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Library of Congress Induction

March 24, 2021


The award-winning new opera series will be remounted for world-wide streaming on the IDAGIO Global Concert Hall beginning February 21.

February 22, 2021- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The most ambitious operatic commission to emerge from the global pandemic, the Decameron Opera Coalition’s Tales from a Safe Distance has been invited into the Library of Congress’ Performing Arts Covid-19 Response Collection. This new collection will include works by nationally and internationally renowned creators to document the new work that performing artists created during the pandemic.  This recognition comes just as the DOC launches a new partnership with IDAGIO, the leading streaming app for classical music, where Tales from a Safe Distance will be remounted in the Global Concert Hall with “DOC Week”.  The four episodes will be released throughout the week of February 21-27 for audiences to enjoy in 160 countries worldwide. One $15 ticket gives unlimited access to all four episodes through December 31. 

Tales from a Safe Distance is a 21st century operatic adaptation of Boccaccio’s 14th-century Italian masterwork The Decameron: the tale of ten people quarantined together outside of Florence during the Black Plague. To pass the time, these friends tell each other stories.  The 9 indie opera company members of the Decameron Opera Coalition reimagined these stories for our own pandemic times, each with a unique team of creators and artists.  The idea originated with composer Peter Hilliard and librettist Matt Boresi, who together created the tenth wraparound story, “The Happy Hour”, featuring one character-storyteller from each of the other 9 tales, and a special guest star, the world renowned bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni.  The result was an unprecedented operatic co-creation – a new opera, straight to film, that is an anthology of 10 world premieres written by 10 creative teams, and engaging a total of 86 artists from around the world.   

Tales premiered in four episodes in October 2020 to rave reviews: called an “ingenious project” by the Wall Street Journal, and “an unbridled success – edgy, novel, richly detailed, musically intriguing” by the Houston Press.  The series originally streamed through December 31, 2020 to an audience on 6 continents, in 17 countries, and 42 states, and has been recognized with several awards: 2020 “Freddie” Excellence in Opera Award from Fred Plotkin ~ WQXR New York Public Radio, OperaWire’s list of Industry-Defining Moments of the Year, and Winner of ‘Best Collaboration’ from 360° of Opera®. 

The Library of Congress is building its Performing Arts Covid-19 Response Collection with “original scores, scripts, and choreography inspired by quarantine and the pandemic, the contextual documents surrounding the creation and planning of these works, and a brief oral history with creators.”  In addition to scores, libretti, the production videos, and planning documents, the DOC’s submission of archival materials will also include the series of artist, creator, and producer conversations that were live-streamed by the Coalition through the fall of 2020. These insightful behind the scenes “Afterparty” and “Happy Hour” events are currently available on the DOC’s YouTube channel 


The Decameron Opera Coalition is a collaboration of unparalleled scope that aims to keep opera vibrant, new work thriving, singers singing, and audiences enthralled. The coalition is comprised of 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).

The coalition members commission teams of contemporary opera’s most vital and diverse creative voices 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 seasoned opera appetites are fed, where new work is incubated, and where the craft is nurtured. The Decameron Opera Coalition is the future of opera.



Chosen by Time as one of the best inventions of 2019, IDAGIO is the world’s leading streaming service for classical music. It offers video and audio streaming to music lovers in over 160 countries. Its acclaimed audio streaming service is uniquely tailored to the demands of classical music, featuring optimized meta-data and complemented by curation by music-lovers for music-lovers.

IDAGIO’s Global Concert Concert Hall, launched in 2020, offers access to live and pre-recorded performances from around the world. Artists and ensembles that have appeared in the Global Concert Hall include: Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Julia Bullock, Miloš Karadaglić, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Zubin Mehta, The King’s Singers, Vienna Philharmonic, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Philharmonia Orchestra and many more.


Tales from a Safe Distance Release schedule in the IDAGIO Global Concert Hall 

Episode 1: Both Gladsome and Grievous 

Sunday, February 21:

– “The Happy Hour” (Introduction)

– “Everything Comes to a Head” (Lyric Opera of the North)

– “The Late Walk” (Bare Opera)

Episode 2: Prompted by Appetite 

Tuesday, February 23: 

– “Dinner 4 3” (Fargo-Moorhead Opera)

– “The Roost” (UrbanArias)

– “The Happy Hour” (Interstitials)

Episode 3: So Noble a Heart 

Thursday, February 25: 

– “Orsa Ibernata” (Milwaukee Opera Theatre)

– “Seven Spells” (Opera in the Heights)

– “The Sky Where You Are” (An Opera Theatre)

– “The Happy Hour” (Interstitials)

Episode 4: The Bolts of Fortune 

Saturday, February 27: 

– “Sourdough: Rise Up” (Resonance Works)

– “Corsair” (Chicago Fringe Opera)

– “The Happy Hour” (Finale)

Media Assets

Logo files, photos from each chapter, Hilliard & Boresi photo – via Google Drive

Project Contact

Decameron Opera Coalition |  

Attn: Maria Sensi Sellner 

Find the Decameron Opera Coalition on social media:

Facebook: decameronoperaco

Twitter: @decameronopera

Instagram:  @decameronopera

YouTube Channel