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- Classical Music Experiences

Encompass New Opera Theatre

Administrative Offices:
138 South Oxford Street
Suite 1A
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Tel: (718) 398-4675
Fax: (718) 398-4684

In May 2000, Opera America honored Encompass and Founding Artistic Director Nancy Rhodes for "25 Years of Dynamic Leadership." Well-known Pianist and Conductor Mara Waldman is the Music Director/Conductor of Encompass. Among the many innovative new works staged by Nancy Rhodes at Encompass are the world premieres of Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble, Richard Engquist and Doug Katsaras' musical Elizabeth and Essex, which starred Estelle Parsons, Florence Lacey, and Richard White; Only Heaven by Ricky Ian Gordon, based on poetry of Langston Hughes, which she co-conceived with the composer; and Arif Mardin's opera, I Will Wait; American premieres of George Antheil's 1920s jazz opera Transatlantic and Venus in Africa; and recently the New York premiere of Russian composer Grigori Frid's compelling opera, The Diary of Anne Frank, which went on tour, playing four sold-out performances at the Cleveland Opera's 1,000-seat Ohio Theatre.

Voice Afire Pocket Opera and Cabaret
New on the NY scene since 2010, Voice Afire is directed by Ray Luedeke. In 2012 Ray's re-invention of Puccini, Butterfly's Trouble, was produced off off Broadway and received rave reviews. Voice Afire is collaborating with Opera Company of Brooklyn and with Encompass New Opera Theatre for productions of Butterfly's Trouble and of Viva Pablo Neruda, an original pocket opera.

Gotham Chamber Opera (tel. 212/868-4460; www.gothamchamberopera.org)
The Gotham Chamber Opera specializes in premieres and lesser-known works performed in interesting site-specific settings. Some of the most remarkable productions I've seen in years have been by this company: Respighi's La Bella Dormente Nel Bosco with Basil Twist's puppetry and Haydn's Il Mondo della Luna in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. If you love opera, it's worth arranging your trip to be in New York when the Gotham Chamber Opera is doing a production.

Dicapo Opera Theatre
(184 East 76th St.; tel. 212/288-9438; www.dicapo.com)
This company presents an annual season of fully-staged operas with a 30-piece orchestra in its own beautiful theater on the Upper East Side. Dicapo does classic works and contemporary operas as well as an "Opera for Kids" series.

Amore Opera
(tel. 888/811-4111; www.amoreopera.org) and Bleecker Street Opera (45 Bleecker St.; tel. 212/239-6200; www.bleeckerstreetopera.org)
When the beloved Amato Opera closed after 60 years, opera veterans from the company went on to form two new companies: Amore Opera and Bleecker Street Opera.
Using some of the old sets, costumes, and props from the Amato Opera, the Amore Opera Company focuses on traditional opera with fully-staged productions. It also offers family-friendly "Opera-in-Brief" comic opera performances.
The Bleecker Street Opera, run by Mr. Amato's niece, is dedicated to presenting new operatic works by living composers. This company sponsors a New Opera Composers Forum and gives the public a chance to hear new operas such as Strange Fruit by composer Chandler Carter (www.chandlercarter.com).`

Chelsea Opera (tel. 212/260-1796; www.chelseaopera.org)
The company produces standard, modern, and new works with professional singers and a chamber orchestra at St. Peter's Church in Chelsea. By making opera affordable, the company serves the community and attracts first-timers. Chelsea Opera also runs a concert series at The New Church on East 35th St.

Opera Manhattan Repertory Theatre
(tel. 917/583-4335; www.operamanhattan.com)
OMRT was created to give young and emerging singers a chance to "put on a show." In addition to being in the spotlight, they make the costumes and paint the sets. The company also gives opportunities to first-time musical directors and puts on a One-Act Opera Festival.

Harlem Opera Theater (tel. 212/592-0780; www.harlemoperatheater.org)
Harlem Opera Theater's mission is to present classical music and opera to the underserved Harlem neighborhood. The music of Handel, Mozart, and Puccini is presented along with the works of African-American composers of classical music and spirituals. The performances feature emerging talent and professional classical singers from the Harlem community.

Opera Company of Brooklyn (tel. 212/567-3283; www.operabrooklyn.com)
The Opera Company of Brooklyn develops young talent and introduces new audiences to opera. (Many of their singers have gone on to work in regional opera companies across the U.S. and in Europe). Best of all, it has a BYOB policy -- that's right, you bring the drinks, they provide the glasses and snacks!

Regina Opera Company
(Regina Hall, 65th St. &12th Ave., Brooklyn; tel. 718/259-2772; www.reginaopera.org)
Regina Opera performs traditional operas in Italian and French, as well as operettas in English. These are fully-staged productions with professional singers and a 30-piece orchestra. The company, which has been at the Regina Hall location for 40 years, also gives Sunday matinee concerts and free concerts at public venues.

The Bronx Opera Company (tel. 718/365-4209; www.bronxopera.org)
Every year, The Bronx Opera presents two productions -- a well-known opera (in January) and a rarely-performed one (in May). These are sung in English by talented performers with a full chorus and The Orchestra of The Bronx. In addition, the company presents concerts of opera excerpts throughout the year. Since several of the singers have gone on to illustrious careers, you might be listening to potential divas.

Saturday Night Opera Treat

Taci Opera Nights (Papillon Bistro, 22 East 54 St.; tel. 212/866-0111; www.caffetaci.com) Minimums: Dinner ($35), Bar ($15); no cover charge.
In the upstairs lounge, on Saturday nights "from 8pm till late," you can hear young professionals as well as established singers in Taci's showcase. ("Taci" is Italian for "be quiet," meaning give some respect to the performers).
With such a wide variety of operatic offerings in New York, there's no need to wait for the Met's season to begin. And, if you've never been to an opera, these companies make it affordable enough to give it a try.

NYC Concert Venues
92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue between 91st and 92nd Streets http://www.92y.org/concerts

Barge Music (102-foot long converted barge on the Brooklyn waterfront) 
Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn


Brooklyn Academy of Music
(music, dance, film and theater)
30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Philharmonic
Cantori (40-voice chamber chorus, often doing 20th century music)

Carnegie Hall (original home of the New York Philharmonic) 
Seventh Avenue and 57th Street

Church of St. Ignatius Loyola

980 Park Avenue at 83rd Street

Church of St. Luke in the Fields

487 Hudson Street at Grove Street 

Church of St. Vincent Ferrer

Lexington Avenue at 66th Street

Corpus Christi Church 
529 West 121st Street at Broadway

Music Before 1800

The Kitchen

512 West 19th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues

Knitting Factory

361 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn


Juilliard School (free student recitals almost daily)
60 Lincoln Center Plaza, between 64th and 65th Streets 

Lincoln Center (includes Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall)
62nd - 66th Streets and Broadway 

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center


Metropolitan Opera

New York City Opera

New York City Ballet

New York Philharmonic


Manhattan School of Music
120 Claremont Avenue at Seminary Row

Mannes College of Music
150 West 85th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam 

Merkin Concert Hall

129 W. 67th Street, between Broadway and Ninth Avenue

Festival Chamber Music

Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Avenue at 81st Street 

Miller Theatre at Columbia University 
Broadway at 116th Street

Columbia University Orchestra


Music at Our Saviour's Atonement

178 Bennett Avenue at West 189thStreet


New York Collegium

Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Queens College
65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, Queens


St. Ann's Warehouse
(wide variety of music/theater/multimedia works) 
38 Water Street, Brooklyn 

Symphony Space
Broadway and 95th Street

Actually, in Symphony Space there are two halls. From the website:
Our 756-seat Peter Jay Sharp Theatre with proscenium stage and fixed seating is available for rental 7 days a week 9:30 am to 12 am (Sundays after 2 pm only). Our 168-seat Leonard Nimoy Thalia with platform stage is available for rental 7 days a week 9:30 am to 12 am (Sundays until 2 pm only).

Town Hall
123 W. 43rd Street, between Sixth Avenue and Broadway

Much the most interesting things happening in New York are not happening at The New York Philharmonic, or at The Metropolitan Opera, or on Broadway, venerable artistic institutions to be sure.

The best and most creative things are happening in smaller spaces and are being done by smaller groups for smaller audiences. Thanks in part to the Internet, the arts world has splintered into a myriad of small, sparkling shards. New York is bristling and bustling with creativity in music, in theater, in dance, and in art......Alfama Arts

logoDulce Horta, Director
452 Ft. Washington Ave.
Suite 41
New York NY 10033
Phone: (646) 370-4802
Cell: (646) 639-4216