If you don’t know about New York’s One World Symphony it’s about time you learned. This orchestra/opera company has been in existence for about 13 years and now, because of its founding director and conductor-composer’s new work, it may gain the notoriety it justly deserves. Last night’s program titled “Addiction” included pieces from Wagner’s Der fliegende Hollander, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Berlioz’s La mort D’Ophelie along with his own Breaking Bad-Ozymandias.
Not a fan of opera, it exposed me to a great performance in a small venue. This intimate setting allowed the audience to be fully engaged with the performers and, likewise, the performers were right there with the audience. Everyone had fun.
Hong connects with the audience through discussion and participation. He explained his obsession with the series Breaking Bad and how beginning in October he quickly composed the opera. He even included audience participation by cueing the crowd when to yell “Yo, bitch!” and “I paid my rent, bitch!,” etc. during the aria Jesse’s Dream (Bitch). His passion and enthusiasm is the winning combination that makes for a dynamic evening of music and opera.
With ticket prices for the New York City Opera and the Met skyrocketing, One World Symphony delivers an amazing and satisfying performance that people can afford (my ticket cost $40.) And keep in mind that this symphony commits to raising funds for at least one charity a year. They “pay it forward” and perhaps this is what has given them their continuing success.(http://www.oneworldsymphony.org/)