New York Opera Fest 2018 Announces New Slate Filled With Major World Premieres

By David Salazar

The New York Opera Fest has been announced and it will feature a ton of new productions and performances to behold.

The showcase kicks off on May 1, 2018, with an opening night launch at Opera America and runs all the way until June 26.

So here is a breakdown of what’s in store for audiences. As has been the case with other season presentations, we will focus mainly on Opera-related content only as there are a few pieces that are not quite in this category.

And to help you navigate this long list, we will break it down into more general categories.

For Those Looking for Classical Opera Rep

This section is for those who want your Mozart or Verdi or Donizetti. You’re not necessarily all that crazy about venturing outside of the norm of the opera repertoire.

Heartbeat Opera

The company known for adapting operas in unique ways is about to do the same thing for “Don Giovanni” and “Fidelio.” Learn more about that here.

Performance Dates for “Don Giovanni:” May 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12

Performance Dates for “Fidelio:” May 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13

Bronx Opera

The long-time organization will present Weber’s “Der Freischütz” with a cast that includes Jessica Schneiderman, Hannah Spierman, Alessandra Altieri, Halley Gilbert, Daniel Foltz-Morrison, Michael Celentano, Michael Nansel, and Brace Negron.

Performance Dates: May 5-20

Regina Opera Company

Verdi’s “Aida” gets a showcase from the Regina Opera company for four performances. The work will include a 35-piece orchestra and is the first time the company performs the it.

Performance Dates: May 12, 13, 19, 20

ARE Opera

Donizetti’s “L’Elisir D’Amore” gets a few performances from the company in its second season.

Performance Dates: May 18-21

New Amsterdam Opera

As previously written on, the company will showcase Donizetti’s “La Favorita.” Learn more here about the cast.

Performance Dates: June 2

Opera Upper West

Mozart’s rarely performed “The Impresario” gets a look under the musical direction of Phil Raskin.

Performance Dates: June 22-24

The Gilbert & Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island

Closing out the festival will be “Patience,” by the famed team of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Performance Dates: June 26-30

For Those Who Want New Opera

You can guess from the headline, but this is all about new operas, and in this section, you are going to find a lot of world and NY premieres.

Tabula Rasa: A New Jazz Opera

Felix Jarrar and Brittany Goodwin showcase the world premiere of their new opera “Tabula Rasa,” which will star Sara Lin Yoder as Kiki de Montparnasse. The rest of the cast includes Frank D. Fainer, Eugenia Forteza, Allison Gish, Emily Hughes, Petra Jarrar, and Rebecca Richardson.

UPDATE: Performances will take place at the Blue Building at 222 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017.

Performance Dates: May 4, 5, 11,12

Hunter Opera Theater, Richard Purke Pocket Opera At Hunter College, American Opera Projects

The Three organizations will join forces for three one-act premieres including “The Bone Keepers,” OPERAbbit,” and “MarShawn,” by composers Casey O’Neil, Mariel Mayz, and Joe Young, respectively.

Performance Dates: May 5, 6

Rhymes with Opera

The premiere of composers George Lam and Ruby Fulton’s “Rumpelstiltskin” will take place with soprano Elisabeth Halliday, soprano Bonnie Lander, and Baritone Robert Maril.

Performance Dates: May 11-19

American Lyric Theater

With hosts Mark Adamo and Lawrence Edelson, the organization is priced to showcase “InsightALT: Opera in Eden,” which will feature three new one-act operas. “Bloodlines” is by the team of librettist Lila Palmer and composer Shuying Li. “Nana’s Ghost” was created by writer Lorene Cary and composer Liliya Ugay and “The Tree of Eternal Youth” was written by Julian Crouch with music by Andy Teirstein.

Performance Date: May 17

The Center for Contemporary Opera

There are a lot of premieres coming your way from this company. Their first premiere comes our way in the form of “To Be Sung,” a one-act opera by librettist and composer Pascal Dusapin from a short story by Gertrude Stein. The organization will also showcase the premiere of Scott Wheeler’s “Sorrow of Fredrick.” “Backwards from Winter,” by composer Douglas Knehans and librettist Juanita Rockwell gets a single performance as well.

Performance Dates for “To be Sung:” May 17, 19

Performance Dates for “Sorrows of Fredrick:” May 18

Performance Dates for “Backwards for Winter:” May 25

Little OPERA theater of NY

This unique organization is set to present the NY premiere of “The Little Light of Mine,” which showcases the stories of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price. The one-woman show will showcase the challenges of these monumental artists with a wide range of media.

Performance Dates: June 5

For Those Who Want New Opera Experiences

Finally, we turn to a new breed of opera, performed in ways that you might expect. In a bar. Via podcast. In lecture format. This is all unique and fun in its own way.

Encompass New Opera Theatre

The organization is set to showcase its Paradigm Shifts, Music & Film Festival to celebrate “true stories of courageous people protecting our planet, oceans, and wildlife. The theme “A World Turned Upside Down” gives voice to refugee families around the world, and pairs each film with jazz, gospel, new classical, opera.” There will be music from all over, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Iraq, among others.

Performance Dates: May 3-5

Opera on Tap

The pioneering company will bring its lauded “Home Brewed Opera” showcase to the festival at Freddy’s Bar and Backroom. Then there is the New Brewed Opera, which focuses on new composers. And, as the company has done before, it will showcase its Playground Opera, “Hansel and Gretel” at the Harlem PS 129, allowing children to participate.

Performance Dates for “Home Brewed:” May 10

Performance Dates for “New Brewed:” June 1

Performance Dates for “Playground Opera:” June 13, 14

Experiments in Opera

“Buick City,” by composer and librettist Jason Cady, gets it premiere. The work is a “serial podcast exploration of opera with songs, spoken dialogue, sound design, and music.” It is five seasons long and available for download and streaming.

Release Date: June 15