Opera Saratoga Presents: Listen to This Concert Series

Tuesday, June 04, 2024 to Tuesday, June 18, 2024


A concert series which hands the mic to cutting-edge creators
who break the boundaries of what opera can be.

7:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 4

RPI Director of Institute Ensembles, Robert Whalen, will discuss his collaboration with librettists Mark Steidl, Katherine Skovira, Sara Pyszka and Opera Saratoga on a new opera for synthetic and acoustic voice “The Other Side of Silence” written by and for people who use Alternative Assistive Communication.

Inspired by Pyszka’s “Inside My Outside: An Independent Mind in a Dependent Body” and unfolding in a series of interwoven storylines, “The Other Side of Silence” explores what it means to be our true self, and which of our voices—our inner or outer voice—most directly represents our identity. This new opera examines technology’s role in the fabric of human society, and what role it plays in promoting and diminishing our autonomy, as seen through the lens of an AAC user – someone who uses a synthetic voice to communicate the world. 

7:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 11

On Tuesday, June 11th, director George R. Miller, Bass-baritone William Socolof and pianist Chris Reynolds collaborate on the workshop of a contemporary staging of Franz Schubert’s seminal song cycle “Winterreise.”  Originally from Albany and Saratoga Springs, respectively, Miller and Reynolds bring their many accolades back to the Capital Region.

Staged for singer, pianist, an identical dancer, and boy soprano, this intergenerational take on “Winterreise” earnestly interrogates structures of masculinity, vulnerability, and emotional masking in an era when loneliness rates have reached record highs in America.

7:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 18

On Tuesday, June 18th, composer-performer Catherine Brookman shares her album “I Woke Up In the Sky” with Opera Saratoga’s audiences. Her music deals with the experience of time passing, collapsing, unfinished business, heartbreak, loneliness, depression. 

Originally from Baltimore, the classically-trained Brookman weaves a majestic tapestry of folk sounds with ambient landscapes. Her tender lyrics are supported by a warm and delicate string section creating a sonic cocoon, a soft landing place for healing heartbreak that is both soulful and captivating. In her live performances, Brookman loops her own vocals and synthesizer to self-harmonize and form an atmosphere that builds an experimental yet dreamlike texture that transports the audience to another world.

Brookman says: “I used to go to shows and whisper in my friends’ ears when a song faded out, that the implication was it would somewhere, somehow be playing forever. I have always had trouble with endings. On March 12, 2020 I took a train to Montreal with a bag packed for 3 days and didn’t return home for a year and half. I flew to LA, drove to Kanarraville, Utah and stayed in an airstream on a friend’s family’s farm, then to Colorado where it was snowing in June. I hiked solo for miles around Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California. I saw 6 bears in 3 days while running. I went skydiving and passed out in the sky. Then I woke up in the sky. When I walked alone around mountains, canyons, woods, painful things would transmute into beauty unexpectedly. The river became a mirror. I’m making a case for admitting how much we need each other, for unapologetic vulnerability. The music was made to make us feel less alone.”