Michael Drellaira’s one-act opera “Arctic Explorations” is set to world premiere on March 9 at Theater St. Jean in New York City.
The showcase will be co-produced with New Amsterdam Singers, the cell theatre, and the Harlem Chamber Players. The opera will star Nuka Alice, Erin Brittain, David Gordon, Nicole Haslett, and Colin Levin. Clara Longstreth conducts and Kira Simring directs. Nuka Alice was a major collaborator on the project. Per a press release, “Nuka Alice and the Inuit played a significant role in the opera. The libretto contains several passages in the Inuit language Kalaallisut (now called Greenlandic since Greenland’s independence from Denmark.) Nuka Alice helped Dellaira with pronunciation and translation. She has also vetted the libretto to be sure that the nineteenth-century Inuit characters are as true to life as possible.”
The opera features a libretto based on 19th-century explorer Elisha Kent Kane’s “Arctic Explorations” and tells the story of Kane and his romance with spiritualist and medium Maggie Fox.
There will be an additional performance on March 10, 2024.