New Camerata Opera Presents
The Rape of Lucretia
New York, NY, February 11, 2019
In May 2019, New Camerata Opera will present Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia as an anchor partner with The Flea Theater in TriBeCa. The production will be directed by Bea Goodwin, with music direction by Justin Bischof of Modus Opera Orchestra. Performances will take place May 2nd and 4th at 7pm, and May 5th at 3pm, in The Sam Theater at The Flea.
New Camerata Opera’s rendering of this tragic story will confront the harsh reality of a woman’s experience with rape, suppression, and being silenced by men. Goodwin, who has staged both her original works and classic opera at BAM, (le) Poisson Rouge, La Mama Experimental Theatre and immersive venues around New York, says, “Rape and sexual assault have been a taboo topic for years. Lucretia's was a story that ‘could have happened to someone.’ Now? Women are coming together in immense bravery to let us know that this does happen; every day, every hour. The Rape of Lucretia is a cautionary tale of what rape does to the psyche of women.”
This production will focus on two things: the voicelessness of a victim and the power of the body. Deaf Broadway actress Amelia Hensley (Spring Awakening) will join the cast to mirror the sung role of Lucretia. American Sign Language will be used to physicalize the unease of the subject matter: “The libretto is littered with lust,” says Goodwin. “We all sat down and underlined every line that perturbed us, made us feel uneasy. Pens were going at all different paces, highlighting different sections. We will physicalize those lines using ASL and see what devised movement is born from that gesture. It’s simple and organic; it will be a gateway for discussion both on the floorboards and off.”
Presenting such abhorrent subject matter is “incredibly difficult, as a woman,” continues Goodwin. “Every time I work with my score, a new part of me feels pain.” However, she believes that it will resonate strongly with today’s audience, and with those who have personally endured sexual assault. “As artists, we take traumas and really ugly areas of the human condition and as a group, put it all on the line. I know the audience will feel the tenderness and care every single one of us, from creative team to performers, have put into this production.”
Music Director Justin Bischof will lead the performances at the helm of the Modus Opera Orchestra. Bischof is a critically acclaimed orchestral and opera conductor whose career takes him around the globe including Australia, Oman, Russia, Germany, and Haiti. “The Rape of Lucretia,” Bischof says, “is an exceptional example of 20th-century English opera. It is a complex and challenging score to execute effectively, but is well worth the effort as it is a vibrant and engaging musical journey for the audience.” The cast includes: mezzo-soprano Allison Gish (Lucretia), Helena Brown (Female Chorus), Erik Bagger (Male Chorus), Victor Khodadad (Male Chorus), Stan Lacy (Tarquinius), Andrew Dwan (Collatinus), Scott Lindroth (Junius), Barbara Porto (Lucia), Eva Parr (Bianca), Julia Tang (Bianca).
New Camerata Opera is a New York City-based, cooperative company in its third season. Its mission is to engage, excite, and educate through immersive performances that break down barriers and inspire fans of the future. In addition to mainstage productions, New Camerata Opera offers children’s operas through Camerata Piccola, and produces short operatic films with CamerataWorks. For more details and interview opportunities about the upcoming production of The Rape of Lucretia, and New Camerata Opera, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets for The Rape of Lucretia are available at: https://ci.ovationtix.com/14/production/1005250