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Morningside Opera Will Present World Premiere Of Atra, Ossia, L’Amore Ricordato

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 2, 2011

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Handel Atra

You may remember Morningside Opera from the Opera Karaoke which I covered in December. They are a NYC-based opera collective, and they will present the world premiere of a new Handel opera entitled Atra, ossia, l’amore ricordato (Atra, or the remembered love) this Friday, February 4 and Saturday, February 5 at 8PM in the Ailey Citigroup Theater, New York City.

Friends of The Happiest Medium are welcome to use the discount code AMICI2011 when purchasing tickets via this link (click here) so be sure to take advantage of this offer!

Atra is a pasticcio comprising a selection of Handel’s best arias and music woven together by a modern plot that evokes themes from traditional opera seria. The multimedia production, designed and directed by Minou Arjomand, draws on projection, film, dance, music, and words to create a new opera, both in content and presentation, that explores connections between operatic conventions and social conventions in America today, in particular those surrounding the controversial topic of gay marriage.
Morningside Opera performing Atra
“In the 18th and 19th centuries, operas and plays were routinely cut up, mixed up, and rearranged,” says Artistic Director Annie Holt, the production’s dramaturg. “One evening’s performance might have started with the second act of one opera, followed by a collection of songs from another piece, and close with the third act of yet another work, with several of the prima donna’s favorite arias thrown in. Handel himself recycled his own operas in this way, borrowing and rearranging previous material to suit a new story. And today, with pastiche or mash-ups being ubiquitous in pop culture, audiences may find this format surprisingly familiar.”
Atra is a ‘devised work,’ created by the ensemble over the rehearsal process, a compositional style that is rarely used with opera. It features an opera seria plot in reverse, moving from catharsis to tragedy. The story begins with the triumphant wedding celebration of two women (sopranos Brittany Palmer and Brett Umlauf), but a love triangle develops as a former lover (mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Pojanowski) reconsiders her own marriage to a man (baritone Michael Shaw).
Founded in 2007 and run as an artist collective by music and theater professionals, Morningside Opera’s mission is to challenge the boundaries and conventions of the genre, and to spark dialogue about opera between new and traditional audiences. The company is committed to inventive, experimental, and multimedia performances and affordable ticket prices. Unique among small opera companies in the region, Morningside Opera presents programming in tandem with conferences and workshops featuring leading scholars and practitioners.
About Morningside Opera

The performances will be conducted by Music Director Mark Seto, leading the period instruments of the Morningside Opera Orchestra and a chorus from the Collegium Musicum of Columbia University. Patricia Weiss will choreograph a company of dancers featuring Laure Duverger, Alessandra Giambelli, Rie Hatanaka, Tammi Shamblin and Charly Wenzel.


Atra, ossia, l’amore ricordato

The Ailey Citigroup Theater
405 W. 55th Street (corner of Ninth Avenue)
(A/B/C/D/1 to Columbus Circle)
Click Here for Tickets: $25 general admission, $15 students  or call 1-800-838-3006
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