UrbanArias has partnered with eight other American opera companies to create a newly commissioned operatic video series, Tales From a Safe Distance, inspired by Boccaccio’s The Decameron. Each company is contributing one chapter and UrbanArias has commissioned director/librettist John de los Santos and composer Marc Migó to write The Roost, a sexy comedy about expecting parents in lockdown. Sharin Apostolou and Ryan MacPherson, the couple playing the couple in the opera are married in real life and pregnant as well.
In the most ambitious operatic commission to emerge from the global pandemic, the newly formed Decameron Opera Coalition, comprised of nine U.S.-based companies and one creative team, will premiere Tales from a Safe Distance with a multi-week virtual release, in October 2020. The Decameron is the tale of ten people who are quarantined together outside of Florence during the Black Plague in the 14th-century. Tales from a Safe Distance reimagines this story, to reflect the way people are connecting with each other through technology during this extraordinary time in the world’s history. Episodes will be released weekly, featuring multiple stories from participating companies and unique creative teams.
The host of the project, providing a musical and dramatic prologue & epilogue for this unique and unforgettable new work, is the acclaimed Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni.
About the Project
The Decameron Opera Coalition aims to keep opera vibrant, new work thriving, singers singing, and audiences enthralled, even in these alarming times, through a new collaboration of unprecedented scope. Nine independent opera companies from across the United States: Resonance Works [Pittsburgh], Lyric Opera of the North [Duluth], UrbanArias [Washington DC], Bare Opera [NYC], Opera in the Heights [Houston], Chicago Fringe Opera, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, and An Opera Theatre [Minneapolis], along with composer and librettist Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi (The Last American Hammer) comprise the Coalition. In total, ten teams of contemporary opera’s most vital and diverse creative voices have been commissioned to illuminate America’s indispensable indie opera scene, with a dedication to new sounds, unparalleled storytelling, and underrepresented voices. Independent opera companies are where new audiences are born, where discerning opera appetites are fed, where new work is incubated, and where talent is nurtured.
Tales from a Safe Distance – Weekly Release Schedule:
Both Gladsome and Grievous – October 9, 2020
“The Happy Hour” (Introduction)
“Everything Comes to a Head” (Lyric Opera of the North)
“The Late Walk” (Bare Opera)
Prompted by Appetite – October 16, 2020
“Dinner 4 3” (Fargo-Moorhead Opera)
“The Roost” (UrbanArias)
So Noble a Heart – October 23, 2020
“Orsa Ibernata” (Milwaukee Opera Theatre)
“Seven Spells” (Opera in the Heights)
“The Sky Where You Are” (An Opera Theatre)
The Bolts of Fortune – October 30, 2020
“Sourdough: Rise Up” (Resonance Works)
“Corsair” (Chicago Fringe Opera) “The Happy Hour” (Finale)