Boheme Opera NJ has been busy with its virtual programming, much of which highlights productions, singers, and professionals from a 31-year history.
Although live performances are currently prohibited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boheme Opera has produced a number of main stage and outreach events. To date, the company has completed the first two of its podcast series, as well as the first in a series of educational streaming events; and is now preparing a second streaming event.
The Worthy of Note: Conversations podcast is hosted by BONJ president Jerry Kalstein and artistic director Joseph Pucciatti. The first podcast is a conversation with Pucciatti, featuring an overview of the founding and evolutionary history of Boheme Opera Company, AKA Boheme Opera NJ, now entering its 32nd season.
The second podcast is a conversation with US bass-baritone Edward Bogusz. Known for his performances as Sacristan (Tosca) and Don Pasquale (Don Pasquale), Bogusz shares his experiences on the Boheme Opera NJ main stage since the company’s inaugural season.
Educational streaming events called “Who’s Afraid of Opera” are hosted by Pucciatti and engineered by Johannes Lang.
The first streaming event gives a narrated account of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, with background and synopsis, plus archive photos and recorded live excerpts from BONJ’s 2002 main stage production in the historical Patriots Theater at the Trenton War Memorial. This streaming event premiered on Boheme Opera New Jersey YouTube on Aug. 1.
Currently on Spotify, Boheme Opera NJ Facebook, Friends of Boheme Opera, Google Podcasts, and bohemeopera.com, these events will soon be posted on numerous other cyber platforms.
The second streaming event is co-hosted by Boheme Opera NJ and its newly established partner, the Boheme Opera NJ Guild, a nonprofit fundraising organization supporting Boheme Opera NJ.
That presentation will stream recorded live performances by 7 of the company’s professional choristers, featuring various opera composers and demonstrating one of the Company’s mission components, the advancement of singing careers. Featured will be tenor Emmanuel Acosta, soprano Cecelia Tepping, tenor Mathew Tartza, soprano Lara Gaare, soprano Rachel Cetel, bass-baritone Kevin Patrick and soprano Amber Nicole Johnson. The event is titled “Youth in Opera” and will be posted in mid-August on multiple platforms.
Both series are planning to continue through the remainder of the summer and into the fall.
Boheme Opera NJ is hoping to perform its main stage production of Verdi’s Rigoletto in spring of 2021 on the campus of The College of New Jersey, based upon pending governmental directives.
Funding for Boheme Opera NJ programs is made possible in part by a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, Princeton Friends of Opera, Boheme Opera NJ Guild, Dorothea Van Dyke McLane Association, Roma Bank Community Foundation, NJM Insurance Group, corporations, businesses, individuals and collaborative/matching gift contributions.
Boheme Opera NJ has also received two recent award grants: a federal CARES Act Award through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and a grant award from Roma Bank Community Foundation.