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American Modern Opera Company announces El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered at Opera Omaha

December 11, 2023

American Modern Opera Company (AMOC*) celebrates Latin American poets and the voices of women with its production of John Adams’ El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered, a chamber-music arrangement with libretto by Peter Sellars and concept by AMOC* member Julia Bullock at the Lied Education Center for the Arts at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, December 11, 2023 at 7:30 pm.

El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered at Opera Omaha / Creighton University
Monday, December 11, 2023 at 7:30 pm
Lied Education Center for the Arts, 2500 California Plz # 101, Omaha, NE 68178
Tickets start at $35 are and are available at operaomaha.org/el-nino.

El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered
Music by John Adams
Libretto compilation by Peter Sellars
Concept and musical selections by Julia Bullock
Musical Arrangement by Christian Reif
An AMOC* production

El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered features AMOC* members soprano Julia Bullock, bass-baritone Davóne Tines,pianist Conor Hanick, percussionist Jonny Allen, violinists Miranda Cuckson and Keir GoGwilt, cellist Coleman Itzkoff, Doug Balliett on double bass, with special guest artists: contralto Jasmin White, countertenor Kyle Tingzon, violinists Miran Kim and Qianwan Shen, violists Zoë Martin-Doike and Carrie Frey, cellist Seth Parker Woods, double bass, Christopher Johnson, flutist Tod Brody, oboist Roni Gal-ed, clarinetist Gleb Kanasevich,bassoonist Alex Davis, horn player Priscilla Rinehart, keyboardist John Arida, and guitarist Jordan Dodson.

El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered will be conducted by Christian Reif, who created the new arrangement and premiered the initial, distilled arrangement as part of Julia Bullock’s residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where The New York Times called it “intimate, affecting and quietly rich with activism.”

“When devising this distilled rendering of El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered, it was always with the hopeful intention to bring this music and poetry to as many people as possible. What a gorgeous opportunity to share the magnificence and magic of El Niño with more communities and individuals,” said Bullock.

El Niño will continue touring around the United States, making stops at Stanford University in Stanford, California; Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut; and finally in New York, presented by The Cathedral of St. John the Divine as a new holiday tradition where they will be joined by New York guest musicians and The Choir of Trinity Wall Street.

El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered at Stanford Live
Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 7:30 pm
Bing Concert Hall, 327 Lasuen Street, Stanford, CA 94305
Tickets start at $55 are and are available at https://live.stanford.edu/calendar/december-2023/el-ni%C3%B1o-nativity-reconsidered.

El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered at Yale University Schwarzman Center / Commons
Friday, December 15, 2023 at 7:30 pm
168 Grove Street, New Haven, CT 06511

El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered presented by The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC
Featuring AMOC* with The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, conducted by Christian Reif
Thursday, December 21, 2023 at 7:30 pm
1047 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025
Tickets are “Choose-What-You-Pay” (ranging from $5-125) and are available online at https://www.stjohndivine.org/calendar/44877/el-nino-nativity-reconsidered or in person at The Cathedral’s box office.

“El Nino is one of my favorite pieces of music,” said Bullock. “It’s one of John and Peter’s greatest collaborations.”

“We believe that El Niño is a resonant part of the holiday canon and are thrilled to make our Opera Omaha debut with it,” said Courtenay Casey, Executive Director, American Modern Opera Company.

About AMOC*
AMOC* (American Modern Opera Company), founded in 2017 by Matthew Aucoin and Zack Winokur, builds and shares a body of collaborative work. As a group of dancers, singers, musicians, writers, directors, composers, choreographers, and producers united by a core set of values, AMOC* artists pool their resources to create new pathways that connect creators and audiences in surprising and visceral ways.

Our 2023/24 season proposes a dialogue between neglected histories and uncertain futures, from colonial legacies to today’s climate crisis. With two significant world premieres, a US-tour launch, a new work in Paris, and our continued commitment to developing multidisciplinary works, this season showcases groundbreaking American artistry on an international scale. In December 2023, we celebrate Latin American poets and the voices of women with John Adams’ El Niño: Nativity Reconsidered, a chamber music arrangement written specifically for AMOC*. El Niño will tour to Creighton University, Stanford Live, and Yale University before returning to The Cathedral of St. John the Divine for a second year. Spring 2024 also marks the world premiere of two AMOC* commissions: Music for New Bodies, composed by AMOC* Co-Founder Matthew Aucoin, is a staged song cycle based on recent poems by Jorie Graham. This new work, co-created with director Peter Sellars, explores humankind’s impact on the planet and the presence of immense cycles beyond our control. The work premieres as a co-commission with Da Camara of Houston and Rice University on April 20th at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. In June, Comet/Poppea, a co-production with Anthony Roth Costanzo, Cath Brittan, and The Industry debuts at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles. Conceived and directed by Yuval Sharon and composed by George Lewis, with a libretto by Douglas Kearney, Comet/Poppea juxtaposes W.E.B. DuBois’ short story The Comet with Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea—framing both a rebuke of opera and a celebration of the form’s radical potential.

Simultaneously, AMOC* continues developing new works, including a multidisciplinary triptych by artistic duo Gerard & Kelly combining music, dance, and film that focuses on Julius Eastman’s life and legacy – in partnership with Los Angeles-based music collective, Wild Up. The first part of this triptych, Gay Guerrilla, premiered in July at the Centre Pompidou (Paris) in partnership with the Opéra national de Paris, & Compagnie, AMOC*, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, with the support of enoa and the Creative Europe program of the European Union.

More works will be announced later this season. For more information, visit runningamoc.org.

About Opera Omaha
Opera Omaha is a growth-minded, high energy, and innovative company with a demanding mission: producing opera performances in multiple formats and styles and co-creating artist-led programs for a variety of community service organizations. We believe the power of opera is transformational, and as a result supports the creation of an inventive, creative, empathetic, and inclusive community that inspires joy, self-discovery, kinder discourse, and opportunity for all.


December 11, 2023