New Opera West to Present 5 Mini Operas This November

By David Salazar

New Opera West is set to showcase five new mini-operas by five different composers and librettists on Nov. 16 and 17 at the Mimoda Studio in Los Angeles, California.

The works include “Steve” by Rachel J. Peters. The work will feature soprano Maria Elena Altany and tenor Jon Lee Keenan as well as pianist Younghwa Ha. This opera centers on Ann, who discovers that a man at a local mixer is her departed mutt Steve.

Next up is “The Moose” by Jeremy Rapaport-Stein. Mezzo-soprano Maria Dominique Lopez will perform alongside baritone Joseph Dhanens and Altany. Pianist Luis Reyes performs. This opera centers on a relationship collapsing during a hike in the woods. A Moose arrives from the future to warn them of the doom their actions will cause.

“A Fragile Filament” follows. The work, by composer Robert Cohen and librettist Hershel Garfein stars tenor Edmond Rodriquez and pianist Younghwa Ha. This mini-opera will follow Edison and his reminiscences on inventing electric light.

“Recovered” by Ben Stevenson will star Lopez, Keenan, and Reyes. This work focuses on the transformation of anger and anguish into recovery and acceptance.

Finally, “She’s Fabulos,” by Tony Solitro, will star Altany and mezzo-soprano Emily Thebaut. This work focuses on two divas venting frustration about a show for which they missed out on landing the top role.

Victoria Pearlman will direct “She’s Fabulous,” “Steve” and “The Moose,” while Christopher Halsted will direct “Recovered” and “A Fragile Filament.” Nicolas Lell Benavides will conduct “The Moose,” “A Fragile Filament,” and “She’s Fabulous,” with Mark Lanz Weiser musically directing “Recovered” and “Steve.”

The operas were selected after an open call for submissions from all over the world.