Hunter Opera Theater and the Richard Burke Pocket Opera at Hunter College in collaboration with American Opera Projects present
Three One-Act Premieres
The Bone Keepers
Casey O’Neil, Composer
Sophia Chapadjiev, Librettist
Mariel Mayz, Composer
Andrew Mayz, Librettist
Joe Young, Composer/Librettist
This May, students of Hunter Opera Theater (HOT) will perform the premieres of three one-act operas – two works, OPERAbbit and MarShawn, created by students as part of the Richard Burke Pocket Opera Program at Hunter College, as well as The Bone Keepers, created in collaboration with Brooklyn-based contemporary opera producer American Opera Projects (AOP). Between the student compositions and The Bone Keepers, Daniel Fox will premiere his instrumental composition, “The Violence of Impediments.”
The Pocket Opera Program was developed for Hunter by Richard Burke, to bring the creative and mentoring process of developing opera to the educational level, while creating a through line to the professional world. Director Susan Gonzalez now continues his tradition, with funding by the family and friends of Professor Richard Burke.
Hunter students will enjoy professional mentorships provided through collaboration with producer AOP under General Director Charles Jarden’s guidance.
The Bone Keepers – One body amounts to 206 bones. 10,000 bodies amount to 2.06 million (give or take a bone or two).
The odds of finding the matching set of just one single soldier out of the remains of 10,000 men are… not good. And yet, Abigail and Winifred, the two otherworldly Fort Greene Park Crypt Bone Keepers, have an eternity in which to do just that. On the verge of completing a human puzzle, all they need is one… last… bone.
In OPERAbbit, questions of loyalty, trust, and nationalism are brought to the foreground as our Protagonist receives an unconventional government hand-out: a bunny. This fictional story, set in an unknown country with unnamed characters, is met with humor and the liveliness of Latin American culture despite the tragedy underlying there. Inspired by actual events in Venezuela, OPERAbbit questions the current social climate of today’s bizarre political reality.
MarShawn is based on the life of MarShawn McCarrel, a young political activist and talented poet from Columbus, Ohio. A recipient of the NAACP Hometown Hero Award, he formed nonprofit organizations in his hometown, and was active in the Black Lives Matter movement. MarShawn suffered from depression, and ultimately took his life on the steps of the Ohio State House on February 8, 2016. Using social media posts, along with MarShawn’s poetry and quotes from news articles, we see the passion and courage of a young man who fought for justice and believed in the power of the people.
Susan Gonzalez, Director
Noby Ishida, Musical Director
Charlotte Athanasidy, Production Manager
Daniel Fox, Composer, The Violence of Impediments
David Fulmer, Conductor
Talea, Performance Ensemble
Monica Duncan, Projections