Through it’s grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity.
In the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015, the NEA will make a $20,000 award to Gotham Chamber Opera in support of their production of Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista in the 2015/2016 season. The NEA will make 1,023 awards totaling $74.3 million nationwide in this funding round.
San Giovanni Battista (Saint John the Baptist)
Music by Alessandro Stradella, Libretto by Ansaldo Ansaldi
Neal Goren, Conductor; Timothy Nelson, Stage Director
With sopranos Maeve Höglund and Harolyn Blackwell, countertenor Timothy Mead, tenor Peter Tantsits, and bass Joseph Beutel
A co-production with the Netherlands Nationale ReisOpera
For its second production, the company presents a rare staging of Alessandro Stradella’s 1675 San Giovanni Battista (Saint John the Baptist), in a co-production with the Netherlands Nationale ReisOpera. This dramatic retelling of the famous biblical story of Princess Salome’s jealousy and depraved love for the Jewish prophet is the composer’s best-known work. Stradella is the missing operatic link between Monteverdi and Handel, who owned a copy of the manuscript. The role of Salome was a vehicle of the young Maria Callas. The piece will be directed by the young stage director Timothy Nelson, whom critics have lauded as “the future of opera.” It will be conducted by Gotham’s founding Artistic Director Neal Goren leading a baroque orchestra. Vivaldi’s famous cantata Nisi Dominus will be interpolated for English countertenor Timothy Mead, who will be singing the title role. San Giovanni Battista was last heard in New York in 1986 in a concert presentation. Gotham Chamber Opera’s production will be its U.S. stage premiere.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States. Funding these new projects like the one from Gotham Chamber Opera represents an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.”