DCMetroTheatreArts

 

“Soprano Emily Pulley performs both roles with incredible diction and conviction, displaying unarguable musical intelligence and instinct.” – Rebecca Evans, DCTheatreScene

 

These two operas are thought-provoking and at times amusing takes on the imagined lives of two famous literary women – AFTER their moments of notoriety.

 

Click HERE to buy tickets!

Saturday, November 9 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 10 at 2 p.m.
Friday, November 15 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 16 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 17 at 2 p.m.

More about the opera:

 

SHE, AFTER: Part One

 

NORA, IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Music by Daniel Felsenfeld

Libretto by Will Eno

This moving and dramatic opera deals with the repercussions of Nora’s final door slam in Ibsen’s 1879 play A DOLL’S HOUSE. We see her confront her past and very uncertain future in a moving soliloquy that takes place immediately after she leaves her family.

From the libretto:
” ‘My little squirrel,’ he called me, ‘My turtledove, my kitten, my spaniel.’ These are the names of animals. Of cats and dogs and rodents. Who is your little animal? How meek do you think your wife is? How fearless do you find your husband?”

The play is based on the life of Laura Kieler, a good friend of Ibsen. Laura (Nora in the play) had taken out an illegal loan (illegal because women were not allowed to borrow money without their husband’s permission) in order to pay for a rest cure for her husband’s tuberculosis. She obtained the loan with a forged signature. In real life, when Laura’s husband discovered her secret loan, he divorced her and had her committed to an asylum. Two years later, she returned to her husband and children at his urging, and she went on to become a well-known Danish author, living to the age of 83.

In the play the circumstances are slightly different. When Torvald (Nora’s husband) discovers the loan, he tells Nora that she is immoral, a criminal, and an unfit mother. He will not divorce her, in order to keep up appearances, but will forbid her from any interaction with their three children. His attitude abruptly changes when the man who loaned Nora the money returns the bond; Torvald burns the papers, and declares himself saved and his wife forgiven. Nora, however, has seen her husband for who he really is, and decides to leave him and her children. The last thing the audience hears in A Doll’s House is the door slamming behind Nora as she leaves.

Nora, In the Great Outdoors begins where Ibsen ended.

Click on the link to read Ibsen’s A DOLL’S HOUSE.

Part Two

 

ALICE IN THE TIME OF THE JABBERWOCK

Music by Daniel Felsenfeld

Libretto by Robert Coover

Alice has never been able to escape Wonderland. Once a child sensation and a crowned queen, she is now going through menopause while becoming increasingly disenchanted with her crazy companions.

From the libretto:

“You are old, Mother Alice, and big as a door,

And all covered with wrinkles and fat!

And yet you still wear your old pinafore,

Pray, what is the reason for that?”

“I’ll tell you, good sir,” Mother Alice replied,

“And I hope you’ll not think that I’m bitter;

Since I’ve grown I could not get it off if I tried

For it won’t lift off over my sitter!”

This operatic double bill is one hour long.

Starring

Emily Pulley

Saturday, November 9 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 10 at 2 p.m.
Friday, November 15 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, November 16 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, November 17 at 2 p.m.

at Artisphere’s Black Box Theater

$25 General Admission/$22.50 Students, Seniors and Military

Click HERE to go to Artisphere’s ticketing

Or Call Artisphere’s Box Office at 888.841.2787

 

Directed by

Beth Greenberg

 

Set and Costume Design by Valérie Bart

Lighting Design by Dan Jobbins

Nora, In the Great Outdoors was commissioned by American Opera Projects in New York City, and Alice in the Time of the Jabberwock was commissioned by UrbanArias and developed in AOP’s First Chance program with generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Emily Pulley, sopranoSoprano Emily Pulley is known for her radiant voice and electrifying acting. As Minnie in La Fanciulla del West, New York Magazine proclaimed, “Emily Pulley explores most every facet of this volatile character with a useful soprano that can deliver a power punch as well as a caressing phrase, and she gives a compelling performance.” As the Governess in The Turn of the Screw with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera News exclaimed, “Emily Pulley was outstanding as the embattled Governess. The role fits Pulley’s voice like a glove, and she captured the psychological complexity and heartbroken innocence of one of Britten’s great tragic characters.”

This past summer, Emily made her role debut as Georgetta in Il Tabarro for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and returned to Central City Opera as Julie in Showboat. Next she will reprise the role of Minnie in La Fanciulla del West with Eugene Opera, as well as joining the Metropolitan Opera for their production of Shostakovich’s The Nose.

Ms. Pulley has made recent role debuts as Leonora in Fidelio with Dayton Opera and Desdemona in Otello with Arizona Opera. Recent engagements have also included Marguerite in Faust at the Arizona Opera and New Orleans Opera, Bea in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers with Fort Worth Opera, Hanna in The Merry Widow at Kentucky Opera, a John Cage anniversary event with the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with Virginia Opera, and Minnie in La Fanciulla del West with Mobile Opera.

Previous performances have included Carmina Burana and Nedda in I Pagliacci at the Portland Opera and the Atlanta Opera, the title role in Susannah, the title role in Vanessa, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Beatrice in Heggie’s Three Decembers for Central City Opera, Agathe in Der Freischütz with Opera Boston, the title role of Susannah at the Wexford Festival in Ireland, Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites with Austin Lyric Opera, and Sarah in Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair for Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She also made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Mimi in La Bohème.

A frequent presence at the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Pulley’s roles in the legendary house included Marguerite in Faust, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Musetta in La Bohème, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Thérèse in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and First Lady in a new production of Die Zauberflöte directed by Julie Taymor.

A champion of new repertoire, she created the role of Lysia in the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s new opera, Lysistrata, in her Houston Grand Opera debut, which she then reprised for New York City Opera. She made her New York City Opera debut as Lavinia Mannon in Mourning Becomes Electra for which she won the New York City Opera Richard F. Gold Debut Artist Award.

In concert, most recent engagements include Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 at the Chautauqua Institution, First Lady in Bernstein’s A White House Cantata with New York City’s Collegiate Chorale, and the love duet from Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet with the Pacific Symphony.

A native of Texas, Ms. Pulley received the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from Central City Opera and the Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. She is the 2006 recipient of New York City Opera’s Christopher Keene Award, recognizing an artist’s performance in new or unusual repertoire.

Stage director Beth Greenberg has focused her career on new American work and the challenges of redefining where, and how opera can be performed. Greenberg has been involved in all phases of new work, from libretto development and workshop readings to fully-staged premieres. Adding to her list of new American opera productions will be the professional World Premiere of Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter for Opera Colorado in 2016. She recently directed the West coast premiere of Rorem’s Our Town which was praised as “a splendid production” by the San Francisco Chronicle. She also staged early workshops of Before Night Falls by Jorge Martin and directed the premiere of excerpts from Gordon Beeferman’s The Rat Land, a twice-featured work on City Opera’s VOX series. Pumped Fiction, the comic opera by MacArthur genius John Eaton, also saw its world premiere, in New York, in Greenberg hands. In 2014 she will direct the world premieres of The Red Silk Thread by Stella Sung and Ernest Hilbert, and the children’s opera The Three Feathers by Lori Laitman and Dana Gioia, NEA’s recent Chair.

Along with her dedication to the creation and performance of new work, Beth Greenberg explores and tests the conventions of how and where classic operas can be performed. She directed the site-specific Il Tabarro aboard a retired oil tanker moored in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The production received international attention. A return to this waterfront space and the tanker Mary A. Whalen is being planned for the New York premiere of Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas.

Beth Greenberg is a veteran director of classic opera and was on the New York City Opera directing staff for twenty-three years. For City Opera at Lincoln Center she directed original mainstage productions of Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Turandot. Her production of Hoffmann was singled out by critic Terry Teachout as one “directed with spectacular flair.” She also helmed many City Opera revivals including Der Rosenkavalier, La Traviata, Intermezzo, La Boheme, and Tosca. Her original productions have been seen worldwide, with Carmen in Toyko and Tosca in Lima, Peru. In America she has staged Aida for the Utah Festival Opera, Rigoletto for The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, Lucia di Lammermoor and Don Pasquale for the Pittsburgh Opera Center, and Eugene Onegin for Opera Delaware.

Reaching out to young people about opera is important to Greenberg. For City Opera Education she staged X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, and The Magic Flute. She has taught master classes at SongFest in Malibu, the Mannes College of Music, and at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory.

Beth Greenberg was awarded a Fulbright to Berlin where she trained with Gotz Friedrich at the Deutsche Oper. She has been a Mentor Director for the SDC Foundation, and is currently Resident Stage Director for Opera Noire of New York and Opera for Humanity. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance (M.M. in Music Theory), and Brooklyn College (B.A. in Music).

Composer Daniel Felsenfeld (b.1970) has been commissioned and performed by Simone Dinnerstein, Two Sense, Metropolis Ensemble, American Opera Projects, Opera on Tap, Great Noise Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, ACME, ETHEL, REDSHIFT, Two Sides Sounding, Momenta Quartet, Friction Quartet, Blair McMillen, Stephanie Mortimore, Jennifer Choi, Caroline Widmann, Cornelius Duffallo, Jody Redhage, Nadia Sirota, Caroline Worra, Elanor Taylor, Kathleen Supové, Jenny Lin, Ensemble 212, New Gallery Concert Series and Transit, at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, BAM, Kennedy Center, ATLAS, Le Poisson Rouge, City Winery, Galapagos Art Space, The Stone, The Kitchen, BAM, Jordan Hall, Duke University, The Southern Theatre, Stanford University and Harvard University, as part of 21c Liederabend, Opera Grows in Brooklyn, Ecstatic Music Festival, MATA, Keys to the Future, and Make Music New York. He has also worked with Jay-Z, The Roots, Keren Ann, Rick Moody, Stew, Mark Z. Danielewski, and is the court composer for John Wesley Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders. Commercially available on the Sony, Def Jam, Black Box, and Naxos labels. Raised in the outlying suburbs of Los Angeles, he lives in Brooklyn.

Valérie Thérèse Bart designed the sets and costumes for Tina Packer’s Women of Will (The GYM at Judson Memorial; dir. Eric Tucker); and the costumes for The Servant of Two Masters (Seattle Repertory Theatre, Guthrie, Arts Emerson Boston, Shakespeare Theatre Company DC, Yale Repertory Theatre; dir. Christopher Bayes), Volleygirls (NYMF; dir. Neil Patrick Stewart), Broken Fences (Ballybeg Company; Theater 54), Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving Thanks to the Godhead in the Lydian Mode (Wolf 359 Company; Joe’s Pub, IRT), The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute), Say You Heard My Echo (Asian Arts Alliance Association; HERE Arts Center, Flushing Town Hall), In The Next Room<, or the Vibrator Play (Atlantic Theatre Acting School), A New Brain (Rider University), The Drowsy Chaperone, Guys and Dolls (New London Barn Playhouse), Die Fledermaus, Brahms’ Liebeslieder (NYU Steinhardt), The Robbers, Uncle Vanya dir. (Yale School of Drama); and the sets for Goodbye New York, Goodbye Heart (Production Company; HERE Arts Center), and POP! (Yale Repertory Theatre; dir. Mark Brokaw). Ms. Bart holds an M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Drama. valeriebart.com

Lighting Designer Dan Jobbins‘ design credits include Spoon River Project (Variations Theater); Lost Highway, The Hank Williams Story (Merry Go Round Playhouse); Children of Eden, Human Comedy, Secret Garden, and Blood Brothers (Astoria Performing Arts Center); The Works (Jennifer Muller Dance Co.); Souvenir Stories and Rites of Passage (Prospect Theater); Parade, A Man of No Importance, Reefer Madness, and Like You Like It (Gallery Players); Little Shop of Horrors and Pippin (ReVision Theater); King Lear (American Bard Theater); Orpheus and Euridice (Collaborative Stages); Summer Season 2009 and 2010 (Millbrook Playhouse); Last Supper (Rising Sun Performance Group); Fall Season 2008 (Surflight Theater); and 2008-2009 Season (Tennessee Williams Theater).