The Italian Academy for Higher Studies will present the premiere of “Being Ariodante”
the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Colombia University will be present “Be Ariodante” on May 13-14, 2022.
The opera, which was written by American composer Jonathan Dawe, will be conducted by Benjamin Grow and stars Bryce McClendon, Dickie Hearts, Sydney Anderson, Richard Pittsinger, Cree Carrico, Vako Gvelesiani, Gil Sweeney and Chris Burns.
“Jonathan Dawe’s new opera explores the intersections between gender, sexuality and ability in contemporary Glasgow,” says the director Mari Moriarty in an official press release. “It pays homage to the romance of Handel’s 18th century opera while forcing the audience to consider the random and brutal nature of life in today’s world. The story is told in Italian, English and American Sign Language and follows the opera-obsessed twenties Ariodante as he struggles to live a different life from Handel’s character Ariodante that he is convinced that he is destined to play. With deaf and hard of hearing performers on and off stage, Be Ariodante represents a new wave of what contemporary opera can be.
The work was originally scheduled to be presented in April 2020, but had to be delayed due to the spread of COVID-19.
“I am thrilled to bring this new work to life after several difficult postponements,” Grow added. “Dawe ingeniously brings together familiar and ancient chords with multiple languages, including American Sign Language, to enhance the drama of the story. This powerful combination must be a first for contemporary American opera.
Performances will take placeto the Italian Academy on the camp of Colombia New York University.