New York Opera Alliance Announces Virtual Opera Fest Events

By David Salazar

The New York Opera Alliance has announced that it will refocus its 2020 festival into the 2020 New York Virtual Opera Fest in light of the spread of COVID-19.

The organization will curate and shine a light on the many projects being untaken by participating organizations throughout the coming months, including over 40 such showcases throughout the month of April.

“The creators, supporters, and fans of opera refuse to allow the Novel Coronavirus to quarantine their love for opera” stated Peter Szep, founding director of the New York Opera Fest and co-founder of New York Opera Alliance, in a press release. “Now, more than ever, we must support each other. We are encouraged by the number of NYOA members who are joining forces and hands during these precarious times. It is imperative for our opera companies to connect with their respective communities and continue the conversation with them and with each other.”

Below is the official list of events, as per provided by the American Opera Alliance.

American Opera Project (ongoing)

AOP is broadcasting past productions including Harriet Tubman and As One, with more to be released soon. They may be watched exclusively on AOP’s website. FREE. Watch:

Beth Morrison Projects (every Thursday)

Beth Morrison Projects features an “Opera of the Week” released every Thursday on the company’s website and broadcasts for one week. FREE.  Watch:

City Lyric Opera (May 15-16, 2020)

CLO was scheduled to perform “Hansel & Gretel” May 15-16, 2020. Plans are in place to broadcast this production live online (platform TBA soon). CLO artists are sharing snippets of performance videos on CLO’s Facebook page as part of a campaign to help raise funds for Artist Relief Tree #CLOtogether. CLO is also scheduled to host Children’s Corners online conversations with CLO cast (dates TBA). FREE. Watch:

Collectico Musicorum (ongoing)

This group of highly skilled musicians dedicated to performing early music is featuring archival performances on its website on a regular basis. FREE. Watch:

Dell’Arte Opera Ensemble (ends April 15th)

The NYC-based mentoring program and annual summer festival is hosting an online auction that will support the Artist Relief Fund – a fund to assist dell’Arte alumni who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Auction closes Aril 15th. Also available on the ensemble’s Facebook page are short videos by 2020 participating artists. For more information or to bid, visit their website

 Heartbeat Opera (ongoing)

This ensemble encourages artists to share their videos of washing hands while singing. Check out their Facebook page for #heartbeathandwash campaign. FREE. Watch:

HERE Arts Center (every Wednesday and Friday)

HERE Arts Center in New York City hosts “[email protected]”: a Facebook Watch Party to stream a full-length production every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. EST. Shows are from the HERE Vault collected over the past 25 years. Following the online premiere, these full-length videos will be available for viewing on Facebook until HERE reopens. Upcoming April productions including Looking at You by Kamala Sankaram, Rob Handel, and Kristin Marting (4/1) and Thomas Paine in Violence by Paul Pinto (4/8). FREE.

Also, every Friday at 1:00 p.m. EST join an artist from the HERE Arts Center community to share in the creation of new work for the social-distancing age. FREE. Watch:

The Indie Opera Podcast (ongoing)

To stay up to date with what the movers and shakers of the opera scene, listen to Indie Opera Podcast. Their insightful, in-depth shows have changed to a streamed video platform for the opera community. It’s a great way to stay up to date with developments given the unusual times that the industry is facing. Tune in to hear the experts discuss what our beloved art form is doing to weather COVID-19. FREE. Watch:   

New Camerata Opera (ongoing)

NCO is hosting a handful of online events including: #theivesproject acclaimed series short film releases, the release of CamerataWorks’ upcoming opera film, JULIE, and the popular handwashing aria series #20secondariachallenge, in which arias are sung to ensure one washes their hands sufficiently. Also on the calendar is a live-streamed children’s opera from Camerata Piccola. Watch:

On Site Opera (every Monday)

On Site Opera hosts live-streamed “watch parties” on their Facebook page every Monday at 12:00 p.m. EST. Each Monday at noon, they show the video of one of our past site-specific opera productions, followed by a live Q&A with On Site Opera’s General & Artistic Director, Eric Einhorn. These archival videos will remain on their company’s YouTube page for public viewing through the end of June. Upcoming productions including The Secret Gardener (April 6), and Murasaki’s Moon (April 13). FREE. Watch:

 Opera on Tap (nightly at 8:00 p.m. EST)

Opera on Tap presents an online quarantine cabaret called Emmie and Harry’s! Audiences can view on their Facebook page. Emmie & Harry’s is a rapidly growing digital venue with an active and engaged audience base. The club curates a weekly schedule of diverse musical artists, from comedy songs to avant-garde contemporary and everything in between (and beyond!), with a special Friday night highlight of a different local Opera On Tap chapter from across the country each week. FREE. Watch:

Regina Opera

Regina Opera, which is celebrating its 50th season of great opera in Brooklyn, has curated a collection of its best performance videos to help ease the strain of these difficult times. It includes a complete performance of La Traviata; excerpts from Aida and Don Giovanni; and the complete February 2, 2020 Winter Concert, featuring operatic and popular favorites as well as the world premiere of a quartet by 14-year-old composer Julian Raheb. FREE. Watch: 

Untitled Theater Company #61: A Theater of Ideas (ongoing)
The Untitled Theater Company is making videos of past performances and workshops available on its website for free viewing. FREE. Watch:

Victor Herbert Renaissance Project (ongoing)

Despite having to cancel their entire season, VHRP continues to connect with its fans by broadcasting past performances on its website and social media platforms regularly. FREE. Watch: