What’s New? What’s Different?
Opera House Arts Celebrates 20th Anniversary Season
Opera House Arts, under the new leadership of Per Janson, announces that OHA’s summer line-up will feature something for everyone.
OHA also introduces Pay-What-You-Wish Previews for the first performances of their two mainstage theater productions as well as an expansion of their free ticket policy for students attending live performances to include all students from Hancock County, grades K-12.
The celebratory season kicks off with The Worksong Project, a concert by Bennett Kosnesni, featuring his own twist on field hollers and sea shanties found deep in the Bagaduce Music archives.
A series of Live! For $5 shows on Wednesday evenings include Sue’s School of Dance, Jennifer Armstrong’s Songs & Stories, and Shane Miclon’s acclaimed juggling for just five dollars a ticket!
Miclon will make a guest appearance at OHA’s 20th Anniversary Summer Gala on July 6th, where The Circus is the theme and attendees can celebrate all things Under the Big Top!
Concert series throughout the summer include performances by acclaimed Russian pianist, Arsentiy Kharitinov, and Kafari & Jake Hoffman, who specialize in rhythm bones and banjo respectively, honoring the roots of bluegrass and old-time music.
OHA will open its 20th Shakespeare in Stonington production, Shakespeare in Love by Lee Hall, directed by Julia Sears. OHA’s very first departure from the Bard’s canon promises all the drama, poetry, and wit you’ve come to expect. Shakespeare in Love, a clever adaptation of the Academy Award-winning film, is a tongue-in-cheek celebration of language, love, and the swashbuckling joy of making theater in Elizabethan London.
OHA’s concert series continues with members of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra as well as a free performance by the young artists of Kneisel Hall’s Chamber Music Conservatory, both just before award-winning Happenstance Theatre’s vintage clowns take to the Opera House stage in Preposterous!, Live! For $5.
August begins with the 19th annual Deer Isle Jazz Festival, featuring this year’s American Pianists’ Award winner, andcurated by music journalist Larry Blumenfeld, featuring legendary masters alongside today’s most electrifying up-and-coming musicians.
In the spirit of riffing and improvisatory response comes a unique multi-disciplinary dance performance from Joanna Kotze and her team on August 6th. What will we be like when we get there is a playful collaboration with the Stonington Opera House itself, exploring the immediacy of space and the objects found there. Funded in part by a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts, this is an extraordinary opportunity to witness creative spontaneity and OHA’s artistic home in a profoundly altered way.
In addition to producing extant plays over the past twenty years, Opera House Arts has built a legacy of commissioning original, site-specific theater. At the height of the summer you can catch the much-anticipated world premiere of playwright-performer Melody Bates’ reimagining of the Arthurian legend, Avalon, co-directed by Joan Jubett and Laura Butler Rivera with dramaturgy by Judith Jerome. Set in the outdoor sculpture park that is co-creator Peter Beerits’ beloved “Nellieville,” this immersive play spirits you along the grounds, both magical and haunting, creating a singular atmosphere for this bold new work to be born.
Bookending Avalon is a diverse range of music from musicians Matt Dane and Annie Antonacos, Palaver Strings, David Mallet’s beloved folk songs, and the unique rhythms of Duo YUMENO as well as more Live! For $5 performances.
On August 29, Opera House Arts will sponsor the Maine Outdoor Film Festival (MOFF) for the second consecutive year. MOFF provides independent filmmakers, capturing stories of the great outdoors, a platform to showcase their creative work while bringing short films to Maine folks wherever they might be, for free!
This event is a great way catch a movie without missing out on a lovely summer night. Food vendors line the Stonington Ball Field, just up the street from the Opera House, and on the iconic Fish Pier, so audiences can enjoy a picnic before the movies begin to roll.
Join us in celebrating twenty years of performing arts on one of the busiest working waterfronts in Maine. Come one! Come all!
Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House. (207) 367-2788 operahousearts.org