New York Opera Festival 2019: Utopia Opera Lets ‘Some Light Emerge’ For First Time in NYC

By David Salazar
The New York Opera Fest 2019 kicked off on Monday, April 29 and for the next several weeks, New Yorkers will get ample opportunity to enjoy opera in a variety of unique ways. As has been OperaWire’s tradition over the years, we have reached out to a number of the companies participating in the festival and have asked the company’s leaders a series of questions that will allow our readers to get to know them a bit.
Utopia Opera is one of the unique opera companies that finds ways to balance new repertory with classics, often intertwining the two in fascinating ways. The company is set to showcase the NY premiere of “Some Light Emerges,” the latest collaboration by Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell, and Kimberly Reed, the creators of “As One.”
The live performances will take place on June 7-9, 2019 at the Ida K. Lang Concert Hall, and will feature Caroline Worra, Angela Dinkelman, Laura Virella, Lydia Adelle Brown, Billy Huyler, and Alexander Mason. Each of the performances will also feature a Q & A session with Kaminsky, Reed, and members of the cast and crew.

Tell us why you’re excited to participate in this year’s New York Opera Festival.

We are incredibly excited to be making our first appearance in the New York Opera Festival. The vibrancy of the NY opera theatre community always makes an incredibly strong showing at this time of year and we are thrilled to be included among so many other marvelous groups.

What themes and/or issues are addressed in your production, and how are they relevant to your company and its mission?

“Some Light Emerges” poses powerful questions about the role of art in our ability to understand and resolve our personal, political, and spiritual struggles in a modern society. Key sources of trauma and strife in the late 20th/early 21st century are addressed directly, but the opera displays hope in the ability for art to act as a holistic pacifier and interdenominational communication tool. In many ways, this piece is about the very experience had by an audience member sitting down and being involved in that particularly special communion between a work of art and those who are there to bear witness to it.

What is something special or unique about your production that NYC audiences can look forward to?

“Some Light Emerges” is making its NYC debut in its second-ever production. The opera is sure to become another major staple from Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell, and Kimberly Reed, the team behind the successful contemporary masterpiece, “As One.”

What role do you think “indie opera” plays in a city like NYC and for the future of the art form as a whole?

Indie opera is essential in all of its facets. There is room and demand for groups at all levels, of all interests, and with all types of repertoire. The financial demands of opera are incredibly steep but not insurmountable in a society in which the modern entertainment consumer chooses with their wallet. Opera must remain relatable, immediate, passionate, and personal to compete, as an evening’s experience, with the ever-popular, and generally less expensive entertainment choices available in our modern age. Indie opera can allow for an immediacy of both content/execution and, given its relative approachability, maintain the power of the ever-elusive human element that makes an evening at the indie opera a uniquely thrilling experience for those who would generally avoid opera (assuming it to be cold and distant, lofty and pretentious) in favor of, say, their favorite video streaming service. The performers in these shows are real people. These are people you may know portraying real people in circumstances tragic and comedic, and they use the special power of their body’s unique instrument to share their stories with us from only a dozen yards away.