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Christopher Burchett, Helga Davis, Nancy Allen Lundy, Claudio Prima Set for Paola Prestini's Oceanic Verses logo
Artwork for Oceanic Verses
The Kennedy Center and the River to River festival will present the world premiere of Oceanic Verses, a new multimedia opera by composer Paola Prestini in collaboration with film artist Ali Hossani and librettist Donna di Novelli.

Kevin Newbury will direct the work, which will be performed as a concert at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater on June 23 and as a semi-staged production on June 25 at Pace University's Schimmel Center for the Arts. A residency and preview performances will take place at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art from May 13-18, followed by a showing as part of the New Works Sampler at OPERA America's Conference on June 13 in Philadelphia.

The company will include folksinger Christopher Burchett, improviser Helga Davis, soprano Nancy Allen Lundy, and folksinger Claudio Prima. Commissioned by VisionIntoArt and presented by Beth Morrison Projects in association with Washington Chorus and Trinity Wall Street, the piece explores the interconnected lives of four characters, a sailor (Prima), a Scholar (Davis), a Peasant (Lundy), and a soldier (Burchett). In the film aspect of the production, Prima and Davis repeat their roles, with Italian dancer Emio Greco as the Soldier and local Salentine actors essaying the Peasant.

Maestro Julian Wachner will conduct the presentation, which will also feature members of NOVUS NY: the contemporary music ensemble of Trinity Wall Street and the 40-person Washington Chorus. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy will join the company for the New York production.


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