Good times at the Blue Building! Was it really so long ago!?!
The Dwarf by Yoav Gal, directed by Doug Fitch. Performances Nov 21 & 23. Rehearsal shots by Andrei Severny
Vertical Player Repertory creates ensemble-driven opera theatre, brings fresh theatrical vision to standard repertoire, introduces a diverse public to rarely-performed operas from the 17th to the present century, and promotes and commissions new opera.
Vertical Player Repertory creates ensemble-driven opera theatre in extraordinary venues. VPR brings theatrical integrity and an unconventional spirit to an eclectic mix of repertoire in settings that have ranged from a factory courtyard on the Gowanus Canal to the last active shipping port in Brooklyn. VPR’s unique vision and adventurous use of place invite both performer and audience to re-imagine the great possibilities of opera. HISTORY Founded in 1998 by Judith Barnes, Vertical Player Repertory spearheaded the current alternative opera movement in New York City. VPR began life in a storefront in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, bringing an ensemble-theatre aesthetic to intimate performances of an eclectic range of repertoire. The 2003 world premiere of composer Yoav Gal’s comic opera The Dwarf brought the company to wide notice in the seminal New York Times feature article "Never Say Die in Indie Opera" by opera critic Anne Midgette. As appreciation for VPR’s unconventional aesthetic grew, the company expanded to larger venues. At the invitation of Sal Catucci, CEO of American Stevedoring Inc., the company created two site-specific productions outdoors at the Red Hook Container Port in 2007 and 2008. Il Tabarro was performed on the deck of the oil tanker The Mary Whalen, and Les contes d’Hoffmann was staged atop tons of raw lumber in an amphitheatre made of stacked shipping containers. These ground-breaking productions brought thousands of people to a spectacular location usually inaccessible to the public. In 2009, as VPR was preparing for a site-specific production of A View from the Bridge, William Bolcom’s powerful opera about Brooklyn longshoremen, to be set on the very Red Hook docks where the story takes place, port access was restricted nationwide by Homeland Security. VPR returned to its intimate storefront venue with a new chamber arrangement of the opera, created in collaboration with the composer, which played to sold-out houses. In 2011, VPR created a critically acclaimed production of Francesco Cavalli’s bedroom comedy of the Gods, La Calisto, in a post-industrial factory courtyard on the banks of the Gowanus Canal. Repertoire at VPR has included works as varied as Handel’s Alcina, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Janáček’s Jenůfa and Milhaud’s Médée. The world premieres of composer Yoav Gal’s comic opera The Dwarf and Isidore Elias’ original vaudeville act Bucky and his Friends, and the development of Opera Feroce’s baroque pasticcio opera Amor & Psyche under the auspices of VPR’s In the Works Development Series reflect VPR’s interest in new works of all stripes. Other pieces VPR has developed include Der Rosenkavalier: The True Story, a hybrid opera-theater reworking of Strauss’ classic with a speaking role for Baron Ochs created for veteran actor Paul Hecht. VPR’s first commission, The Peace, by composer Nizan Leibovich and librettist Isidore Elias, based on Aristophanes’ stinging social satire, is currently receiving its first workshop performances and is planned for premiere in 2014. The Dwarf, a comic opera by Yoav Gal, which VPR premiered in 2003, returns for a 10th anniversary production in 2013. In addition to full operas in varied locations, VPR continues to give intimate performances of opera and recital repertoire as part of its In Your Lap Atelier Series in its storefront venue, Behind the Door.
219 Court St
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