Opera Omaha Announces ONE Festival 2019

By Nicole Kuchta

Opera Omaha has announced that this year’s ONE Festival, led by General Director Roger Weitz and Festival Artistic Director James Darrah, will take place March 30 – April 14, 2019.

The artist-driven festival aims to share the creativity of its Artists-in-Residence to help produce innovative, open-minded appreciators of contemporary opera.

Two operas will be performed during the festival, Philip Glass’s “Les Enfents Terribles,” a tragic story of siblings “cut off from the world and dangerously dependent on each other,” and Lileana Blain-Cruz’s new production Gounod’s “Faust.”

“Les Enfants Terribles,” a dance opera featuring four singers and four dancers choreographed by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, will be performed Apr. 3, 5, 7, 13, & 14, 2019 at The Mastercraft. The cast features Adrian Kramer as Gérard/Narrator, Naomi Louisa O’Connell as Dargelos/Agathe, Theo Hoffman as Paul, and Vanessa Becerra as Elisabeth. David Bloom conducts this opera, scored for three grand pianos “which overlap to create a transformative and hypnotic sound world.”

“Faust,” a visionary epic opera, will be performed Apr. 12 & 14, 2019 at the Orpheum Theater. Steven White will conduct the Omaha Symphony orchestra, which will feature rarely heard music from the classic opera. The cast includes Sébastien Guèze as Faust, Samuel Schultz as Wagner, Elizabeth Pojanowski as Siébel, David Pittsinger as Méphistophélès, Craig Irvin as Valentin, Cecilia Violetta López as Marguerite, and Emily Pulley as Marthe.

The ONE Festival also features a Performance Series to be held across various intimate locations.

“Playground: An Operatic Sound Sculpture,” an interactive program curated by Ellen Reid, will be open at the Joslyn Art Museum all dates of the Festival. Naomi Louisa O’Connell will be featured as a soloist during the program’s “Run,” a “15-minute original composition for voice and devised playground instruments.”

“For Research Only: A Deconstruction of Opera in Motion” will be held at Kaneko on Apr. 6, 10, & 11, 2019. Curated and choreographed by Chris Emile, this immersive dance exhibition “skews the lines of realistic/rehearsed theatre.”

“CINEsound: An Operatic Film Series” will be held at Film Streams, Dundee and Ruth Sokolof Theaters” on Mar. 30, Apr. 13 & 14, 2019. During this event curated by temporal artist Ross Karre, “live instrumentalists [will interpret] stories through sound, in accompaniment to classic, film noir and documentary style films.”