Recent Press

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August 2016 — Opera News
THE INCUBATOR: AMERICAN LYRIC THEATER CONCENTRATES ON TEAMWORK
The tagline on American Lyric Theater's website is "Great operas don't just happen"—an apt mantra for an unusual venture. ALT is not a conventional opera company; it does not mount a regular season of productions. Rather, the New York City-based ALT and its signature Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP)—recipient in May 2016 of a $40,000 Art Works award from the National Endowment for the Arts—were created to initiate successful collaborations between composers and librettists that would lead to the creation of significant and durable repertoire. READ MORE

May 2016 — Opera News
REVIEW: AMERICAN LYRIC THEATER ALUMNI COMPOSERS AND LIBRETTIST IN CONCERT, 2/7/16
On February 7, Brooklyn audiences got a sneak preview at National Sawdust of three selections from the long-awaited opera Breaking the Waves, subsequently announced as the opener of Opera Philadelphia’s 2016–17 season. Composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek were both present, and both espoused their admiration for the disturbing source film, by Lars von Trier. The first excerpt, “Golden Heart,” was a lyrical showcase, sung strongly and with feeling by mezzo Eve Gigliotti, this concert’s MVP; she was as convincing as a young Isle of Skye widow as she would later be as a Jewish grandmother—and any part in between. READ MORE

April 25, 2016 — The New York Times
FORT WORTH OPERA'S 'BURIED ALIVE' AND 'EMBEDDED' CONJURE POE'S DARK TERRAIN
There have been ups and downs on the way to Fort Worth Opera’s 70th-anniversary season. In 2007, grappling with financial challenges, the company decided to concentrate its offerings in a festival format, with three or four productions presented during a month or so in the spring. This year’s festival opened here on Saturday with the premiere of “JFK,” an ambitious opera by the composer David T. Little and the librettist Royce Vavrek. Sunday afternoon brought another adventurous offering: a double bill of recent one-act chamber operas. The 475-seat W. E. Scott Theater at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center proved an ideally intimate space for these modern-day spins on two stories by Edgar Allan Poe, commissioned as part of American Lyric Theater’s Poe Project. READ MORE

April 21, 2016 — Star-Telegram
OPERA 'EMBEDDED' DEALS WITH ISSUES OF AGEISM, SEXISM
What really scares you? That was the central question put before the creators of Buried Alive / Embedded, two new, one-act operas based on Edgar Allan Poe stories, which will receive their regional premieres at Scott Theatre beginning Sunday as part of Fort Worth Opera’s 2016 festival. READ MORE

April 15, 2016 — Broadway World
FORT WORTH OPERA'S 'JFK,' THE WORLD OF CONTEMPORARY OPERA, & AMERICAN LYRIC THEATER'S LAWRENCE EDELSON
The premiere of JFK in Fort Worth on April 23 is a big step forward for composer David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek--who made a splash in contemporary opera circles with their post-apocalyptic DOG DAYS--as their first "grand" opera. It's also a major leap for American Lyric Theater (ALT), and its founder and artistic director, Lawrence Edelson, which co-commissioned the work with the Fort Worth Opera. READ MORE

April 13, 2016 — The New York Times
'JFK' ENVISIONS OPERATIC ENDING FOR CAMELOT
We learn about it. We might relate to it personally, recalling where we were when we heard about it. We could even have a theory about it. More words have probably been printed about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Vincent Bugliosi wrote in “Reclaiming History,” “than any other single, one-day event in world history.” READ MORE

March 29, 2016 — The Daily Beast
FIRST HAMILTON THE MUSICAL, NOW JFK THE OPERA
The creators of JFK, a new opera about Jack Kennedy’s assassination, hope that their ‘cosmic’ work brings opera to a new young audience. READ MORE

March 2016 — Opera News
NIGHT ON EARTH
Next month, Fort Worth Opera gives the world premiere of JFK, David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s exploration of the president’s final hours and the tragedy that continues to haunt us. READ MORE

February 2016 — Opera News
REVIEW: AMERICAN LYRIC THEATER ALUMNI COMPOSERS AND LIBRETTIST IN CONCERT, 11/15/15
New York City has an opera problem. Those of us who live here are lucky to have the world-class work done by the Met, but that house presents a limited number of new works, including nothing this season written after 1935, and no other smaller company really fills in the void. You can read, in the pages of OPERA NEWS, about the myriad new operas performed around the country, but they rarely make it to the country’s opera capital; sometimes you have to hop a bus to Philadelphia just to hear a work like Silent Night. That’s why this great concert on November 15, presented by American Lyric Theater (which mentors composers and librettists, including almost all of the ones heard here), was especially welcome—it offered New Yorkers the rare opportunity to hear excerpts of what audiences in Houston, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Saratoga Springs have already heard—fantastic opera written by living young composers! READ MORE

February 2016 — Stage Buddy
INTERVIEW: ALT FOUNDER LAWRENCE EDELSON IS KEEPING OPERA ALIVE AND KICKING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Lawrence Edelson, founder and producing artistic director of American Lyric Theater (ALT) wears many hats in the opera world and beyond.  For the past nine years, ALT’s Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP) has been a vital and important part of nurturing new contemporary opera from ideas to productions throughout the country. READ MORE

February 2016 — Stage Buddy
REVIEW: ALT ALUMNI COMPOSERS AND LIBRETTISTS IN CONCERT
American Lyric Theater presented daring, new work by composers and librettists on Sunday, February 7 at National Sawdust in Williamsburg. Artistic Director Lawrence Edelson has done something visionary with ALT alumni teams, putting together a program featuring arias, scenes, duets, and quartets. More a collaborative stage than a battle-ground of competing new work, the program was lively and engaging. READ MORE

October 2015 — Opera News
REVIEW: THE LONG WALK
Lawrence Edelson, the new general and artistic director of Opera Saratoga, comes to the company from American Lyric Theater, where he has helped to spark and develop contemporary works during his time as producing artistic director. Edelson intends to do new works yearly in Saratoga. This summer included a notably successful world premiere — The Long Walk, by Jeremy Howard Beck, who turns thirty this year — that had been shepherded by ALT. READ MORE

July 16, 2015 — Times Union
NO, 'THE LONG WALK' IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL OPERA
That's what I wanted to tell the couple behind me at "The Long Walk," the world-premiere opera that opened last Friday and runs for two more performances — 2 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. next Saturday, July 25 — at Opera Saratoga. READ MORE

July 10, 2015 — The New York Times Magazine
AN IRAQ VETERAN'S HOMECOMING, WITH ARIAS
Early in the opera adaptation of “The Long Walk,” Brian Castner’s dark memoir of his tour as a bomb-disposal officer in Iraq and his struggles with anxiety and brain injury after returning home, the performance signals that it will build on the original account’s claustrophobic exploration of what its protagonist calls, with a convincing mix of detail and bluntness, his “Crazy.” READ MORE

July 3, 2015 — Times Union
WAR'S TRAUMA INFORMS OPERA
Guns and yoga: not a common mix in any context, and certainly not in opera. But there they were, a phalanx of armed young troops in an Iraqi firefight, running around a yoga class as it stretched languidly from the mountain pose to upward dog, then downward dog, then warrior. Shouts of "We're taking potshots, sir!" and "Get the bomb suit! Put it on me!" filled the room as a group of calm and oblivious yogi curved, bent, peaked. But one class member, breaking from formation, was neither calm nor oblivious. This was his flashback. This was his fight. "Warrior!" he sang, his arms hefting an invisible rifle. "Warrior!" READ MORE

March 19, 2015 — Times Union
VETERAN'S STORY IS BASIS FOR AN OPERA
When many of us think of opera, we think fusty. Foreign. Dull. Women in Viking helmets, or maybe a cat in a tux singing figaro-figaro-figaro. What we don't imagine is this: an Iraq War veteran singing from the top of a staircase — and from the depths of PTSD — fingering his rifle and planning to kill anyone who dares approach his sleeping children. READ MORE

April 2014 — Classical Singer
CULTIVATING NEW WORKS
Singers have Young Artist Programs to help them make the leap from student to professional. But what about up-and-coming composers? How do they get the training needed to successfully write operas? A New York City-based organization is providing just such training. READ MORE

April 7, 2014 — The Spectrum
POE PROJECT BRINGS CONTEMPORARY UPDATE TO OPERA
Since 1968, the Fargo- Moorhead Opera has relied on the same 20 operas to fill its seasons. For 2013-2014, the company shook things up with a co-production that brought together profession­als from New York, Okla­homa, Texas, North Dakota, Minnesota and beyond. The Poe Project—this world-premiere, double-bill pro­duction—came alive at Festival Concert Hall after five years of creation, writ­ing, readings and rehears­als. READ MORE

March 29, 2014 — InForum
FARGO-MOORHEAD OPERA DELIVERS SCARY GOOD POE-INSPIRED PREMIERES
With world premieres of two operas, it was understandable for those producing "Buried Alive" and "Embedded" to be on edge at Friday night's Fargo-Moorhead Opera performance. But it was the audience on the edge of their seats for the delightfully dark double feature. The two works, inspired by the gothic writings of Edgar Allan Poe, delivered chills, and the six visiting singers supplied the thrills. READ MORE

March 28, 2014 — Sequenza 21
REVIEW: BURIED ALIVE AND EMBEDDED AT FARGO MOORHEAD OPERA
There is an audience for new opera out here on the prairie. Fargo-Moorhead Opera staged two world premieres this past weekend: Buried Alive (music by Jeff Myers, libretto by Quincy Long) and Embedded (music by Patrick Soluri, libretto by Deborah Brevoort). Both are part of American Lyric Theater’s Poe Project, in which creative teams were commissioned to write operas inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The operas staged in Fargo used a group of six singers and a chamber orchestra. READ MORE

March 25, 2014 — Classical MPR
POE PROJECT OPERAS
Later this month the Fargo-Moorhead Opera will be performing the first world premieres of its four-and-a-half-decade existence, in collaboration with the NYC-based American Lyric Theater. READ MORE