This company is strong, original, creative, and exciting. The staff is kind, organized, and fiercely intelligent. I love the work they do and the outreach they offer.
One of the most professionally run and executed companies I have ever had the pleasure of working with as an actor. The work is deep, well-planned and imaginatively executed. As this company forges ahead, we will see how opera is transforming within the 21st century through AOP before we see it catch up anywhere else.
For over ten years we've been involved with American Opera Projects, beginning with Patience and Sarah. Most recently I traveled to Santa Barbara to see the Wold Premier of Seance on a Wet Afternoon (we heard the reading in NYC). In between those two works, my husband, Metropolitan Opera Bass LeRoy Lehr, and I have attended as many readings and performances as we can, and have often worked to connect opera companies with AOP and the artists who've worked there (The casting and Artistic Direction are always first class). The future of opera is developing here!
With the generous assistance of AOP, composer Stefan Weisman and I were able to develop the libretto for our short opera, Fade. The director and actors gave us terrific feedback and ideas for the plot and characters. After Fade's premiere in London, we then did a concert version of it at AOP's An Opera Grows in Brooklyn event in July 2009. So not only was AOP crucial to realizing our vision, it helped us get the work in front of a New York audience. Next step: a full production! AOP occupies a vital niche in the city's cultural landscape: helping to nurture opera classics of the 21st century.
I have had the opportunity to perform many times with AOP. I was involved in 3 pieces: Heart of Darkness, The Summer King, and The Trickster and the Troll. In each of these instances, I found the process to be rewarding and the staff to be singularly dedicated to their craft. Not only were the composers themselves looked after in a way not seen in today's arts world, but the experience of working so closely with an artistic team as an opera grows, changes, and finds its own voice is invaluable to us as performers. To get to take Heart of Darkness from 40 pages of an incomplete piano/ vocal reduction, ride along with it over the course of 2 years, and take it to a full score and production in London is something I'll treasure. Very few people in the world can say they've had that experience, and I have AOP to thank for it. New music needs a champion, and these folks work hard every day to support this vital art form. Please help them any way you can!