New York Opera Fest 2017: Rhymes with Opera Presents ‘Coping Mechanisms’

By Katharine Baran

As part of the New York Opera Fest, Rhymes with Opera will present “Coping Mechanisms” on May 19 at 8:00 p.m EDT and then again on May 20 at the same time.  The production will take place at the 124 Bank Street Theatre for both nights.

This will be the final show of Rhymes With Opera’s (RWO) 2016-2017 season.  Founding member Bonnie Lander came up with this experimental opera that explores what it feels like to be an outsider in a world where people seem so connected today. Themes of isolation, anxiety, grief and agoraphobia run through the production.

Three singers, RWO ensemble members Bonnie Lander, Elisabeth Halliday, and Robert Maril, will appear in three separate spaces as they go through their own anxieties about the outside world.  Not one part of the fully-staged opera features a written score.  The performers will use vocal sounds and melodies influenced by operatic training and techniques to work together and bring the story to life.

The forty-five-minute show will capture how people create their own personal spaces, while still wondering and longing for a connection within their own communities.

This full production will be directed by Cynthia Stokes and Lily Bartenstein is the lighting designer.  The Chamber Orchestra will include Jeff Young playing the violin, Jason Anastoff on the bass, and Dennis Sullivan on percussion.