New York Opera Fest 2018 Preview: Check Out Unique ‘Experiments in Opera”

By David Salazar

With the New York Opera Fest 2018 officially underway, OperaWire will be showcasing small previews for each major participant at the festival, as we did during last year’s event. However, we are doing things a bit differently this year and giving the floor directly to each company to speak to you, the reader, directly. Enjoy!

Want to see a puppet show opera? Then Experiments in Opera is definitely the company for you at the New York Opera Fest. Here’s what they have in stock.


May 6, 2018: Experiments in Opera presents “And Here We Are:” National Sawdust, 80 N 6th St, Brooklyn, NY

June 15, 2018: Experiments in Opera releases Jason Cady’s Buick City, 1:00 AM

Podcast episodes available online at iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast sites

Tell us a bit about your production(s) and why you’re excited about them!

The main focus of our Opera Fest contributions is the premiere of “And Here We Are,” a shadow puppetry opera by Matthew Welch at National Sawdust on May 6.  This piece, which has been in development over the last couple of years, is a musical rich and visually arresting production. The music draws on Matthew’s connections to south east Asia, especially Bali and the Philippenes. Puppet designer Jeannette Oi-Suk Yew has developed a really interested take on shadow puppets that brings the piece back and forth between the literal and the symbolic.

Tell us a bit about your company in general and what you’re all about!

Experiments in Opera is entirely focused on creating new operatic work.  Most of our productions are challenging some aspect of the traditional model for opera-making.  Whether we are producing collaborative-composed works, or works on film, we are always asking composers, musicians and designers to enter into a conversation with us about how the work is being made and what it could be.  This is a really open and aspirational process that seeks to undermine the natural order of power within the opera field.

Tell us why you’re excited about this year’s New York Opera Festival!

This has been a great way for us to be apart of the larger conversation going on in New York about opera. The community is so generous and open with each other. We can take more risks as a company knowing that we are doing so in dialogue with other opera-makers.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge small opera companies face?

I think the hardest thing for small companies to do is to communicate their unique vision for opera. We have to continue to do a better job of opening up the process to our audiences, artists and donors, challenging them to join us as partners in a creative conversation that feels urgent and rewarding.