NY Opera Fest 2018 Preview: Why You Should See Heartbeat Opera’s Timely ‘Don Giovanni’ & ‘Fidelio’ Productions

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!

Heartbeat Opera has a penchant for doing things differently. Unlike most opera companies, where the book is the law, the company has no issues with re-adapting operas to suit the modern milieu and telling the story.

As the two co-Artistic Director Louisa Proske told OperaWire last year, the team behind the company wants to create productions that are gateway drugs to new opera experiences.

This year Heartbeat Opera has two exciting productions that speak directly to issues of our time. Here’s what they have in store.  


May 2 – 12 – Heartbeat Opera presents “Don Giovanni:” Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010

May 3 – 13 – Heartbeat Opera presents “Fidelio:” Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010

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

Heartbeat Opera is about creating vivid theatrical worlds through revelatory adaptations, radical rearrangements, and ingenious design.

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

Once again, we’re taking classic operas and surprising you with vibrant productions that speak to our audiences in the current cultural climate. Our production of “Don Giovanni” wrestles with Mozart’s infamous seducer in the climate of the #metoo movement. Our production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” investigates mass incarceration and features the voices of real incarcerated singers from prison choirs across the country.

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

We’re thrilled to be part of an event celebrating the diversity of opera in New York City with so many of our colleagues. Many New Yorkers may not realize the scale of opera companies that are creating important art in this city.

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

One of the biggest challenges is getting the word out to new audiences. There are so many people who would connect with a production by us or one of our colleagues, but we may simply not be on that person’s radar. This is one reason why it’s important for us to come together with other companies during an event like New York Opera Festival.