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A New Company Rises From the Ashes of Gotham Chamber Opera

With the new partnership, Peak Performances will underwrite four productions over two seasons, covering the cost of the productions, providing spaces for rehearsal and performance, and taking care of marketing. Mr. Goren, who will conduct the works, said that the shows would be designed to be tour-ready.

Peak Performances had already been making plans to stage the new Wilson “Amahl” before the Catapult deal took shape. But Mr. Goren said that he had long been an admirer of the opera, and of Mr. Wilson, and looked forward to it. The remaining three productions were chosen in part to reflect the partnership’s dedication to racial, gender and cultural diversity.

In the spring of 2021, Catapult will give the United States premiere of “La Ville Morte,” by the influential French composer, conductor and teacher Nadia Boulanger, written with Raoul Pugno to a libretto by Gabriele d’Annunzio. The opera, directed by Robin Guarino, will feature a new chamber orchestration by Stefan Cwik and Joseph Stillwell.

The following fall, the company will perform David Hertzberg’s “The Wake World,” which had its premiere at Opera Philadelphia in 2017, in a new production by Mary Birnbaum. (Before Gotham closed, it had awarded Mr. Hertzberg, whose music Mr. Goren described as “wildly ecstatic and erotic,” a prize and commission that it could not see through.) And in 2022, Catapult will give the United States premiere of Errollyn Wallen’s 2007 opera “The Silent Twins,” staged by Charlotte Braithwaite.

Mr. Wheeler, who has made Peak Performances one of the most vital performance series in the region, said he was pleased that the collaboration would give Mr. Goren a home, and that he hoped it would attract new audiences to opera, beginning with the students at Montclair State. He recalled the shock of his own first experience with opera: “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” which was commissioned by NBC for television.


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