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On Site Opera returns to the Waterfront aboard The Historic Lightship Ambrose with Puccini’s Il Tabarro in partnership with the South Street Seaport Museum

May 14, 2023 - May 17, 2023

On Site Opera, New York’s pioneering opera company rooted in site-specific storytelling and the immersive experience, in partnership with the South Street Seaport Museum, brings drama and tragedy to Pier 16 on and around the historic lightship Ambrose with Puccini and Adami’s Il tabarro (The Cloak), May 14-17. This immersive outdoor musical experience follows last April’s production of Gianni Schicchi as part of the company’s multi-year cycle of Puccini’s Il Trittico.

On Site Opera music director Geoffrey McDonald conducts, and visual artist and opera director Laine Rettmer guest directs this brooding one act opera of a jealous love triangle that turns deadly on the banks of the Seine River. Staged on the lightship and on the pier where the audience is seated, the historic seaport offers the sights and sounds of 1900’s Paris where barge owner Michele, portrayed by baritone Eric McKeever, suspects his wife Giorgetta, sung by soprano Ashley Milanese, of being unfaithful with dockhand Luigi, sung by tenor Yi Li. Packed with side plots and richly-drawn characters portrayed by tenor Jose Heredia (Tinca), bass-baritone Artega Wright (Talpa), contralto Sharmay Musacchio (La Frugola) and tenor Dane Suarez (Song Seller), the opera reaches its dramatic conclusion when Michele unexpectedly catches his wife’s lover at the strike of a match and strangles him to death. With sweeping melodies and fast-moving drama, Il Tabarro sees the great opera composer at the very height of his skills while showcasing the depth and breadth of On Site Opera’s expanding repertoire.

“I am thrilled to be stage directing Il tabarro for On Site Opera,” notes Laine Rettmer “I’ve been making site-specific operas in New York for over a decade and have served on On Site’s Artistic Advisory Council since 2019,” they continue. “What we have planned for this next installment of Puccini’s Il Trittico promises to be the perfect marriage of found site and libretto. Set on and around the South Street Seaport Museum’s lightship Ambrose, this opera will be an immersive event that invites you to revel in Adami’s fast-paced, heartbreaking story of passion, jealousy, and murder. You will experience the overlay of 2023 merging into 1916 in this engrossing 50-minute tale set against the setting sun on New York City’s Seaport.”

“After the recent announcement that I will be stepping down as General & Artistic Director at end of 2023, I am very excited to introduce new stage directors to On Site Opera’s audiences,” adds Eric Einhorn. “Laine has been a key member of our Artistic Advisory Council since its inception, and their work as an innovative and sensitive storyteller make them a perfect fit for this production. I am looking forward to supporting Laine and Geoff’s leadership on this production which will, no doubt, be as gripping and engaging as any of our past productions.”

“The Seaport Museum welcomes On Site Opera back to Pier 16 in the East River, for performances aboard the lightship Ambrose,” said Capt. Jonathan Boulware, President and CEO, South Street Seaport Museum. “What better way to enjoy spring in New York City than an opera onsite on the waterfront? Join us and On Site Opera for Il tabarro afloat!

The company will complete the multi-year cycle with Suor Angelica in an upcoming season.

Il tabarro will have four performances, May 14-17 at 6:30 p.m. The running time is 60 minutes.
Sung in Italian with English translations available through mobile device.

Tickets are $60 and on sale at https://osopera.org/productions/tabarro/

Pier 16 is located at Fulton and South Streets. It is accessible by trains A, C, 2, 3, J, Z, 4, or 5 or busses M-15 SBS or M-15 to Fulton Street. Ambrose is also accessible by the NYC Ferry and New York Waterway Ferry to Pier 11, as well as the Staten Island Ferry to Whitehall Terminal.

Il tabarro (1918)
Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Librettist: Giuseppi Adami

Stage Director: Laine Rettmer
Conductor: Geoffrey McDonald
Costume Designer: Howard Tsvi Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Shawn Kaufman
Props Designer: Rachel Kenner
Sound Designer: Scott Stauffer
Stage Manager: Mariko Takizawa
Assistant Stage Manager: TaTyana Smith
Hair & Makeup Designer: Gabrielle Vincent

Ensemble in alphabetical order
Ensemble Mezzo: Claire Coven
Ensemble Soprano: Yohji Daquio
Ensemble Soprano: Lindsey Kanaga
Ensemble Baritone / Michele Cover: Paul LaRosa
Ensemble Bass / Talpa Cover: Brian McQueen
Ensemble Tenor / Tinca, Song Seller, Lover Cover: Daniel Rosenberg
Ensemble Soprano: Theodora Siegel
Ensemble Soprano / Giorgetta Cover: Kiena Williams
Ensemble Mezzo / La Frugola Cover: JoAnna Vladyka

Featuring members of the American Modern Ensemble
On Site Opera presents Puccini’s Il tabarro on and around the South Street Seaport Museum’s lightship Ambrose, May 14-17. Part of the company’s multi-year cycle of Il Trittico, this site-specific and immersive production brings a deadly love triangle rife with jealousy and suspicion to the waterfront of New York City.

Founded in 2012, New York City-based On Site Opera is the country’s leading presenter of site-specific operas in non- traditional venues. Rooted in collaboration and storytelling, On Site Opera celebrates the connection between artist and audience through highly curated experiences led by exciting opera artists and bold and innovative creative teams. Each On Site Opera production invites New Yorkers to explore their city in new and unique ways, while cultivating a new generation of opera audiences. To date, OSO has produced 19 operas in as many unique locations to critical acclaim, including the Bronx Zoo, Harlem’s historic Cotton Club, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the American Museum of Natural History, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Committed to exploring new technology to make opera more accessible, OSO was the first opera company to employ Google Glass supertitles, and the company has currently developed its own mobile app for multi-language translations and digital program information.

Following extended COVID-related theater closures in 2020, On Site Opera was recognized as a leading organization in reimagining opera, bringing productions to audiences around the world through the telephone, by mail, and online in inventive and creative productions.
For more information, visit https://osopera.org.

Follow On Site Opera on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @onsiteopera

The South Street Seaport Museum, located in the heart of the South Street Seaport Historic District in New York City, preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Founded in 1967, the Museum houses an extensive collection of works of art and artifacts, a maritime reference library, exhibition galleries and education spaces, working nineteenth century print shops, and an active fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of “Where New York Begins.” seaportmuseum.org

#SouthStreetSeaportMuseum #WhereNewYorkBegins
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A National Historic Landmark, Ambrose (1908) was built as a floating lighthouse to guide ships safely from the Atlantic Ocean into the largest shipping channel in and out of the ports of New York and New Jersey—the Ambrose Channel. In her role as navigational aid, she was witness to the largest period of immigration in U.S. history, seeing some six million immigrants pass her station. After her half-century career, she was donated to the newly-formed South Street Seaport Museum by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1968.


May 14, 2023
May 17, 2023


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