WAR & PEACE
Composite Opera Honoring WWI Centennial, Chicago Temple
This multimedia, fully staged opera tells the story of American soldiers leaving for war and returning home to a world they no longer understand. Conceptualized by Artistic Director Daniel Grambow to observe the centenary of the Great War, War and Peace is a composite opera, a mosaic of important music from the World War I era through the present, including works by Francis Poulenc, Arlene Harden, and Bob Dylan.
The program opens with “Pride and Glory,” a romanticization of war and favorite American war-time songs. Young men, filled with dreams of patriotism and bravery, enlist so as not to miss the adventure. Part II (“The Front Lines”) finds the soldiers on the battlefield, disillusioned by their harsh reality. This section features works by “forgotten,” twentieth-century European composers, including “Brittany” by Ernest Farrar, “I Sing of a Maiden” by Patrick Hadley, and “Lettre du front” by Pierre Vellones. Songs of protest and grief, including “Why We Build the Wall” by Anais Mitchell from Hadestown and “Congratulations” by Arlene Harden, explore loved ones reactions to the war in Part III. “A New World” concludes the program with a prayer of hope for the next generation.
The Story of Don Juan, Bohemian National Cemetery
Hailed as "smart, energetic, and creative" Floating Opera offers a chilly retelling of Mozart's Don Giovanni. The original production, signifying a series of "firsts" for Floating Opera, was premiered at Bohemian National Cemetery. Stage director (and founder) Daniel Grambow designed the production to exist in the Chicago landmark’s crematorium, the perfect setting for Lorenzo Da Ponte's haunting tale of the legendary anti-hero, womanizer, and murderer. The building also has historical significance to Don Giovanni: it has an identical twin in Prague, the same city where the opera was premiered in 1787. Additionally, “Giovanni Unlimited” ticket holders participated as supernumeraries, joining the Floating Opera Ensemble for the Act II cemetery scene and finale.
Art & Science :: Food & Music, Peterson Garden Project’s Kitchen, Broadway Armory
The Floating Opera Company presents Art & Science :: Food & Music, a one-of-a-kind, total experience for the senses, anchored around John G. Bilotta and John F. McGrew's 15-minute comic opera, Quantum Mechanic. The event, presented in collaboration with Peterson Garden Project and 42nd Parallel Orchestra, takes place in the former's groundbreaking Community Cooking School, at Broadway Armory Park.
The new production features staging by visionary Andrew Snyder and musical direction by sought-after Paul Hamilton, with costumes by Jeff Award-winner Kate Setzer Kamphausen. Chungers Kim conducts.
The experience concludes with coffee, dessert, and an opportunity to meet the orchestra and cast. Says John G. Bilotta of the event, “This is exactly the kind of creativity and artistic imagination that makes a great operatic production.”
COSI FAN TUTTE
Super Mario Brothers, Bridgeport Art Center
Così fan tutte tells a story of the fickleness of love. Guglielmo and Ferrando proudly announce that their fiancées, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, are virtuous and loyal. The cynical Don Alfonso insists that no women on earth are capable of fidelity and makes a bet to prove it. As the plot unfolds, the young men successfully seduce the other’s lover. However, soon the game goes awry and the couples get more than the bargained for...
So what happens? That’s up to you! The libretto for Così does not indicate who ends up with whom. When you arrived, instead of a ticket, you were given beanbag hearts. These hearts can be given to two lovers at any point throughout the show to show your approval, enjoyment, or even sympathy. The two characters with the most hearts at the end of the show (during the “moral” chorus) will end up together, in a “choose your own opera adventure.”