Philadelphia Opera unveils “Svadba-Wedding”

Svadba-Wedding runs Nov. 2-Nov. 7.
Opera Philadelphia’s “Svadba-Wedding” runs Nov. 2-Nov. 7.

Whether its productions take place underneath the grand chandelier at the Academy of Music or surrounded by the modern contours of the Kimmel Center, Opera Philadelphia has remained firmly planted in traditional operatic venues. That all changes with the American premiere of Ana Sokolovic’s “Svadba – Wedding,” a decidedly non-traditional opera being staged in an equally non-traditional space.

The opera, which will open in early November for four performances, is the first production in the new “Opera in the City” series. Sung a cappella in Serbian with influences of Balkan folk music, “Svadba” will take place in co-presenter FringeArts’ new waterfront home. Each performance of the hour-long piece will be followed by a “wedding reception,” featuring traditional cuisine and Balkan dance music by the West Philadelphia Orchestra.

“Our thinking is that there are a number of operas that are better served outside the opera house,” says David Devan, general director and president of Opera Philadelphia. “’Opera in the City’ is an opportunity for us to bring new and exciting works to life, partner with other city organizations, and in that way bring opera to a wider public and infuse new energy into the art form. So because of FringeArts’ unique space, we’re going to have a very intimate, visceral experience with a very interesting, different opera.”

The partnership with FringeArts is the culmination of years of discussions between Devan and Fringe founder Nick Stuccio. “We’re both big admirers of each others’ institutions,” Devan says. “We agreed that for us to work together on a production, it had to be something that fit both of our brands and artistic impulses.”

Devan discovered “Svadba” through Toronto-based company Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, which commissioned the piece. Unable to attend a performance, he visited the company’s rehearsal space. “I just didn’t want it to end,” he recalls. “And then it dawned on me that one of the reasons why it was so great was because I wasn’t in a theater; I was literally right beside these virtuosic singers. So it snowballed from there, and before you knew it we were doing this almost as a crazy dinner theater.”

“Opera in the City” is planned to be an annual event, with diverse works in a variety of different venues each year. “If anything, the aesthetic is diversity,” Devan says. “We want a wide range of experiences. It will be an opportunity for our long-time operagoers who are interested in seeing something different and widening their experience, but the main motivation is that it will allow opera to touch people who may not have had opera in their lives before.”

Opera Philadelphia: “Svadba – Wedding”
Nov. 2-7, 7 p.m.
FringeArts
Race St. and Columbus Blvd.
$69, 215-413-1318
www.operaphila.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…