Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A fast-paced political satire, constructed from 18th and 19th century operas and performed on period instruments.
45 backers pledged $8,230 to help bring this project to life.

About

On Behalf of a Madman: A Pastiche Opera project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$8,230

45

April 27-28: You've never seen opera like this before 

When footage from a West Wing staff party is leaked to a major news channel, the president is on the warpath looking for a culprit. Staffers scheme and second-guess each other amidst the misleading headlines, and politicians exploit the turmoil for their own ends.

Sound familiar? Mozart, Haydn, Rossini, and Donizetti would have thought so. Our brand new opera, woven together from 18th and 19th century plots with new dialogue, will make you see today's politics from a totally new vantage point.  

Caution: this production contains strong language, but no worse than the average White House cabinet meeting!

Boston's own Grand Harmonie is putting on its most ambitious project yet: a fully staged premiere of a brand-new opera, arranged for wind band and performed on period instruments. Directed by Julia Mintzer with an original script by Charles Ogilvie, On Behalf of a Madman will feature Classical and Romantic arias in new arrangements and with incidental music by GH co-founder Yoni Kahn, and will be performed by GH and conducted by Geoff McDonald. Our performance venue is the amazing Arts at the Armory in Somerville, MA, where patrons can enjoy a well-stocked bar and wander around the action as the performance is going on. The limited run is TWO PERFORMANCES ONLY, on April 27 and 28.

The wind band, or Harmonie band, was the populist entertainment of the 19th century. The rich had their opera houses, but the masses heard the popular tunes in bootlegged arrangements for Harmonie band. This production is the ultimate example of old meets new. Old instruments, new arrangements. Old composers, new drama.

News today flies so fast that it's hard to keep up. Art gives us a release from daily trials and tribulations: if we can laugh at it, it can't hurt us. This is the musical catharsis you've been waiting for.

Your contribution helps support new art

Putting on a new opera takes a huge amount of resources. We're already most of the way towards meeting our budget, which prioritizes compensating our singers and instrumentalists first, but we need your help for the last $7500 to cross the finish line. Here's what your contribution will cover:

  • Venue rental fees: $2260 to rehearse and perform in the Armory. We used this venue for the first time last season and it was a huge hit - we can't wait to go back!
  • Videography: $1000 to document the premiere of this brand-new work and allow us to pitch repeat performances to other opera companies around the country.
  • Transportation: $2000 to help cover our amazing artists' travel expenses to Boston.
  • Props and sets: $1000 to take the world of "Madman" from our production team's imagination to the real world.
  • Technical team: $1240 to cover fees for our rehearsal pianist and stage manager to help the production run smoothly.

If we exceed our goal, any additional funding will be used to compensate the artistic team for this production, which is currently donating its fees in-kind to make this production a reality.

As a token of our thanks, we're thrilled to offer you perks, from complimentary tickets to VIP seating to private concerts by the GH band.

Opera for the current political moment

We think "On Behalf of a Madman" is the beginning of a thrilling artistic collaboration. All of the artistic team have worked together before, but never all at once on the same project. GH is convinced that this kind of genre-bending performance is an integral part of the future of opera, and we want to present more Harmonie arrangements with our collaborators and demonstrate the relevance of these 200-year old works to modern audiences. But to do so, we need to get this project off the ground.

Other ways you can help

While we would love your financial support, you can also help by getting the word out about this opera! Tell all your friends that the hottest political satire isn't Veep or Scandal, it's "On Behalf of a Madman" on April 27 and 28. We can't wait to see you there!

Recording credits

Who made those awesome tunes you heard in the video? Grand Harmonie, of course!

Mozart (arr. Mozart?) - Overture to Abduction from the Seraglio
Kristin Olson and Allison Gangler, oboes
Thomas Carroll and Bixby Kennedy, clarinets
Elisabeth Axtell and John Aubrey, horns
Allen Hamrick and Melissa Schoenack, bassoons
Nathan Varga, contrabass
Jonathan Hess, Chris Belluscio, and Paul Perfetti, percussion

Beethoven arr. Sedlak/Carroll/Kahn - "In des Lebens Frühlingstagen" from Fidelio
Brent Reilly Turner, tenor
Kristin Olson and Priscilla Herreid, oboes
Thomas Carroll and Elise Bonhivert, clarinets
Elisabeth Axtell and Yoni Kahn, horns
Kelsey Schilling and Allen Hamrick, bassoons
Julianne Russell, contrabass

Risks and challenges

Creating a new work of art always involves some risk! This is the first time all members of the production team have worked together on the same project, so there are a lot of moving parts. However, given our past collaborations on "Fidelio" at Princeton University in 2016, and "La Finta Giardiniera" with On Site Opera in 2017, we are confident in our ability to both self-produce opera and communicate it to a wide audience through the medium of period wind music. The venue is booked, the musicians are contracted, and the show will go on: we hope you'll join us on this journey!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    INTERN: program thanks

    We'll list your name in our programs as a supporter!

    Value of benefits: $0

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    CLERK: Social media shout-out

    We'll let all our fans know how much we appreciate your help with a shout-out in a video on social media! You'll also get thanked in our programs.

    Value of benefits: $0

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    STAFFER: signed program

    You'll get a program signed by the artistic team which created On Behalf of a Madman! When this opera becomes world-famous, you may have a priceless souvenir on your hands.

    Value of benefits: $0

    Includes:
    • Signed program
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    DEPUTY SECRETARY: comp tickets

    Get a front-row seat to the action with 2 complimentary tickets to the performance date of your choice! We'll also list your name in the program.

    Value of benefits: $60

    Includes:
    • Complimentary tickets
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 14 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    CONGRESSPERSON: VIP seating

    Get the best seats in the house! Your 2 complimentary tickets will get you into the VIP section. We'll also list your name in the program.

    Value of benefits: $80

    Includes:
    • Complimentary tickets
    • VIP seating
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    SENATOR: pre-show reception

    NOTE: 4/28 only! Go behind the scenes with the creators of Madman: conductor Geoff McDonald, director Julia Mintzer, writer and production designer Charles Ogilvie, and arranger Yoni Kahn. You and a guest will receive a complimentary beverage and get to chat about the creation of this new opera! 2 complimentary tickets are included as well as a signed program.

    Value of benefits: $70

    Includes:
    • Complimentary tickets
    • Signed program
    • Pre-show reception invite
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CABINET: your job in the script!

    A one-of-a-kind opportunity: your profession will be mentioned in the script! The more unique the better. Rest assured, whatever your job, you'll get favored treatment by the administration of On Behalf of a Madman. You'll also get complimentary VIP tickets and, if you're coming on 4/28, an invitation to the pre-show reception.

    Value of benefits: $90

    Includes:
    • Complimentary tickets
    • Signed program
    • Pre-show reception invite
    • VIP seating
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    CHIEF EXECUTIVE: house concert

    You're the chief, you deserve the best. A private chamber performance by a group of Grand Harmonie's instrumentalists, to be scheduled at your convenience before June 2019. Boston-area only, please. You also get all the other perks, of course (except the mention in the script, but why not claim that one too while you're at it?).

    Value of benefits: $90

    Includes:
    • Complimentary tickets
    • Signed program
    • VIP seating
    • Pre-show reception invite
    • House concert
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (21 days)