Innovative American Opera Theater to close down

Posted on: January 7, 2011

In Wednesday’s (1/5) Washington Post, Anne Midgette writes, “The American Opera Theater, one of the most intriguing of the many pocket opera companies in the Baltimore/Washington region, is shutting down at the end of this season. The company announced Tuesday that its next production—a double bill of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ and the stage premiere of Melissa Dunphy’s ‘The Gonzales Cantata,’ a setting of the transcripts of the congressional hearings of former attorney general Alberto Gonzales, a co-production with the Peabody Conservatory Opera on Feb. 4, 5, 11 and 13—would be its last. By day’s end, however, funding had been found for the season’s final scheduled production, Kurt Weill’s ‘Lost in the Stars,’ a project with the Baltimore School of the Arts involving inner-city kids writing about race relations. The season, therefore, will continue until May. … ‘It just felt like it was time,’ Timothy Nelson, the company’s founder and director, wrote on AOT’s Web site. ‘This company began as a group of students wanting to create a new vision of opera in Baltimore. . . . Now it’s time for us to move on and forge new paths.’ ”

Posted January 7, 2011