The New York Opera Alliance (NYOA) launches first annual New York Opera Festival

This post is short because it’s long, the list of opera related events during the next two months, May and June in New York City, I mean. This is light because it’s heavy, the weight of the importance and impact of NYOA on the local opera community, I mean. You'll see.

The New York Opera Alliance officially launches their first city wide Festival with a big event on Wednesday, April 27, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Marc A. Scorca Hall in Opera America’s National Opera Center located at 330 Seventh Ave at 29th Street, Manhattan.

Fred Plotkin of WQXR Operavore

Fred Plotkin of WQXR Operavore

Fred Plotkin, currently with WQXR’s Operavore and opera-man-about-town, will be honored on this evening for his tireless involvement and service to the NYC Opera community, as well as for his erudite contributions to international opera publications and Metropolitan Opera Intermission features and also for his entertaining opera educational outreach to the general public, the most tangibly accessible accessory being his highly readable and insightful Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera (New York: Hyperion, 1994). He also loves good food.

Singers and musicians from Bronx Opera, On Site Opera, and Opera Upper West will perform. Sources say admission for the big event is free and open to the public, but alas the RSVP date has passed (my bad! Just too busy this time of year…). Interested persons might inquire at their site for last minute seats.

The New York Opera Festival is evidence of the mission of the New York Opera Alliance, which is to serve as an information hub about opera related events in the metropolitan area, advertising being one of the larger costs and lack of publicity being one of the larger pitfalls for any small company. The complete list of companies and venues under NYOA’s umbrella is too long to reprint here (access it from this page), but they range from bars with drinks and appetizers to playgrounds with hoops and fences (no joke) to traditional theaters with sets and costumes. The list of operas performed in full or in part range from just arias, etc. to experimental pieces to infrequently performed works by composers whose names you’ll recognize, Ravel or Ibert for example, to mainstream repertory…No doubt you’ve heard of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, right? There are also lots of opportunities for more informational, backstage, masterclass sorts of events.

While we ultimately love opera at its grandest, the truth is that very very very very (you get the point) few, if any young singers step onto the stage of the Metropolitan Opera as their first gig in a costume; like the greats of the past, today’s opera composers hone their craft with smaller works. Experience gained in the venues under the NYOA is invaluable for budding careers.

Check it out. Also say hi to Fred when you see him at the Met. Nice fellow.

A similar opera group, even perhaps united with NYOA, should be formed in Connecticut. Think about it.

Ciao, JRS

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