Ojai Youth Opera To Present World Premiere of ‘Nightingale & The Tower’

By Nicole Kuchta

Ojai Youth Opera will present the world premiere of its first original commissioned work “Nightingale & The Tower” this May.

Rebecca Comerford, Mikael Jorgensen, and Jason Treuting’s new work is an electric chamber opera for six adult singers, 29 youth OYO members, synthesizers, chamber orchestra, and earth harp.

Comerford, OYO Founder and Artistic Director, remarks that the opera’s story, which follows “a young boy’s odyssey to find himself in a dystopian world,” highlights the “‘delicate balance children must tread between the natural and digital worlds.'”

Featured established performers will include: contralto Nicole Mitchell, who will make her Metropolitan Opera debut this fall; coloratura soprano Sequina DuBose, who made her Met debut last season; baritone Andrew Petracca, who has toured with the All-American Boys Chorus and is a returning OYO guest/faculty member; Comerford, who has performed at leading venues around the world; soprano Julija Zonic, OYO co-founder and music educator; and baritone Joseph Flaxman, who has been praised for his “‘devilish manner and burly baritone.'”

Ojai Youth Opera, the only stand-alone youth opera company in the U.S., “is dedicated to enriching the lives of Ojai’s youth, community and the wider world through the study, performance, development and lifelong appreciation for Opera.”

Performances will take place on May 18 & 19, 2019 at Libbey Bowl.