No. 3 • 2020-05-20

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#OperaOnTheCouch

Despite the current crisis, there’s never been more cultural content available online. We are fortunate to have in our city one of the most innovative opera companies in the world, who have added a unique offering this month.

In 2017, Opera Philadelphia launched the O Festival, exploring the present & future of opera with a focus on producing and premiering new works relevant for our times. The festival has explored a range of venues throughout the city, from the traditional opera house (Academy of Music) to in-place performances at the Philadelphia Museum of Art & the Barnes Foundation. Now the list includes your home.

Digital Festival O offers free streams of five productions, including four world premieres:

  • The groundbreaking Denis & Katya, a “social media opera” and one of the most innovative and thought-provoking works I’ve seen in recent years.
  • We Shall Not Be Moved, a profound work examining Philadelphia’s troubled history of community relations and education.
  • Sky on Swings, by composer (and friend of ExCITe) Lembit Beecher, premieres this week. It’s a poignant and moving view of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s, featuring the legendary Frederica von Stade.
  • The award-winning and highly provocative Breaking the Waves by composer Missy Mazzoli (based on the Lars von Trier film) premieres on May 29.

Most will remain available for streaming through August. I encourage you to experience these productions, while you can!

(Socially) Distant Creations

  • Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Virtual Showcase [Springside Chestnut Hill Academy] Check out more than 40 amazing proto ventures by high school students (seriously, it will make you feel better about our future). Then vote for your favorite by Fri at 5pm!
  • Bridging the Distance [World Cafe Live] Online music education resources, particularly for young people, from their Bridge Sessions program. Also check out the online Free at 1pm weekly live streams from guitarist and vocalist David Falcone every Friday!
  • Julius [Princeton Footnotes] Just an awesome a cappella rendition of this song, originally by Phish, put together by some college students up the road.
  • Artists Didn’t Wait… [Knight Foundation] A nice collection of digital projects and initiatives from arts and culture organizations around the country.
  • Remote recording music for Star Trek [TrekMovie.com] A story and interview about how post-production of Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 is being done remotely, including recording the musical score.

What I’m creating

Can’t let another Hamilton reference pass… especially this week, when it was announced that the 2016 performance of the OG Broadway cast will be available for streaming on Disney+ in July!

So, here’s a couple of Hamilton-themed videos I made in the early days of social distancing to share with friends. Mark your calendars for an online watch party on July 3!

  You’ll Be Back       Dear Theodosia  

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