THE 1914 CHRISTMAS TRUCE in December
New York City Opera will celebrate the holidays with All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 at the Sacred Heart University Community Theater, 1420 Post Road, Fairfield, CT, presented in association with Bodhi Tree Concerts and with support from Kings Alley. Performances: Wed 12/7 and Thu 12/8 at 7:30 p.m., Fri 12/9 at 8 p.m. and Sat at 11 a.m. (family performance). Tickets are $45 for adults, $25 for children and are available at shucommunitytheatre.showare.com/NewYorkCityOpera.
All is Quiet: The Christmas Truce of 1914 tells the true story of the first Christmas Eve of World War I, when soldiers on the Western Front laid down their arms to celebrate Christmas together. For 48 hours to more than a week on some battlefronts, soldiers on all sides declared a truce and ate and drank together, played football and sang Christmas carols. This beautiful account of events, based on the first-hand accounts of soldiers who lived through it, is woven with traditional songs and patriotic songs, celebrating the unique way the holiday season can bring us all together.
All is Calm is a holiday show like no other, guaranteed to get the whole family in the holiday spirit, with favorites including ‘Silent Night’, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, ‘The First Noel’, ‘O Tannenbaum” and “Angels We Have Heard on High”, sung a cappella in several languages, including English, German and French. These traditional songs fostered the spirit of the warmth of Christmas in the midst of a war , and as a play with music, All Is Calm captures a snapshot of that moment when the war stopped, and those people put aside their differences to celebrate Christmas.
The all-male cast of fourteen includes Glenn Seven Allen, Michael BoleyShelby CondrayNicolas Davis Walter DuMelleJohn Robert GreenSpencer Hamlin, Andrew Konopak, Dimitrie Lazich, Brian James Myer, Jordan Weatherston Pitts, Timmy Simpson, Michael Sokol and WooYoung Yoon.
Everything is calm is written by Peter Rothsteinwith musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach, directed by Richard Stafford and led by Juan Carlos Acostawith dialect coaching by Vanessa Dinning, decor designed by John Farrellcostumes designed by Stéphanie Bauerle and lighting designed by Susan Roth.
“New York City Opera is thrilled to present All Is Calm in December,” said Michael Capasso, General Manager of the New York Opera. “This is a beautiful and moving work that my longtime friend and collaborator Diana DuMelle – the director of Bodhi Tree Concerts – presented to me. We are delighted to be associated with this new production featuring several members of the production Bodhi Tree original and start our collaboration with SHU!”
About the artists
John Carlos Acosta is a critically acclaimed American conductor specializing in contemporary vocal music who has conducted world and regional premieres of choral works by Anthony Davis, Saunder Choi, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Kim André Arnesen, Brandon Waddles and many more. He served as chorus leader for the live world premiere of Star Trek: Beyond (Michael Giacchino) and the live music premiere for the television series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Bear McCreary). He has also conducted masterpieces by Brahms (Ein deutsches Requiem), Haydn (Lord Nelson Mass), Menotti (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Handel (Messiah), Respighi (Lauda per la Natività del Signore), Bach (Magnificate) and Duke Ellington (Sacred Concert), and was musical director and conductor for six productions of All Is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914, including the San Diego Opera’s award-winning production, which was hailed as “excellent” by Broadway World, “handled by a master’s hand”. by the San Diego Union-Tribune, and “nothing short of amazing” by OperaWire. Acosta is the Artistic Director of the San Diego-based SACRA/PROFANA Chamber Choir, which recently released its second album “A Longing for Christmas” with Grammy-winning producer Peter Rutenberg.
Richard Stafford made his New York City Opera debut in 2017 as director and choreographer of the US premiere of Antonio Literes’ Los Elementos. He was immediately rehired and directed and choreographed the critically acclaimed double program of Rameau’s Pigmalion in 2018 and the US premiere of Donizetti’s Pigmalione. Additional NYCO credits include choreography for Turandot (2018 with Opera Hong Kong) and, in 2019, choreography for Dear Erich and Stonewall. His Broadway credits include choreographer for In My Life at the Music Box Theatre, associate choreographer for Aspects of Love at the Broadhurst Theater and dance supervisor for Cats at the Winter Garden Theatre. Off Broadway, he was choreographer for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at St. Clements and director/choreographer for Castle Walk for the New York Musical Festival. Internationally, he was director/choreographer for The Full Monty and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Mexico City; Cats in Copenhagen, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro; choreographer for Jesus Christ Superstar in Mexico City; Eva in Sydney; and cats in Mexico City and Buenos Aires. He was choreographer for the national tours of Cats, My Fair Lady and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Mr. Stafford won the Barrymore Award for Outstanding Choreography for La Cage aux Folles at the Walnut Street Theater and the NYMF “Outstanding Choreography” award for Castle Walk.
About the New York Opera
Founded as “The People’s Opera” by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in 1943, the New York City Opera (NYCO) has remained an essential part of the city’s cultural life. Launching the careers of dozens of major artists, presenting engaging productions of mainstream and lesser-known operas alongside commissions and regional premieres, NYCO has continued to endure as a American opera company of international stature with a distinct identity and a singular mission: affordable ticket prices, a devotion to American works, performances in English, the promotion of up-and-coming American singers, and seasons of accessible, dynamic and captivating productions designed to introduce new audience to the art form.
Stars who launched their careers at New York City Opera include Plácido Domingo, Catherine Malfitano, Sherrill Milnes, Samuel Ramey, Beverly Sills, Tatiana Troyanos, carol vanessand Shirley Verret, among dozens of other great artists. The New York City Opera also featured talents such as Anna Caterina Antonacci and Aprile Millo in concert, as well as its own 75th anniversary concert at Bryant Park.
The New York City Opera has charted a course for inclusion and diversity in the arts. It was the first major opera company to feature African American singers in lead roles (Todd Duncan as Tonio in Pagliacci, 1945 and Camille Williams in the title role of Madama Butterfly, 1946); the first to produce a new work by an African-American composer (William Grant Still, Troubled Island, 1949); and the first to have an African-American conductor lead his orchestra (Everett Lee1955).
A revitalized City Opera reopened in January 2016 with Tosca, the opera which originally launched the company in 1944. Outstanding productions since then include: world premieres by Iain Bell and Marc Campbell‘s Stonewall, commissioned and developed by NYCO), legendary director Harold Princethe new production of Bernstein’s Candide; Puccini’s beloved Fanciulla del West; and the New York premiere of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas – the premiere of NYCO’s Ópera en Español series. Later productions of Ópera en Español include the New York premiere of the world’s first mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la by José “Pepe” Martinez. Moon, Los Elementos de Literes and María de Buenos Aires de Piazzolla. NYCO’s Pride initiative, which produces LGBTQ-themed artwork each June during Pride Month, includes productions such as the New York premiere of Péter Eötvös’ Angels in America and the US premiere of Brokeback Mountain. by Charles Wuorinen.
The New York City Opera continues its legacy with regular performances on the main stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, an acclaimed summer series in Bryant Park that provides free performances to thousands of New Yorkers each year, and programs of outreach and education revitalized in venues around the city that are designed to welcome and inspire a new generation of opera audiences.
About Bodhi Tree Concerts
Now celebrating its eleventh season, San Diego, Calif.-based Bodhi Tree Concerts is focused on fulfilling its mission to perform intentional acts of kindness through music. Founded and led by Diana and Walter DuMelle, the band exclusively engages San Diego artists to inspire community engagement, philanthropy and enlightenment through an eclectic and dynamic lineup of musical events. Through their over 35 concerts, the band has donated over $45,000 to over 40 charities. Bodhi Tree Concerts won a coveted San Diego Bravo Award in 2013, a Best of Fringe Award in 2014, a SanDiegoStory.com Best of 2014 and 2015, a Critics Choice Award in 2015 for their SD debut of Tears of the Knife, a Festival Best and Best Male Performer in an Opera or Musical: San Diego International Fringe Festival and a Craig Noel Award for Best Special Event for the San Diego premiere of 8 Songs for a Mad King, and a second Craig Award Noel in 2018 alongside San Diego Opera and Sacra/Profana for their collaborative production of All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. www.bodhitreeconcerts.org
About Sacred Heart University Community Theater
As the second largest independent Catholic university in New England and one of the fastest growing in the United States, Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU Community Theater works in partnership with Sacred Heart University to provide world-class entertainment for Fairfield residents and University students, faculty and staff. SHU offers nearly 90 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs at its campus in Fairfield, Connecticut. Sacred Heart also has satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland and offers online programs. Over 9,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, media and arts; social work; computer science and engineering; Health Professions; Isabelle Farrington College of Education; the Jack Welch College of Business and Technology; Dr. Susan L. Davis, RN, & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent College. The Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions because it was created and run by lay people. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward-thinking thinkers who embrace change in their own lives, professions, and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its 387 Best Colleges-2022 Edition, “Best Northeastern”, and Best Business Schools-2021 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to award-winning NPR-affiliated radio station WSHU, a Division I athletics program, and an impressive performing arts program that includes a choir, orchestra, dance, and theater. www.sacredheart.edu