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South Street Seaport Museum announces Opera In Depth: Exploring What Lies Beneath

August 17, 2021

South Street Seaport Museum announces Opera In Depth: Exploring What Lies Beneath, a virtual discussion on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 7:30pm, in advance of On Site Opera’s upcoming production of What Lies Beneath specifically designed for the 1885 tall ship Wavertree. Join artists and members of the creative team for a conversation about what it takes to create an opera on the deck of a historic ship. Reserve free tickets at seaportmuseum.org/osopera.

How do composers choose which stories they tell? What is it like to produce live performances in today’s climate? Hosted by Laura Norwitz, Senior Director of Programs and Education, South Street Seaport Museum; moderated by Eric Einhorn, Co-Director, What Lies Beneath; and with panelists Winston A Benons, Jr., Co-Director/Cultural Advocate; James Davis, Jr., Conductor; Damien Geter, Composer; and mezzo-soprano Tesia Kwarteng, the discussion will be presented virtually, broadcast from onboard the 1885 tall ship Wavertree, with panelists joining from various locations. A brief Q&A will follow. This virtual event is free and available to all, regardless of plans to see the opera.

What Lies Beneath will be performed August 28-September 2, 2021. Performances are free, with a suggested ticket donation of $40. Reserve tickets at osopera.org/productions/what-lies-beneath/.

Combining song, story, history, and movement as the company returns to live performance, What Lies Beneath is a site-specific and immersive experience aboard Wavertree. Wavertree is designated on the National Register of Historic Places and represents the thousands of ships that docked along New York’s waterfront over the centuries. Built of riveted wrought iron in 1885, Wavertree is an archetype of the sailing ships of the latter half of the 19th century that, during the “age of sail,” lined South Street by the dozens, creating a forest of masts from the Battery to the Brooklyn Bridge.

From the enticements used to lure Africans into enslavement to Captain Ahab’s final moments of moral reckoning aboard the whaling ship Pequod in Moby Dick, What Lies Beneath is a series of six unique vignettes featuring works from Amistad, by Anthony Davis & Thulani Davis, Ahab, a monodrama by Juliana Hall & Caitlin Vincent, 1619, a choral song cycle by Damien Geter, Billy Budd, by Benjamin Britten, E.M. Forester, & Eric Crozier, Sea Fever, by John Ireland & John Masefield and Riders to the Sea, by Ralph Vaughn Williams and John Millington Sygne. On the heels of their most recent project, The Road We Came, a 3-part walking tour through Black Music History, What Lies Beneath continues to use opera and music to explore themes of social justice, racial inequality and history’s continuing impact on the lens through which the world is experiencing today.

About On Site Opera
Founded in 2012, On Site Opera is the leading presenter of site-specific operas in non- traditional venues throughout New York City. Rooted in collaboration and storytelling, On Site Opera celebrates the connection between artist and audience through highly-curated experiences led by seasoned opera artists and bold and innovative creative teams. To date, OSO has produced 18 operas in as many unique locations to critical acclaim, including Shostakovich’s The Tale of The Silly Baby Mouse using large-scale puppets in performances for families at the Bronx Zoo; Gershwin’s Blue Mondayin the historic Cotton Club of Harlem; and Rameau’s Pygmalion in Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, which explored new technology in opera through the use of Google Glass supertitles. Each production invites New Yorkers to explore their city in new and unique ways, while cultivating a new generation of opera audiences. For more information, visit https://osopera.org. Follow On Site Opera on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @onsiteopera

About the South Street Seaport Museum
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.” www.southstreetseaportmuseum.org
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August 17, 2021