Read on for some recent classic arts headlines, videos, and more you may have missed. For additional news covering opera, dance, music, and more, visit Playbill Classic Arts.
Heartbeat Opera's 2020–2021 Lineup
Heartbeat Opera will begin its upcoming season with a series of digital soirées. Dubbed The Secret Sauce, the seven streaming events will take place September 14–20 via Zoom and offer a retrospective look at the indie classic arts company through videos, interviews, sneak peeks, and more. Hosts will include Jeanine Tesori, Julia Bullock, and Liz Diamond. Breathing Free, a virtual song cycle featuring excerpts from Beethoven's Fidelio and works by such Black artists as Harry T. Burleigh, Langston Hughes, and Anthony Davis, will premiere this winter. The lineup concludes in spring 2021 with Heartbeat's first commission: The Extinctionist. Based on the play by librettist Amanda Quaid, the opera is composed by Daniel Schlosberg and follows a woman who comes to realize the only effective way she can save future generations from climate change is to sterilize herself. Louisa Proske will direct.
Michigan Opera on a New Level
Yuval Sharon, founder of the L.A.-based experimental opera company The Industry, will assume the role of artistic director at Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit, effective immediately. His first production in the role will open next month: a condensed, drive-through adaptation of Wagner's Götterdämmerung (under the title Twilight: Gods) set in a parking garage. Audiences will remain in their cars and navigate the various levels as they encounter such familiar characters as Brünnhilde (sung by Christine Goerke), Siegfried (Sean Pannikar), Alberich (Donnie Ray Albert), and Hagen (Morris Robinson).
Works & Process Creates "Creative Bubble Residencies"
The Guggenheim's Works & Process brings a twist to its season format this year due to the pandemic, with seven "Creative Bubble Residencies" taking part in Hudson Valley. Among the myriad artists taking part are Joshua Bergasse, Justin Vivian Bond, Sera Earns, Jamar Roberts, and Omari Wiles. Some products from the residencies will premiere at the ongoing Kaatsbaan Summer Festival in Tivoli, New York, with others being performed outdoors at Lincoln Center and streamed online. Additionally, WNET's ALL ARTS will present a four-part documentary series in early 2021 capturing the artists' journeys and processes.
American Ballet Theatre Promotes Gabe Stone Shayer to Soloist; Principal Dancers Named
Gabe Stone Shayer was promoted to soloist at American Ballet Theatre September 10. He joined ABT’s studio company in September 2011, the main company as an apprentice in April 2012, and the corps de ballet in November 2012. The Clive Barnes Award for Dance recipient, one of seven Black dancers at ABT, is seeking more representation to amend the deficit of BIPOC dancers and choreographers in the industry by launching projects like Creative Genius, which allows dancers to collaborate in-person. In addition to Shayer’s promotion, ABT announced several new principal dancers: Joo Won Ahn, Aran Bell, Skylar Brandt, Thomas Forster, Calvin Royal III, and Cassandra Trenary.
Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship Recipients Revealed
Violist Wilfred Farquharson, violist Jay Julio Laureta, horn player Malik Taylor, and cellist Myles Yeazell have been selected as the second class of the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, a partnership between Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and USC Thornton School of Music. The quartet of BIPOC musicians will receive a range of practical and in-the-field experience, mentorships, and compensation and housing benefits throughout the three-year training program. The Fellowship was developed in response to a 2016 report that indicated that less than 5% of America's orchestra workforce is African-American, Hispanic, or Native American.
Seattle Symphony Goes Streaming
Seattle Symphony will launch a new streaming service this fall, offering performances filmed live from the Benaroya Hall stage in lieu of in-person audiences. Concerts will be presented weekly, beginning with the “Season Opening Reimagined” featuring works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Mary D. Watkins with a special performance by vocalist-guitarist Whitney Mongré September 19. Access to that stream is free (as are tickets to an in-person drive in screening at Washington State’s Marymoor Park); annual passes for future programming start at $9.99 per month.