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October 5, 2016
More Information:
Aleba Gartner, 212/206-1450
“Urgent, rigorous, and young, Heartbeat Opera poses another beacon of hope
against New York City’s gloomy operatic landscape.”  

Parterre Box 3/14/16



The acclaimed indie company launches its third season
with its signature Halloween Drag Extravaganza, this year entitled


Queens of the Night:
Mozart in Space

Co-Artistic Directors: ETHAN HEARD and LOUISA PROSKE

John Taylor Ward, baritone
Jamilyn Manning-White, soprano
Kristin Gornstein, mezzo-soprano
Emma Jaster, dancer/choreographer
Taurean Everett & James Cusati-Moyer, lip-synching divas
Cantata Profana, Heartbeat Opera's resident ensemble

Set design: Reid Thompson
Lighting: Oliver Wason
 Costumes: Miodrag Guberinic and Jon Carter
Hair/makeup: Jon Carter (makeup provided by MAC cosmetics)

Monday, October 31, 2016
7:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.


National Sawdust

80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249

General Admission: $20-$25
Reserved Seating: $40-$50
VIP Reserved Seat: $150
VIP Table (4 Tickets): $500
From "Miss Handel," Heartbeat Opera's 2015 Halloween Extravaganza
Photo by Christopher Ash
After a sold-out September performance on The High Line, HEARTBEAT OPERA—the daring young company whose unconventional orchestrations and stagings of classic operas have been called "a radical endeavor" by Alex Ross in The New Yorker—launches its third season on October 31, 2016 at the new music venue National Sawdust with Heartbeat's Annual Benefit Drag Extravaganza, this year titled Queens of the Night: Mozart in Space. Two performances take place at 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. 

The creators of last season’s Lucia di Lammermoor and Dido & Aeneas will be at the helm: Heartbeat Co-Artistic Directors Ethan Heard and Louisa Proske and Co-Music Directors Daniel Schlosberg and Jacob Ashworth. These four graduates of the Yale School of Drama and Yale School of Music will create an hour-long show combining Mozart's most beloved music, taking the audience on an adventure through the galaxy with their signature blend of eye-popping spectacle, gender-bending mischief, and musical mastery.

Each year’s Drag Extravaganza celebrates a different composer (previous shows were Miss Handel and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen). This year’s Halloween-opera-party features Mozart favorites from The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, and more, performed by rising stars John Taylor Ward (John Eliot Gardiner’s international Monteverdi tour), Jamilyn Manning-White (Heartbeat’s Lucia, “a knockout Lucia” - WSJ), Kristin Gornstein (“rich-voiced mezzo-soprano” - NYT), dancer/choreographer Emma Jaster, lip-syncing divas Taurean Everett (Little Shop of Horrors) and James Cusati-Moyer (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and more.

Heartbeat's resident band Cantata Profana, called "admirably varied and indefinable" by Zachary Woolfe in The New York Times,  is comprised of Jacob Ashworth, violin; Daniel Schlosberg, keyboard and harpsichord; Michaël Attias, horns; Melanie Clapiès, violin; Andrew Yee, cello; Samuel Suggs, bass.

The set is designed by Reid Thompson, costumes are by Miodrag Guberinic (Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour) and Jon Carter (Broadway's King & I), hair and makeup are by Jon Carter, lighting is by Oliver Wason. Makeup is provided by MAC cosmetics.

Audiences can expect drinks, raffle prizes, a costume contest, and outrageous encounters with aliens, astronauts, and the cosmic Queen of the Night.
In May 2017 at Baruch Performing Arts Center, Heartbeat Opera’s third season will culminate in two full productions: CARMEN, directed and adapted by Louisa Proske, arranged and music directed by Daniel Schlosberg; and MADAMA BUTTERFLY, directed and adapted by Ethan Heard, arranged by Daniel Schlosberg, music directed by Jacob Ashworth.

Heartbeat Opera

"A radical transformational approach to the standard repertoire”
The Wall Street Journal
Heartbeat Opera on the Highline, September 2016
Photo by Russ Rowland
Founded in 2014 by four graduates of the Yale School of Drama and Yale School of Music, Heartbeat Opera—dubbed this past season as "pioneers" by The Wall Street Journal and "a company to watch" by Musical America—is a young outfit intent upon reimagining opera in intimate spaces for a new generation. Employing a minimalism that allows the emotional integrity of the music to shine through, the company's work focuses on the body of the singer and the visceral power of the music. Co-Artistic Directors Louisa Proske and Ethan Heard, who trained together in the Directing program at the Yale School of Drama, are committed to nurturing the actor in every singer they work with. The company creates productions of classics and new pieces that are daring and visceral, and manifest the emotional grandeur and theatrical power of opera with minimal means. Recent projects include Lucia di Lammermoor (“ingenious” - The Wall Street Journal) and Dido & Aeneas (“elegant, boisterous and melancholy” - Alex Ross, The New Yorker); Kurtág's Kafka-Fragments ("a flatout triumph" - Opera News); Offenbach's Daphnis & Chloé ("stellar young cast" - The Wall Street Journal); and two fabulous Drag Extravaganzas, Miss Handel and Purcell's The Fairy Queen.

Cantata Profana

Resident Ensemble
Heartbeat Opera's resident musical ensemble Cantata Profana is a vocal and instrumental chamber ensemble that brings a wide range of Baroque and contemporary music to their "intrepid and unexpected concerts" (The New Yorker). Their "admirably varied and indefinable approach to the repertory" (The New York Times) recently won them the 2016 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Cantata Profana members, led by Heartbeat Opera Co-Music Directors Jacob Ashworth and Daniel Schlosberg, develop and perform special orchestrations for Heartbeat Opera productions.

Ethan Heard

Co-Artistic Director
Ethan Heard is equally at home creating productions of new work, Shakespeare, Sondheim, and Monteverdi. As Founding Co-Artistic Director of Heartbeat Opera, Mr. Heard has directed Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Kurtág's Kafka-Fragments, and Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins, and co-directed the Drag Extravaganzas Miss Handel and The Fairy Queen. Other opera includes: the world premiere of Rene Orth and Mark Campbell's Empty the House (Curtis), Jason Cady, Aaron Siegel, and Matthew Welch's Sisyphus (Experiments in Opera), Cavalli's Erismena and Monteverdi's L'Orfeo (Yale Baroque Opera Project), Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea (Princeton University), and Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire (Yale Cabaret). He recently returned from his fourth summer at Berkshire Theatre Group where he directed Little Shop of Horrors. While earning his MFA at Yale School of Drama, Mr. Heard served as Artistic Director of Yale Cabaret, where he co-created Basement Hades (with original music by Daniel Schlosberg) and Trannequin (a musical about a transgender mannequin). Mr. Heard teaches at Yale School of Drama, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and Princeton University. He is Resident Director of Cantata Profana and a member of SDC.

Louisa Proske

Co-Artistic Director
Louisa Proske directs opera, classical theater, and new plays with equal passion. Opera productions include Lucia di Lammermoor, Daphnis & Chloé, Miss Handel (Heartbeat Opera), Così fan tutte (LoftOpera), Falstaff (Dell’Arte Opera), Gianni Schicchi, Riders to the Sea, La Voix Humaine (Yale Opera); the world premiere of Invisible Cities at the Italian Academy New York; Nostalgia Kills You and ReAnimator Requiem (Experiments in Opera); Anthony Braxton’s Trillium J (as Associate Director). Theater productions include peerless and Engagements (Barrington Stage Company), One Day When We Were Young (Assembly, Edinburgh), Pinkalicious the Musical (Hangar Theatre, Ithaca), The Winstons (Juilliard School of Drama); Rum 'n Coca Cola in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (The Tank), Cymbeline and As You Like It at Yale School of Drama. Ms. Proske has assisted such prominent opera and theater directors as Willy Decker, Harry Kupfer and Robert Woodruff. She is an alumna of the Drama League Director’s Project and the Soho Rep Writer-Director Lab. She is also on faculty at Maggie Flanigan Studio teaching Shakespeare Acting and Script Analysis.
For further information, press tickets, photos, and to arrange interviews,
please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or

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