This opera company provides excellent art with little to no cost to those who benefit from it--singers, listeners, and charities. Don Giovanni and Alcina were my favorites. The singing is on par or better than any other operas in the state, but the set designs are less elaborate, presumably to keep costs at a minimum.
I have sung with this organization and find it to be quite a rewarding experience. HHOC has given me, an emerging professional singer, a chance to learn roles and perform with other talented singers, both emerging professionals and professionals, and orchestra. I do this for free, but at other places I would have to pay to do this, and the experience here is much better and really helps me grow as a singer. Plus it is right in my home town so I don't have to travel and neither do my friends to come see me!
The Hillhouse Opera Company breathes life and vitality into its community by joining people of varying backgrounds and ages together in music and art. As opera in the community, H.O.C. also promotes social awareness and activism linking art to action in the form of social artistry, most recently in support of the people of Haiti. Both the president of the company, and the music director, the very accomplished Perry Price, are extremely generous in sharing and communicating, the fine qualities of the human condition as expressed and explored in opera. The work of this company inspires those who come into contact with it, to make living an an art. It is an honor to have such a program in our community.
I have been to all their performances. They put on excellent operas, scenes programs, and concerts all for free for the community (there is only suggested donations.) I have been edified at all of them.
I sang in three productions, and helped with production in a variety of capacities. I feel that singing roles with the company gave me a lot of experience as an artist (I am a young soprano, and there's a lot of competition out there!. Doing backstage work helped me pick up some valuable skills that I have been able to apply to other activities. Hillhouse has certainly helped me grow as an artist and a person.
I had the opportunity to peform leading roles with HHOC on two occasions: singing Don Ottavio in "Don Giovanni" in October 2008 and singing a varied program of opera scenes on April of 2009. Both productions were extremely ambitious. Don Giovanni was produced with orchestra and was very well attended. The opera scenes program utilized a large group of local talent and pulled off a performance that was something to be proud of. The energy and industry of the founding members of this group is the kind of backbone that any organization would want. I believe that State Funding would be a logical next step in getting HHOC on the map and attracting the attention and support that it deserves.
Hillhouse Opera Company represents a coalescence of professional opera talent with local amateur musicians and singers. If Lincoln Center has been criticized for putting opera on a pedestal -- quite literally, given that it floats on platform plaza elevated up from the sidewalk -- then Hillhouse Opera Company is the exact opposite: a way to make opera fresh and accessible without compromising quality. It brings opera into the heart of Connecticut communities by inviting people from all walks of life to participate in a myriad of ways, ranging from set designer to chorus member to cellist. This engages not only those who directly participate in productions, but also their friends, family, and colleagues, who now have a "hook" into the world of opera that makes them more inclined to attend. As such, Hillhouse reaches out to whole new audiences who may have overlooked (or been intimidated by) highbrow performances by the likes of the Met or even Yale's own opera company. At the same time, by bringing in professionals for strategic jobs such as lead roles, stage directors, and conductors, Hillhouse ensures that performances are executed with the craft, precision, and polish that opera -- that most multifaceted of the performing arts -- demands. With its judicious pairing of professionals and amateurs, local and regional talent, and with its efforts to bring opera into neighborhoods throughout the region, Hillhouse Opera Company is an asset to Greater New Haven that is ripe for growth. After only two years of productions, it already stands a worthy model for those who aspire to broaden the appeal of this wonderful art form.
The Hillhouse Opera Company (HHOC) is a great asset to the New Haven Community. As a member of the Company I have been a part of all of its productions, including mainstage operas (fully staged and with costumes and orchestra), scenes programs (also staged), concerts and master classes. The productions are always high-quality and professional, and you cannot beat the price (free, with a suggested donation of $10/person, $5 for students and seniors). The talent is mostly from Connecticut, a few have come from New York (HHOC strives to use local talent as part of its mission), and they *are* talented. The Company is still young, but they started out strong and are only getting better as they age.