By Terry Trucco
I’ll take a wild guess and assume that George Frederich Handel never dreamed his opera Rodrigo, written in 1707 when he was 22 years old, would have its North American premiere nearly three hundred years later in a hotel lobby.
But on May 21, 23 and 25, Handel’s fifth opera will be performed in the lobby of the Gershwin Hotel, a move that trumps the Met and every other opera house in the hemisphere.
The premiere comes almost a year to the day after Almira, Konigin von Castilien, Handel’s first opera, made its North American debut before an audience of 75 in the Gershwin lobby (Anthony Tommasini gave the production a thumbs up in The New York Times).
The person responsible for Handel’s long-overdue premieres is Jennifer Peterson, founder and director of operamission, a plucky pick-up company that stages old and new operas in concert settings. Make that unexpected settings, like Bryant Park, Brooklyn’s Fort Green and the Gershwin, though to be fair, a place called Gershwin should embrace music. (more…)