Tuesday, August 19, 2014

EXTRA! The Boston Tea Party ... Opera ... 2014

Photo courtesy of www.bostonteapartyopera.com
Round Tabler Treasurer Jon Carriel submitted this review about an opera in New York City that might interest our readers.  But note:  The last performance is this Friday, August 22nd.  The Boston Tea Party Opera is presented as part of the New York Fringe Festival.  Details follow.

And now for something … completely different!  An opera about the Boston Tea Party composed (story, lyrics, and music) by ARRT-NY member Matthew Zachary (“Matt”) Johnson! 

Its time frame is not just the title December 1773 event, but includes many years leading up to it, including the Boston Massacre of March 1770. The story line involves a cross-section of Boston’s citizens in a series of sometimes-realistic, sometimes-fantastical vignettes, but is dominated by the dramatic conflict of Samuel Adams and Thomas Hutchinson. 

How well the opera will play to those with only faint memories of American History 101 I don’t know, but most Round Tablers should have little problem following the progression of events, which also involved the audience in the real debate of the era regarding the dangers and opportunities of defiance of the British Empire for the men and women of the time.

Musically, it’s radical only in the sense of being contrary to one’s expectation of it being annoying. (I confess to approaching any “classical” effort created in my lifetime with huge trepidation.)  There’s much to enjoy in its rhythmic riffs, vocal pyrotechnics, and harmonic sonorities. And the music is extremely well served by a young, enthusiastic cast of a dozen or so prodigious vocal talents. 

In short, it was certainly worth my time and may well be worth yours. 

Unfortunately, what I saw this afternoon was the fourth of only five performances of the current production. The last is this Friday, August 22nd, at 5:15 PM, at the very comfortable Sheen Center Loretto Theatre, which is a short walk from the Broadway-Lafayette subway station.

For more information, visit Matt Johnson's website: http://www.bostonteapartyopera.com/

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