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Decameron Opera Coalition Press Release

October 2, 2020

Newly launched collaboration between US based opera companies, with the premiere of Tales from a Safe Distance to broadcast online in October 2020

Tickets are now on sale for the Decameron Opera Coalition’s multi-week, online streamed opera project – Tales from a Safe Distance

In the most ambitious operatic commission to emerge from the global pandemic, the newly formed Decameron Opera Coalition, comprised of nine US-based companies, will premiere Tales from a Safe Distance with a multi-week virtual release, in October 2020. This bold new work is inspired by an historic text, Boccaccio’s The Decameron. A masterwork of classical Italian literature, The Decameron is the tale of ten people who are quarantined together outside of Florence during the Black Plague in the 14th Century. Tales from a Safe Distance reimagines this story, to reflect the way people are connecting with each other through technology during this extraordinary time in the world’s history. Episodes will be released weekly, which featuring multiple stories from participating companies and unique creative teams.

The host of the project, providing a musical and dramatic prologue & epilogue for this unique and unforgettable new work, is the acclaimed Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni.

About the Project:

The Decameron Opera Coalition aims to keep opera vibrant, new work thriving, singers singing, and audiences enthralled, even in these alarming times, through a new collaboration of unprecedented scope. Nine independent opera companies from across the United States: Resonance Works [Pittsburgh], Lyric Opera of the North [Duluth], UrbanArias [Washington DC], Bare Opera [NYC], Opera in the Heights [Houston], Chicago Fringe Opera, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, and An Opera Theatre [Minneapolis], along with composer and librettist Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi (The Last American Hammer) comprise the Coalition. In total, ten teams of contemporary opera’s most vital and diverse creative voices have been commissioned to illuminate America’s indispensable indie opera scene, with a dedication to new sounds, unparalleled storytelling, and underrepresented voices. Independent opera companies are where new audiences are born, where discerning opera appetites are fed, where new work is incubated, and where talent is nurtured.

The Decameron Opera Coalition is the future of opera

“We are daring to think big in a time of limitations, creating a collaboration that is uniquely born of this time, but which will help opera to thrive far beyond it.”
~ Maria Sensi Sellner, Artistic & General Director, Resonance Works Pittsburgh (Lead Producer, DOC)

“I am thrilled to be involved with the world premiere of “Tales from a Safe Distance” as its host. Through this project, the Decameron Opera Coalition members are supporting so many singers, creative teams, and administrators during this challenging time. It’s exactly what the art form needs to not only survive, but to thrive. We are all looking forward to sharing this new opera and connecting with audiences around the world.” ~ Luca Pisaroni

Tales from a Safe Distance – Weekly Release Schedule:

Episode 1:
Both Gladsome and Grievous – October 9, 2020
“The Happy Hour” (Introduction)
“Everything Comes to a Head” (Lyric Opera of the North)
“The Late Walk” (Bare Opera)

Episode 2:
Prompted by Appetite – October 16, 2020
“Dinner 4 3” (Fargo-Moorhead Opera)
“The Roost” (UrbanArias)

Episode 3:
So Noble a Heart – October 23, 2020
“Orsa Ibernata” (Milwaukee Opera Theatre)
“Seven Spells” (Opera in the Heights)
“The Sky Where You Are” (An Opera Theatre)

Episode 4:
The Bolts of Fortune – October 30, 2020
“Sourdough: Rise Up” (Resonance Works)
“Corsair” (Chicago Fringe Opera)
“The Happy Hour” (Finale)