New York Opera Fest 2018 Preview: Why To Go See Encompass New Opera Theatre

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!

You can look all over the New York Opera Fest for a place to check out new opera, but you won’t find a company that has done it more often than Encompass New Opera Theatre, which has produced over 63-full scale operas with orchestra. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for what the company has done over the years.

As you might expect, this continues to be the case this year at the New York Opera Fest, where the company has a few major events on tap for new audiences and old.


May 1, 3 – 5 –  Encompass New Opera Theatre presents Paradigm Shifts Music and Film Festival: The Church of the Ascension, 5th Ave & W 10th St, New York, NY

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

Encompass New Opera Theatre creates, develops and produces adventurous new music theatre and contemporary opera; discovers and nurtures new composers, librettists, singers and musicians; premieres groundbreaking new productions and revivals, having produced over 63 full-scale operas with orchestra and staged readings of more than 165 new works from jazz and cabaret to musicals and opera. Encompass premiered “The Astronaut’s Tale” in 2016 at BAM Fisher, and coming up October 2018, Encompass will produce the world premiere of “Anna Christie,” music by Edward Thomas, Libretto by Joseph Masteroff (“Cabaret,” “She Loves Me”), directed by Nancy Rhodes, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Eugene O’Neill at the Baruch Performing Arts Center.

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

Paradigm Shifts, Music & Film Festival, celebrates courageous people around the world who are protecting and preserving our planet, oceans, wildlife, and sacred lands, through live music and independent film. Our Opening Night Concert: “Patch of Blue SKy in a World Turned Upside Down” honors the courage and resilience of refugee families from around the world who have been forced from their homes. Music by Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Ricky Ian Gordon/Langston Hughes, Heitor Villa-Lobos, traditional Greek/Syrian music and spirituals, and a new chamber piece by Richard Pearson Thomas, with singers, violin, bass, percussion,  trumpet, and classical guitar, to lift the spirit and encourage finding hope and peace in very challenging times.

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

The Festival grows each year and it is exciting to see the variety of artistic musical expression and the growth of new companies featuring opera, new opera, musical theater and mixed media. The Festival demonstrates the burgeoning artistic scene featuring contemporary talent in every discipline, and it is gratifying to witness the growth of an ever-expanding audience who seek challenging and high-quality forms of musical expression from the artists of today.

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

Developing young new audiences since music-arts have been taken out of the schools, and funding/resources for the arts/artists.