Press Room

01-04-2013

Opera Company Announces Public Programs in Conjunction with February’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning New Opera SILENT NIGHT

 
 
Philadelphia, PA: In conjunction with the highly anticipated East Coast Premiere of Silent Night, the critically-acclaimed new American opera from composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, the Opera Company of Philadelphia will present an exciting array of public programs.  The schedule of events includes live performances of opera excerpts and music from the era as well as two screenings of the 2005 Academy Award nominated film Joyeux Noël, which inspired Silent Night.  There will also be a series of lectures and presentations on the outbreak of World War I and the events surrounding the Christmas Eve truce dramatized in the opera, and featuring the artwork and writings of American war veterans.  The Opera Company will also celebrate Silent Night and other new American works at its annual gala on Saturday, February 2, 2013.
 
Silent Night recounts a miraculous moment of peace during one of the bloodiest wars in human history. On World War I’s Western Front, weapons are laid down when Scottish, French and German officers defy their superiors and negotiate an unauthorized Christmas Eve truce. Enemies become brothers as they come together to share Christmas and bury their dead in a moving dramatic work that features soaring, lyrical melodies and a stellar cast of stars. Silent Night runs in five performances at the Academy of Music, February 8-17, 2013.  Visit operaphila.org to purchase tickets and for more information on the following events:
 
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 – 7:00 p.m.
National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY
Streamed LIVE at www.operaamerica.org
Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music for Silent Night, Kevin Puts has been hailed as one of the most important composers of his generation. Join OPERA America for an evening of performances from his works, including excerpts from Silent Night, followed by a discussion with the composer and a reception. Singers Angela Mortellaro and Christopher Tiesi from the Silent Night cast will be joined by composer Kevin Puts at the piano for the evening. All Salon Series events are free and open to the public. Seating is limited and filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Advanced registration is recommended. Register here.  Can’t make it to NYC? The event will be streamed live at www.operaamerica.org.
 
Sunday, January 27, 2013 – 2:00 p.m.
National Constitution Center
Enjoy an afternoon of great American popular music from the age of World War I patriotism through the era of speakeasies that arose in the wake of Prohibition. In celebration of the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s East Coast Premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night (Feb. 8-17, 2013) and the National Constitution Center’s World Premiere exhibition American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (through April 28, 2013), Opera Company singers Sheryl Cohen and John Miles present a musical trip through the era in the NCC’s Kirby Auditorium.   Unlock a treasure trove of memories with Irving Berlin’s classics Puttin’ on the Ritz and I Love a Piano, patriotic songs like Over There, and Billy Murray’s How are you Going to Wet Your Whistle?, one of the first of many songs concerning the anticipated onset of Prohibition. Event is FREE with museum admission (Adults: $14.50; Seniors, Students with ID & Youth age 13-18: $13.00; Children age 4-12: $8.00; Active Military and Children under 3: FREE; NCC Members: FREE). Learn more and buy tickets
 
Between the Notes
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 – 12:00 p.m.
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts – Merck Education Center
Opera fans and history buffs can learn more about the Christmas Eve truce, an important moment in history, at a brown bag lunch event held at the Kimmel Center’s Merck Education Center. A World War I expert will share information about events leading up to the outbreak of the war and those surrounding the Christmas truce. This event is available to Opera Company contributors of $100 or more.  Learn more
 
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Loews Philadelphia Hotel
The Opera Company of Philadelphia celebrates Silent Night along with the amazing opera initiatives happening right NOW in Philadelphia at its annual fundraising gala. The event features silent and live auctions, dinner, dancing, live operatic performances, and special celebrity guests including composer Jennifer Higdon (Cold Mountain) and baritone Nathan Gunn, director of the American Repertoire Council. For more information and to purchase tickets to this event, please visit operaphila.org/gala
 
A Taste of Opera
Sunday, February 3, 2013 – 2:30 p.m.
The Curtis Institute of Music
Enjoy a FREE, pre-production lecture by Michael Bolton, the Opera’s Vice President for Community Programs, and a recital featuring selections from Silent Night performed by the opera’s cast members, including Gabriel Preisse, Angela Mortellaro and Brandon Cede. Warrior Writers will also be on hand at this event and will perform a piece based a contemporary soldier’s experience. Learn more
 
Sounds of Learning™ student dress rehearsals
Monday, February 4, 2013 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 – 2:00 p.m.
Academy of Music
After having studied the opera for six weeks using the Sounds of Learning™ standards-based arts-integration curriculum, 400 students from the School District of Philadelphia will attend the first orchestral dress rehearsal of the opera for free.  Another 1600 students from Greater Philadelphia public and private schools, homeschool groups, and colleges will attend the second orchestral dress rehearsal of the opera for free. For more information, visit operaphila.org/sounds-learning or email [email protected]
 
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 – 7:30 p.m.
Bryn Mawr Film Institute
The opera Silent Night is based on the 2005 Academy Award-nominated French film Joyeux Noël. The film, which stars Diane Kruger and Benno Fürmann, will be shown at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.  Soprano Kelly Ann Bixby will sing an excerpt from the opera at the screening. Tickets: Adults: $10.50 / Seniors: $8.00 / Students (with valid ID): $7.00 / BMFI members: $5.00. Learn more and purchase tickets
 
Art of the American Soldier Kiosk
February 8-17, 2013
Academy of Music
The Opera Company of Philadelphia partners with the National Constitution Center to explore the combat soldiers’ experience in times of war.  Art of the American Soldier, a major NCC exhibition in 2011, unveils powerful works of art created by American soldiers in the line of duty. Drawn from the U.S. Army's rarely seen collection of over 15,000 paintings and sketches, the exhibition showcases the artistic response of soldiers from World War I through the present day. This intimate, first-hand insight into the soldier experience can be viewed at an interactive kiosk installed in the Academy of Music lobby for patrons to before curtain and at intermission.  
 
Opera Overtures
February 8-17, 2013
Academy of Music
Opera ticketholders can warm up for Silent Night with a pre-curtain lecture in the Academy of Music before each performance.  These FREE, informal talks are held one hour before every performance and will enhance your appreciation of all the operas you see this season. This event is free to allSilent Night ticketholders for the day listed on their ticket. 
 
Warrior Writers
February 8-17, 2013
Academy of Music
The Opera Company of Philadelphia will partner with Warrior Writers, a national organization based in Philadelphia which provides performance opportunities to war veterans and encourages them to express their experiences through poetry, spoken word performances, video, photography, art and more.  Warrior Writers will be on hand at each Silent Night performance to perform a brief selection at each Opera Overturestalk and at the Taste of Opera on Sunday, February 3, 2013.
 
Silent Night: From Screen to Stage
Monday, February 11, 2013 – 7:00 p.m.
Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, PA
Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night was based on the 2005 Academy Award nominated film Joyeux Noël. Selections from the film will be shown while the corresponding scenes from the opera will be performed. Silent Night cast members soprano Angela Mortellaro, baritone Gabrielle Preisser, and bass-baritone Brandon Cedel will be joined by tenor Christopher Tiesi and baritone Eric Dubin.  This event is part of Reform Congregation Kenneseth Israel's Community Concert Series. Tickets are $15 and are available at the door or by sending a check to KI Music Arts; 8339 Old York Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027. For more information on this event, visit kenesethisrael.org or call 215-887-8700.
 
Saturday, February 16, 2013 – 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Academy of Music
Journey behind the curtain of Silent Night during this FREE, family-based educational day at the Academy of Music. Children and their grownups can discover the world of opera and get in touch with their inner diva or divo through activities geared towards kids ages 5–10. PNC Arts Alive Family Day at the Opera promises a chance to walk on the time-honored stage of the Academy of Music and an opportunity to conduct the Opera Company Orchestra, as well as stage combat demonstrations, visits to the stars’ dressing rooms and more. Entrance times at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Learn more and registerat www.operaphila.org/familyday.
 
Contemporary Heroes: In Conversation with Today’s Veterans
Sunday, February 17, 2013 – 5:15 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
Academy of Music Rehearsal Hall
Following the final performance of Silent Night, join us in the Academy of Music Rehearsal Hall for a performance by the acclaimed artists from Warrior Writers and conversation about heroism, serving one’s country, and the contemporary soldier experience. Opera Philadelphia is honored to have veterans from Warrior Writers and the City of Philadelphia Veterans Advisory Commission participate in this conversation.  This free event is open to the public. 
 
 
Audio and Video Podcasts
The Opera Company of Philadelphia will present a series of podcasts leading up to the premiere of Silent Night, including artist interviews, composer and librettist interviews, plot synopsis, and more. 
 
The production of Silent Night is underwritten by the Wyncote Foundation, the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Music Project, and Mrs. Barbara August Teichert. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jacob Burns Foundation, Inc.