About the Project
The Delaware Valley Opera Company, located in Philadelphia, PA, seeks to raise $15,000 to hire a small chamber orchestra for our upcoming production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, one of the composer’s most beloved operas. In addition, DVOC will hire a professional video production company to capture this exciting moment on DVD. The addition of a chamber orchestra will add to the audience’s enjoyment of the opera and provide the cast with an authentic musical experience, preparing them to work with larger opera companies which use orchestra as their primary form of accompaniment. This is in keeping with DVOC’s mission to provide young singers with crucial performance opportunities to help them build experience and hone their craft. It would also be an exciting for the company as a whole; this is the first time since 1981 that DVOC has been able to hire an entire orchestra. The professional DVD of the performance will be made available to cast members and patrons as keepsakes. The DVD will also be an important tool for future DVOC marketing and grant applications.
“This opera needs an orchestra, its audience will love an orchestra, but most of all the singers will benefit from singing with one,” says Figaro music director Tim Ribchester. “It makes the difference between hearing the musical cues on piano (no matter how expertly performed), and inhabiting Mozart’s vision, learning to add your voice to a sustained and room-filling sound, and breathing with a conductor and the musicians to bring every phrase and gesture alive through vocal and instrumental color. This score’s magic lies in the sparkling string articulations and delicate woodwind colors that are so difficult to bring fully to life on a percussive instrument like the piano.”
In its early days DVOC performed outdoors with a digital piano for accompaniment. As we moved into indoor venues we established a tradition of performing with quality acoustic pianos. It wasn’t long before other instruments were added to accent and enhance various performances, with unanimously positive audience feedback. Harp, recorders, strings, guitar, and four hand piano arrangements have all enhanced past performances. Now we want to take the next step and present Mozart’s music as the composer intended it to be heard.
The chamber orchestra DVOC seeks to hire would be of a thoroughly professional level. Through our close connections in the City of Philadelphia, and institutions such as Opera Philadelphia and the Academy of Vocal Arts, we have attracted interest from seasoned freelance musicians who know the opera well and can produce polished, stylish results in a relatively short rehearsal schedule. It is important to hire players of this caliber, because--in opera--flexibility and sensitivity to the singers are essential. Also essential is an understanding of the orchestra’s dramatic role. For that reason we must raise sufficient funds to compensate the musicians at fair rates comparable to those for other opera performances in the city. Additional costs, such as extra rehearsals, will be covered by any surplus donations we receive.
About the Performance
DVOC plans to present two full-staged performances of The Marriage of Figaro, on June 15 & 19 at 8:00 p.m. at the Stage One 300-seat theater located at 101 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA. Another first for DVOC this summer is the move to this new performance venue, right in the culturally active Media, Pennsylvania. There could not be way to introduce DVOC to a new community than with a production complete with orchestra. The orchestra will draw established audiences to Wallingford, and will attract new audience members from the greater Delaware County area, ensuring that our general production costs are covered through ticket sales.
Consistent with its mission, DVOC provides an enriching environment to young and emerging singers by combining talented, less-experienced singers with seasoned professionals who have “been there, done that." These members include soprano Meghan Dewald, who has performed with Kentucky Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and is a 2nd place Regional Finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; bass Martin Hargrove, who has performed with Minnesota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and the Braunschweig Staatsoper; soprano Tracy Sturgis, who has performed with Michigan Opera Theater, Toledo Opera, and Lyric Opera Cleveland; and baritone Brian Ming Chu, who has performed with Baltimore Lyric Opera, Caramoor Music Festival, and Opera Vivente. Music Director Tim Ribchester is on the faculty at the Academy of Vocal Arts, and a frequent guest conductor for the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, Opera Libera, and Concert Operetta Theater, as well as being in high demand as a coach and mentor to aspiring professional singers.
About the Rewards
- Program listings will appear immediately on opening night at the 2013 Summer Festival.
- T-shirts will be shipped with an expected arrival in early June, 2013.
- DVDs will be made available in early August, 2013
- Admissions, rehearsal visits, and dinners will be arranged at dates & times to be mutually agreed upon between donors and the company between May and June 2013.
- Recital programs are available between July 1, 2013 and July 1 2014.
Because DVOC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, all donations are tax deductible for U.S. citizens. For donors outside the U.S., we suggest that you consult with your tax advisor concerning deductibility.
Risks and challenges
The only risk facing DVOC for this project is the failure to procure the funds needed to hire the orchestra. Should this specific goal not be met, DVOC will revert to using piano accompaniment for The Marriage of Figaro. All other aspects of the production have been finalized.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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