Miracle!, a new Hanukkah opera written entirely for children and families to be performed by children, will be workshopped at JCC Manhattan at 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street on Sunday, December 18, at 3 p.m. The opera was commissioned by Francisco J. Núñez, artistic director and founder of the Young People's Chorus of New York City for YPC, from composer/conductor Victoria Bond and librettist Susan L. Roth, an author and illustrator of children's books. Members of the culturally diverse Young People's Chorus of New York City will make up the principal roles and the chorus in the production, which will be conducted by YPC Assistant Conductor Sophia Miller and accompanied by piano and percussion instruments.Miracle! is a story within a story about the miracle of Hanukkah, the family traditions of the eight-day Festival of Lights, and why Hanukkah is commemorated. Told in song and dance with vivid projected visuals, the score includes both traditional Hanukkah melodies and original music. The opera's eight principals include feisty children, wise parents and grandparents, not to mention a singing dog and toy bear. This tuneful production with delightful characters and a compelling storyline will have families in the audience laughing, humming along with some of the familiar melodies, and recalling warm memories of their own family holidays and traditions. Miracle! concludes with all on stage and in the audience joining hands and singing "Let's Hold Hands," in a joyous finale.Tickets for the workshop are $10 and are available by calling 212-289-7779, Ext. 10.Victoria Bond, who conducts Gian Carlo Menotti's children's opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" every year at Chamber Opera Chicago, felt that an opera celebrating Hanukkah would be a good companion to Menotti's iconic holiday opera. "I find that children love to learn about the traditions and customs of their friends and schoolmates and dearly hope Miracle! will join 'Amahl' in forming a new holiday tradition." "A Hanukkah opera for children is such a wonderfully exciting idea," said Mr. Núñez. "We are so happy to present this universally appealing new music for parents and their children to enjoy together."Composer/conductor Victoria Bond regularly receives commissions from major organizations ranging from the Houston Symphony and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra to American Ballet Theatre and the Shanghai Symphony. In every genre she undertakes, from opera to chamber music, her consummate musicianship serves to enrich a musical language that is beautifully crafted and deeply expressive. The first woman to be awarded a doctorate in conducting from The Juilliard School, she was appointed by Andre Previn as Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor with the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1978. Since then Ms. Bond has directed many orchestras and opera companies. She has recorded for Koch International, Albany, GEGA, Protone, and Family Classic labels.Susan L. Roth is the author/illustrator of over 35 children's books. In illustrating her books, she has developed her own collage technique into one that is exclusively faithful to cutting and tearing. From the most complete background papers to the tiniest dots of eyes and I's, her unique technique is to only cut or rip. Susan's most recent book, Listen to the Wind, is the story of Greg Mortenson's experience in a Pakistani village of Korphe written from the perspective of the children of that village.The Young People's Chorus of New York City provides children of all ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds with a unique program of music education and choral performance, while maintaining a model of artistic excellence and humanity that enriches the community. Founded in 1988 by its Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez, a 2011 MacArthur Fellow, YPC has become among today's most celebrated and influential children's choruses, and a social model that is being adopted by other U.S. cities and underdeveloped countries. The resident chorus at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the award-winning chorus was recently presented with a 2011 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award, the nation's highest award for youth programs, from First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House and was previously cited by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities as a national model of artistic excellence and diversity under the Clinton and Bush administrations.Sunday, December 18, 2011, 3 p.m.JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th StreetYoung People's Chorus of New York CitySophia Miller,ConductorMiracle!, a new Hanukkah opera for children.Tickets, at $10, are available by calling 212-289-7779, Ext. 10
More Articles by This Author...
Jennifer Hudson Joins AMERICAN IDOL's Judges' Panel!
VIDEO: Rooney Mara & Casey Affleck in First Trailer for AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS
Rihanna for River Island Summer Collection Lands May 25th
Exclusive InDepth InterView Audra McDonald Talks GO BACK HOME Album & PBS Special, MARLENE DIETRICH'S ABC, Upcoming Projects & More
Donkey Kong Country Returns is Back and Optimized for Portable Play
BWW TV: Chatting with the Cast of MURDER BALLAD on Opening Night; Conlee, Jones, Levy, and Swenson!
BWW Reviews: Millepied, Wheeldon and Martins - A Mixed Bag for City Ballet
Regional Orchestra of the Week: Reno Philharmonic, NV