Never mind Wagner’s Brünnhilde and forget Puccini’s Mimì. Thompson Street Opera Company, the newest kid on Louisville’s opera scene, only wants you to worry about composers that still draw breath. This weekend it continues its local residency and celebration of living artists in a double billing of comedies that are sure to entertain and entice.
So named for its former headquarters on Thompson Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Thompson Street Opera Company began three years ago as the brainchild of then University of Michigan voice student Claire DiVizio who sought to present new stage works of living composers. Asserting the notion that premiering a work is one of the most enriching experiences for young performers, DiVizio and her company have attracted enthusiastic artists and audiences that appreciate their novel approach.
Since its inaugural production, the world premiere of Ezra Donner’s Antigone, the Company has relocated to Louisville where it has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with the composition and voice departments of U of L’s School of Music where DiVizio recently obtained her Master’s in Voice. Given the nature of the School of Music’s passion for new music, it seems an obvious and natural fit that both it and the team of Thompson Street would enjoy mutual artistic benefits.
And that certainly rings true with this weekend’s lineup. First is The Rootabaga Stories, a work by recent School of Music graduate and Fulbright Scholar Yvonne Freckmann. Based on a collection of children’s stories by Carl Sandburg, Rootabaga is “an absurdly hilarious romp through imaginary lands with strange characters.”
Also to be showcased is Requiem for the Living by Manhattan School of Music doctoral candidate Ronnie Reshef. Her first opera, Reshef’s Requiem follows a “hypochondriac’s end-of-life epiphany following a mistaken deadly diagnosis” and has enjoyed recent performances in New York and Texas.
Showtimes are Friday, May 29th and Saturday, May 30th at 8 pm as well as Sunday, June 1st at 2 pm. All performances will occur at VAULT1031 (1031 S. 6th Street). Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and can be purchased online here.
(Photo courtesy of www.thompsonstreetopera.org.)
Follow Michael on Twitter: @rackoflambert.
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