Charlie Parker to Return to the Apollo Theater in Gotham Chamber Opera Season
The real Charlie Parker played the Apollo Theater. And next year the tenor Lawrence Brownlee will portray Charlie Parker there when a new opera exploring his life and work is given its New York premiere at the Apollo as part of Gotham Chamber Opera’s 15th-anniversary season.
The opera, “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird,” with music by Daniel Schnyder and a libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly, will be given its world premiere this June at Opera Philadelphia with Mr. Brownlee, an acclaimed bel canto tenor, in the title role. Gotham will bring it to New York next spring as part of the second NY Phil Biennial, the Philharmonic’s new music festival.
Gotham, a small company known for presenting adventurous works, will also look to the past for its anniversary season: in February it plans to present a rare staging of Alessandro Stradella’s 1675 oratorio “San Giovanni Battista” (Saint John the Baptist), in a co-production with the Netherlands Nationale ReisOpera. (A young Maria Callas sang Salome in it.)
The Gotham production, which will be conducted by the company’s founder, Neal Goren, will feature the sopranos Maeve Höglund and Harolyn Blackwell; the countertenor Timothy Mead; the tenor Peter Tantsits; and the bass Joseph Beutel. The venue has not yet been announced.
The company is also planning to present a 15th-anniversary concert in the fall, the details of which have not yet been announced, and a concert at Le Poisson Rouge featuring the music of David Hertzberg.