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RIVERSIDE OPERA ENSEMBLE - A HISTORY
The Riverside Opera Ensemble, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving, developing, and nurturing artists and audiences through music theatre production, creation, experimentation and education.
Riverside Opera Ensemble (ROE) celebrated its 20th Anniversary (2004) with a concert at Merkin Hall featuring the premiere of a commissioned song cycle, "On Winds of Song," by Pulitzer Prize winning composer, David Del Tredici. Harolyn Blackwell premiered "A Woman's Plight" by Nathan Matthews with poetry by Edgar Allan Poe. Stephen Dembski, Patrick Byers and Scott Gendel’s work also received world premiere performances that evening. The company has attracted the notice of renowned artists such as Leonard Bernstein, who offered the company financial and professional support and served as honorary chair for ROE’s New York premiere of Zandonai's Giulietta e Romeo (1988), a benefit for "God's Love We Deliver."
ROE’s productions have included Britten's Rape of Lucretia (1984), Leoncavallo's ZAZA (1985), Massenet's Werther (1986), The Threepenny Opera (1987), Oh! Boy (1990), a twenty-fifth anniversary production of John Clifton's Man With A Load of Mischief (1991), and a centennial production of Tchaikovsky's Iolanta (1992). In Where or When (1994), which the company produced on Theatre Row, Nathan Matthews and Stephen Pickover explored ROE’s development of new work using the music and lyrics of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart with new arrangements and storylines. ROE’s co-produced three concerts (1998-99) including a 75th birthday celebration for American composer, Ned Rorem with Columbia University's Miller Theatre and the first pre-Edgar Awards concert (2000) at St. Peter's at the Citicorp with Mystery Writers of America. ROE produced the world premiere production of Patrick Byers's new opera, Incident At San Bajo (2001), based on Brad Korbesmeyer's play with a libretto by Peter Bennett. Rosemary Harris and John Ehle served as the gala benefit opening’s honorary benefit chairs. With NYU-Tisch, and USC the company jointly presented the initial reading of Con Man (2004) by Benjamin and Joseph Boone at NYU-Tisch. ROE produced the world premiere production of Richard Pearson Thomas’s PARALLEL LIVES (2005) in NYC after its initial reading at The University at Buffalo – SUNY.
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