OperaWorks is known for creating a body of more than 30 pastiche operas that serve as the culminating performances of our intensive Singer Programs. Each opera was created by combining traditional operatic, musical theatre, and art song repertoire into original, modern contexts. Sometimes they are narrative, sometimes abstract, sometimes hilarious, sometimes dramatic. They are always powerful, visceral, real.
The Golden Lasso
The Cow Country Bachelor dating competition in small town America tests the limits of the contestants in their search
for love. The opera examines the pressure to conform, inspired by the questions "How far would you go to
o be adored, accepted, or loved?” “What would you give up or change about yourself to be popular, famous, or rich?”
The Mezzo Family plans one last heist and as The Family gathers for a celebration, arguments interrupt the proceedings. This opera takes us through the family reunion, a bank robbery at the Hi-Ho Silver Bank, and a chaotic Emergency Room where Papa Mezzo says good-bye to his mortally wounded bank- robber daughter.
Pride & Promiscuity
The Shady Willow Pines Mobile Home Park is where a local boy is discovered and whisked off to Hollywood to become the star of the award-winning soap opera “Confessions”. But he encounters star-struck women and men, and jealous co-stars. It takes his hometown girlfriend to remind him how far he has strayed from who he is.
Nuptialedophobia: A Minister's Nightmare
Pastor Tim has developed nuptialedophobia [nup-tial-edo-pho-bia] a fear of performing marriage ceremonies. He suffers catastrophic consequences every time he recites the wedding vows as he is haunted by treacherous demons, desperate brides, and lost grooms.
Arias In Motion
Our format of voices and bodies in motion was conceived in 2003 to unify opera arias, art songs, improvisation and movement in one singular theatrical experience. Each year, music was arranged and performed into one continuous stream without break, allowing the director, choreographer and performers to create evocative stage relationships.
This production explored a new non-linear ensemble story arc developed from randomly assigned allegiances, social rank, and relationships. Instead of a sole protagonist with a linear narrative, we opted instead for a latticework of individual stories tied together in the common theme of “Exposure.”
At a high school reunion, three couples realize their children were all born on the April Fools Day and they flashback to the wedding reception where the best man had a fling with the groom's mother, the bride is pregnant with another man’s baby, and finally the “Labor of Love” Birthing Center.
A dysfunctional family reunion is interrupted by misguided participants in a Murder Mystery game who mistakenly shoot the family patriarch. In the three acts, we meet a kleptomaniac aunt, cross-breeding cousins, a disgraceful Dr. Love and his perennially pregnant nurses in the ER, and cable star Geri Springer.
Trump'd: Making Opera Great Again
In this three-act journey we meet current and former employees of the Trump Organization, paintings that come alive but are prevented from escaping their boundaries by Satan, and finally Trump and entourage at a campaign rally. Unsavory photos are discovered online and Satan scolds Trump for not following "the plan".
(This was performed in July 2016, pre-election.)
How has the internet affected our lives? These questions are posed in an opera that begins with a NYC subway platform, on to an abandoned wax museum, and finally to the impersonal world of the internet Cloud. This opera explores Real vs. Synthetic, the breakdown of Human Connections, and the rapidly changing perceptions of Tradition, Morality and Identity.
Aria Stayin' Alive?!
Nika Magadoff, former world-famous singer-dancer and now director of the Fully Fantastic Funeral Emporium and Mortuary, runs his business with an unusual flair. In his line of work, he meets some interesting characters including a narcoleptic bodyguard, an hysterical IRS agent, and a mailman with an “interesting” hobby.
OperaWorks in Purgatory
Jay Wadd, the popular host of the “Jay Talk” talk show, becomes the target of a wager between God (as a homeless activist) and Satan (as a female philanthropist). Jay is whisked away to the cruise ship SS Purgatory where he is sorely tempted by an accomplice of Satan. But he is saved and transported to a cable TV psychic show where he is saved by God.
“Singed” (as in burned) is comprised of three one-act pastiche operas centered around loneliness and the quest for connection and love. The acts were set in a Speak-easy, a women's prison, and a family reunion. Each character worked to find connection and love amid obstacles that were both interior and exterior, real and imagined.
In the Espagna Valley, lonely singles looking for true love meet at the Zombie Apoco-Lips Bar for a speed-dating event. Some move on to a wedding where former fiancées has a nervous breakdown and is taken to a mental institution where we learn about the secret longings for love that the patients and the medical staff share.
While attending a Star Trek Convention, real aliens from Spaceship No. 2 escape their doomed planet and arrive on Earth through a porthole in the Women’s Restroom at the convention. Trekkie fans at the convention mistake the aliens for Trekkies which frightens the aliens until their Queen arrives and takes her subjects back to their planet.
Bring Out the Bride
A bride is mistakenly arrested at the altar by the INS. This is the story of her wedding day: from the church, to jail, to court. Characters included double agents, hookers, inept lawyers and a rodeo-style judge. The action runs the gamut from a fight in the jail between the bride and hookers, to the courtroom with dueling lawyers, and finally a reunion of bride and groom.