Brown Opera Productions

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Brown Opera Productions (BOP) is dedicated to the promotion and performance of classical vocal music both on campus and in the greater Providence, Rhode Island community and is a space for singers and musicians to collaborate on exciting classical performance projects. BOP produces a full-length opera every spring, and throughout the year produces concerts of classical vocal music on campus and in local hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. As the name implies, the group is composed of Brown University students, who also work with RISD students at times. BOP does not charge admission for its performances but depends on individual donations.


Brown Opera Productions was co-founded in 2005 by Michael Hadley ‘07 and Clara Schuhmacher ‘06. The inaugural Board consisted of Michael Hadley (Chair), Clara Schuhmacher (Opera Producer), Christie Gibson (Concert and Community Service Chair), Kathryn Wallem (Publicity Manager), Emily Dunne (Secretary), Kate Tsunoda (Treasurer), and Jonathan Ichikawa (Webmaster). Throughout its first year, the new organization produced a variety of on and off campus concerts. In April, BOP presented Gian-Carlo Menotti's “The Medium,” Brown’s first-ever student-produced full-length opera.

Over the subsequent years, BOP has grown to be one of the premiere Brown performing arts organizations. So far, BOP has produced six full-length operas (”The Medium,” Granados’s “Goyescas,” Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice,” Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore,” Offenbach's "Monsieur Choufleuri," and Britten's "Turn of the Screw") BOP has also produced four scenes concerts, four children’s operas (including the student-written “Frog Prince”), and numerous arias concerts.


The Fall Operetta[edit]

Every fall, BOP puts on a fully staged operetta. In the fall operetta's inaugural year, BOP performed Monsieur Choufleuri.[1] In Fall 2010, BOP will produce Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi." Performances usually occur in Alumnae Hall on Pembroke Campus.

Babylas, Choufleuri, and Ernestine at home scheming
The Governess with Miles and Flora. From the Spring 2010 show "The Turn of the Screw"

The Spring Opera[edit]

A fully staged, fully orchestrated, completely student-run full opera put on every Spring. The directors, designers, production staff, and orchestra are all students. Directors and Music Directors are chosen at the end of the Fall semester and the operas themselves are usually in early or mid-April. BOP's most recent Spring production was "The Turn of the Screw" by Benjamin Britten. Performances are usually in Alumnae Hall on Pembroke Campus.

Nemorino surrounded by the village girls as Adina looks on. From BOP's Spring 2009 show L'elisir d'amore

The Children's Opera[edit]

Every year, BOP puts on an opera for children. Past productions have included a reduction of The Magic Flute, Hansel and Gretel and a student-written opera, The Frog Prince. The children's opera is only one of the many ways BOP reaches out to the Providence community. In 2010, BOP performed a reduction of the Magic Flute for the Providence Athenaeum on Benefit Street. BOP also has at least two nursing home concerts during the year and one in the summer. It is also planning to launch an opera/classical music education program for surrounding Providence schools.

Children assembled at the Providence Athenaeum before the overture of "The Magic Flute"

The Scenes Concert[edit]

BOP puts on short scenes from various operas and operettas, with staging, singing, and sets. In the past BOP has done scenes from many operas and operettas, including Porgy and Bess, The Magic Flute, Norma, The Threepenny Opera, Candide, and Monsieur Choufleuri. Performances occur in multiple venues across campus, including the Production Workshop (PW) upspace and Grant Recital Hall. Directors apply to direct scenes and singers audition to be placed within individual scenes.

The Fall and Winter Arias Concerts[edit]

These concerts are great opportunities for vocalists to debut or to just sing something they've been working on. Accompanists are provided, and people are encouraged to sing whatever they want, from Handel to John Cage, Puccini to Gershwin. The Arias Concert takes place in Grant Recital Hall. Recently, BOP has added a Spring Arias Concert and is planning on producing a Summer Arias Concert.

Production history[edit]

A scene from "Orfeo ed Eurydice, BOP's Spring 2008 Opera

In the Spring of 2010, BOP produced "The Turn of the Screw" an opera by Benjamin Britten

In the Fall of 2009, BOP produced Monsieur Choufleuri, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach.

In the Spring of 2009, BOP produced L'elisir d'amore, composed by Gaetano Donizetti in 1832.

In the Fall of 2008, BOP produced The Frog Prince, a new chamber opera for children by Jacob A. Greenberg. One of the duets: [2]

In the Spring of 2008, BOP produced Orfeo ed Euridice, composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck in 1762.[3][permanent dead link]

In the Spring of 2007, BOP produced the Spanish opera Goyescas, composed by Enrique Granados in 1916.[4][permanent dead link]

In the Spring of 2006, BOP premiered its first opera, The Medium, composed by Gian Carlo Menotti in 1946.[5]

External links[edit]