Opera at the Fringe: May 15–29
The Companion and Safe Word (from Three Way)
Six performances at the Yellow Venue (Goldman Theater)
Orlando Shakespeare Theater, 812 E. Rollins St., Orlando, Florida
Wednesday, May 16th 6:30pm
Friday, May 18th 10:00pm
Wednesday, May 23rd 8:15pm
Thursday, May 24th 9:00pm
Saturday, May 26th 7:15pm
Sunday, May 27th 10:45pm
Opera Orlando’s first appearance at the Orlando Fringe’s signature festival features two contemporary, boundary-stretching, one-act operas from composer Robert Paterson and librettist David Cote by arrangement with Bill Holab music. The operas will be directed by Eric Pinder, Opera Orlando's director in residence.
Not so far in the future, workaholic Maya lives with her android lover, Joe. This interactive programmed Companion looks and sounds perfect (despite the occasional pop-up ad). But is perfect always better? While installing new experimental software in Joe, computer technician Dax will put Maya’s true desires to the test.
Mistress Salomé is a high-priced dominatrix in a private dungeon, and today she has a new client, a cocky businessman who pays to be humiliated. Despite their “safe word,” the role playing soon spirals out of control as the two fight for power and take the session to places neither expected.
David Cote (librettist) is a playwright, librettist and arts journalist based in New York City. Operas include Three Way with Robert Paterson (Brooklyn Academy of Music & Nashville Opera); The Scarlet Ibis (Prototype festival, NYC) and Fade with Stefan Weisman; and Blind Injustice for Cincinnati Opera (world premiere 2019). The Scarlet Ibis will get a new production with Chicago Opera Theater in February 2019. The original cast album of Three Way was recently released on American Modern Recordings. David’s song cycle with Robert Paterson, In Real Life, has been performed in Austin, TX and NYC. David wrote the text for Nkeiru Okoye’s story for baritone and orchestra, Invitation to a Die-In, dedicated to the memory of Trayvon Martin. Plays include Otherland and Fear of Art. As an actor and director, David worked with avant-garde icon Richard Foreman, Iranian exile Assurbanipal Babilla, and writer-director Richard Maxwell. More at davidcote.com. Follow @davidcote
Robert Paterson (composer) has been cited as a “modern day master” (axs.com) and his work praised as the “highlight of the program” (The New York Times). Audiences and critics love his music for its elegance, wit, and wonderful sense of color. Paterson has written over one hundred works and won awards for his music in virtually every classical genre. He was named The Composer of The Year from the Classical Recording Foundation, and honored with a performance and celebration at Carnegie’s Weill Hall in 2011. His music has been on the Grammy ballot yearly, and his works were selected as ‘Best Music of 2012’ on National Public Radio. His works have been played by the Louisville Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Austin Symphony, Vermont Symphony, BargeMusic, Albany Symphony’s Dogs of Desire, among others. Paterson’s choral works were recorded by Musica Sacra under maestro Kent Tritle, with a world premiere performance at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. 2017-18 season highlights include The Nashville Opera world premiere of Three Way, followed by the New York City premiere at BAM in Brooklyn. The New York Premiere of his opera, The Whole Truth with a libretto by Mark Campbell, sold out in 2016 at Dixon Place in New York City. Other recent premieres include Shine for the American Brass Quintet, Moon Trio for the Claremont Trio, and Graffiti Canons for the Volti Choir of San Francisco. Notable awards include the Utah Arts Festival Annual Commission, the Copland Award, and the ASCAP Young Composer Awards. Paterson has received a three-year Music Alive! grant from the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA, as well as fellowships to Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Aspen Music Festival. Paterson holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (BM), Indiana University (MM), and Cornell University (DMA). Paterson gives master classes at colleges and universities, most recently at the Curtis Institute of Music, New York University, and Cleveland Institute of Music. Paterson is the Artistic Director of the Mostly Modern Festival and the American Modern Ensemble and resides in New York City with his wife Victoria, and their son, Dylan.