American Opera Projects & NYU Tisch to present ‘Hudson Guild’

By David Salazar

American Opera Projects and the NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and Department of Design for Stage & Film will present “The Hudson Guild Opera” this May.

The showcase will feature a total of 12 operas, each 15 minutes in duration. The first half-dozen will take the stage on May 23 and 24 at the Shubert Theatre with the latter six premiering on May 29 and 30, 2024.

Here’s the rundown of the operas. Kat Cartusciello and Casey Llewellyn’s “What’s Changed” will be directed by Diego Alejandro González and tells the story of collaborators at a community theater in a public housing complex grappling as they observe the changes within themselves and their relationships and in the midst of major changes.

“Muckrakers,” by Ernie Bird and Sam Norman, tells the story of a pair of refugees and an interrogation that implodes on Ellis Island in 1900. Diego Alejandro González also directs.

“Third Louise of the Gallery” will also be directed by Diego Alejandro González. The work by Michael Meketa Sanchez and Sravya Saraswatula focuses on the tragic endings of several Louise at The Hudson Gallery.

Dennis Li directs “The Hands that Planted,” a work by Benjamin Walton and Zoe Ray Prawda. It focuses on three community members and their beloved tree, which is overrun with ivy. Li also directs an untitled work by Phyto Stratis and Yunhye Park about a retired sailor who starts painting.

Dennis Li directs “Lift” by Stephen Anthony Elkins and Adrien Radke, which condemns modern “solutions” for accessible housing.

Then comes “Chips!” by Ziyan Yang and Alecia Baxter set in 2074 in which chips grow out of people’s shoulders. Michelle Chan directs. Chan also directs “To Rend a Dream” by John Carroll and Ben Ginsberg. The work explores two best friends of different class structures and their conflicting values.

“Tesserae” will also be directed by Chan and features music by Andi Li and alibretti by Patrick Thompson. A young family contemplate what it means to leave their homes and a mosaic that preserves children’s dreams.

Sam Helfrich directs Michael Oosterhout and Alex Manaa’s “Windy,” the story of a woman and three stages of her life. Helfrich also directs Sequoia Sellinger and Grey Jackson’s “It’s Noon – Do You Know Where Your Plants Are?,” an opera that explores the possibility that everything in your house could talk.

The final work on the program is “Aging Gracefuly (Or Not)” by Amos Wong and José Gabino Alba Rodríguez. Helfrich directs the story of three people in their 60s as they seek out longing and connection.