Posts Tagged ‘discount opera’

Emily Pulley: On opera drones and the Jaclyn in all of us.

We love having soprano Emily Pulley at UrbanArias. She’s a great actress who sings her face off, and she’s a seriously funny lady. She also speaks with eloquence about the art form – watch the video below! Emily brings depth and nuance to every role she sings, whether it’s deranged Alice in Part 2 of Daniel Felsenfeld’s She, After or a frustrated daughter in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers.                                                          


How did you become involved in The Roost? What spoke to you about the project?

I received an email from Bob Wood this summer and was delighted to have the opportunity to work with him again. I thought the idea of connecting our present situation to a 14th-century work written during the time of a plague was intriguing, and I loved the idea of collaborating with so many different companies to create streaming content.

What’s it been like being an artist during a pandemic?

You play Jaclyn, Kat’s mother, in The Roost. Tell us about her.

As I told our fearless director, everyone knows at least one “Jaclyn!” We can all relate to her frustration with the restrictions we’re facing during these times, but she is so wrapped up in her own feelings that she can’t find it in herself to think about what may be best for others as well. My goal was to make her sympathetic by revealing her vulnerability and fear – not to justify her behavior, but perhaps to shed some light on her motives and show that she has the potential to change if she can find inspiration and purpose outside her own version of reality.

Was this your first opera-as-film project?

This was my fourth tech-based opera project, but it had the most complicated degree of production, with multiple locations, day and evening shoots, drones(!), etc. We’re all gaining expertise and seeing new possibilities, and, as much as I’m longing to get back on to a stage with an in-person audience, it’s interesting to be a part of that experiment.

I hear Bob and I aren’t your only UrbanArias friends…

I was thrilled to hear that Sharin (Apostolou) and Ryan (MacPherson) were going to be my daughter and son-in-law in this project! I had worked with them both individually (Sharin was at Central City with me back in 2006, and Ryan was Remendado to my Micaela in Opera Omaha’s Carmen in 2003 and Alfredo to my Rosalinda in Virginia Opera’s Die Fledermaus in 2012). This was my first time to collaborate with them as a couple, and it was beautiful to watch them respond to each other, both on and off camera.

Get your tickets for The Roost here and join us on October 16 for the premiere!
Tales From A Safe Distance will be available on-demand until December 31.

“Tales from a Safe Distance” unites indie opera companies in a first-of-its-kind digital production.

From UrbanArias Executive and Artistic Director Robert Wood:

Last May, Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi approached me with a crazy idea – put together a coalition of opera companies to create a multi-part online opera, with each part based on a story from Boccaccio’s “Decameron.”

Each company would commission a new opera that would be a “chapter” of the larger piece, and Peter and Matt would write a framework that tied the whole thing together with one character from each short opera – like Boccaccio’s group of friends quarantining together outside Florence. Of course, I trust Peter and Matt, and we were dying to commission again at UrbanArias. This felt like a really manageable way to put together something high-quality and inventive that was also original and current.

Since 90-minute live opera was out, I thought, 13-minute online opera can be in. So I called up John de los Santos, whose short opera Service Provider our audiences had enjoyed so much back in 2017, and he was eager to write the libretto and direct. Then he recommended the wonderful young composer Marc Migó Cortes, who was just finishing his studies at Juilliard. Marc’s music was great, and his score for our new opera, The Roost, is fantastic – really well-crafted and beautiful.

I’m so grateful to all of my colleagues at other “indie” opera companies across the country for coming together to form the Decameron Opera Coalition – I think we’ve put together a really interesting array of modern storytelling through song. And now we’re filmmakers, which is also a lot of fun, if an entirely different skill set from the ones we already had.

Learn more about The Decameron Opera Coalition, “The Roost,” and “Tales from a Safe Distance”

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