When the centuries old form of opera smashes headlong into contemporary theatre, this exciting hybrid experience is what you get. You aren’t a passive member of the audience, you are in the midst of the action, right there, on the carnival fairgrounds.
Hubbard Hall Opera Theater in Cambridge, New York will host the Boston-based company Guerilla Opera in an acclaimed new production of Heart of a Dog, loosely-based on the novella by Mikhail Bulgakov, music and libretto by Rudolf Rojahn, directed by Copeland Woodruff. Heart of a Dog runs Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29 at 8pm, and Sunday, Sept. 30 at 2pm at Hubbard Hall, 25 E. Main Street Cambridge, NY 12816. (40 minutes and sung in English)
Listen to the alluring banter of a belligerent carnival barker as he navigates you through a twisted carnival sideshow where the main attraction is a unique performance by a bizarre troupe of actors. Utilizing an arsenal of bunraku puppets the troupe tells a dark tale of a scientist’s overly successful experiment of implanting human glands into the body of a stray dog. But the grandeur of the scientific achievement is overshadowed by the misery of living with the half-dog/half-woman whose varied appetites and manipulations prove disastrous for all.
“I’d long been a fan of Bulgakov’s fiction so when I began thinking about writing a short opera in 2007 Heart of a Dog seemed like it could be a perfect fit. The piece came out in a creative rage of less than two months and when I listen to it now, three years later, I can hear the raw and crunchy sonoric exuberance of a younger version of myself. I wanted to tear down the performance space with massive walls of sound while four tragic puppets acted out their black comedy.” – Rudolf Rojahn, Composer and Artistic Director
Talkback: Join Guerilla Opera and the Heart of a Dog creative team for talk-backs immediately following each performance.
Heart of a Dog runs Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29 at 8pm, and Sunday, Sept. 30 at 2pm at Hubbard Hall, 25 E. Main Street Cambridge, NY 12816. ADVISORY: Contains some adult content and use of strobe lights. Please wear comfortable footwear as audience members will be standing, and walking frequently, during the performances. There are no audience seats available. Tickets for all performances are now on sale. Admission is pay-what-you-will with a minimum of $15.00; This opera accommodates a limited number of people so advanced reservations are strongly suggested. Tickets can be purchased from Hubbard Hall directly at 518-677-2495 or online at www.hubbardhall.org.
These performances of Heart of a Dog are made possible through the generosity of Season Sponsors Timothy & Jane Gillette, The Amphion Foundation, Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, and The Boston Conservatory.
ABOUT GUERILLA OPERA
Guerilla Opera is a collaborative performing ensemble, and independent 501(c)3 organization, whose mission is to commission new chamber operas written specifically for their ensemble of artists, to perform in intimate theatrical settings, and to perform in a highly collaborative environment resulting from the direct communication between performers without a conductor or formal music director. The ensemble envisions a national community where serious new chamber opera and ensemble performance are valued and enjoyed. They will bring exciting new works to Boston and beyond, connect with communities nation-wide, and reinvigorate the concert-going public’s love for new opera. For more information please visit www.guerillaopera.com.
ABOUT HUBBARD HALL OPERA THEATER
Building off of the rich tradition of arts in the Cambridge Valley, Hubbard Hall Opera Theater (HHOT) seeks to bring yet another element of culture to an already bustling center. HHOT’s mission is to provide classically trained singers and instrumentalists in New England and upstate New York greater opportunities to create something beautiful close to home, while also giving rural audiences the chance to enjoy an opera without having to spend the night in a city to do so. They also enjoy providing young artists with the chance to perform key roles in a nurturing environment alongside experienced field professionals.r
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Rudolf Rojahn holds a M.M. in composition from The Boston Conservatory and was awarded the Roger Sessions Award for academic and creative excellence. He is a founding artist and co-artistic director of Guerilla Opera, for which he has written three operas with original librettos; from 2005-2010 he was the composer-in-residence for The Ludovico Ensemble; from 2004-2006 he ran the Proletariat Tanning Salon, which paired young composers with visual artists. He has been commissioned and performed by the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, Juventas New Music Ensemble, Lorelei Ensemble, Arbelos Trio, Green Light Consortium, and artists Gabriela Diaz, Kent O’Doherty, and Rane Moore, among others. Currently he is collaborating on a new opera with the El Paso Opera. He teaches harmony and ear training at the New England Conservatory’s School for Continuing and Preparatory Education and at The Boston Conservatory, for which he is writing a textbook on advanced rhythmic training and theory entitled Complexity in Rhythm. (www.rudolfrojahn.com)
Christopher Webb, actor (Carnival Barker)
Brian Church, Baritone (Doctor)
Aliana de la Guardia, soprano (Dog/Police)**
Patrick Massey, tenor (Assistant)
Jan Zimmerman, soprano (Housekeeper)
Kent O’Doherty, saxophone (Suitor)**
Brenda van der Merwe, viola
Javier Caballero, cello
Mike Williams, percussion**
Rudolf Rojahn, Composer & Librettist**
Copeland Woodruff, Stage Director
Julia Noulin-Mérat, Set Designer
Tláloc López-Watermann, Lighting Designer
Neil Fortin, Costume Designer (Original Costume Design by Adrienne Carlile)
Caryn M. Boehm, Production & Stage Manager
Helen Ammon & John Jalandoni, Assistant Set Designers
Sean Cote, Puppet Designer
Mark DiGiovanni, Technical Director