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Lady Kaiser illustration by Doug Fitch



The Dwarf at The Blue Building

The Dwarf

a comic opera

by Yoav Gal

Two Performances Added!

Thursday, December 5th, 8:00 PM / Saturday, December 7th, 8:00 PM

The Blue Building
222 East 46th Street
New York City

Doug Fitch, Director and Host for the Evening
Peter Szep, Conductor

Kevin Courtemanche as The Dwarf
Judith Barnes as Lady Katherina Kaiser
Scott Lindroth as Chanticleer
Glenn Seven Allen as Mr. T
Tyler Putnam as Mr. B
Ellie Forman as Salietta

The VPR Chamber Ensemble
Matthew Lobaugh and Saffron Chung, Pianos
Jonas Tauber, Double Bass
Joseph Fee, Percussion

The VPR Chorus
Emma Alexander, Laura de Araujo, Chitra Raghavan, Blake Burroughs, Rachel Coates, Sarah Downs, Deborah Houston, Susan Kommel, Tony Mowatt, Robert Lewis, Ulises Solano, Greg Spock, Olivia Stockard, Ray Weisbond

VPR premiered Gal’s quirky first opera, The Dwarf, in 2003.  The New York Times article featuring that world premiere, “Never Say Die in Indie Opera” by Anne Midgette, coined the term “indie opera.”  The Dwarf tells of the Lady Katherina Kaiser and the attention she arouses by wearing an oddly capacious dress. What…or whom…is she concealing under there?
“…the music…illustrates the humorous fairy tale quality of the story by giving its harmonies a sardonic twist…” —Anne Midgette, The New York Times
“…a twisted world whose inhabitants are prisoners of their own conceptions…” -Brooklyn Heights Press
Rehearsal photographs above by Andrei Severny
For photos of the 2003 premiere production click HERE



The Millay Sisters – August 23

To celebrate her 100th anniversary, I will be performing a “Cabaret” show in Stonington, about Edna St. Vincent Millay July 23rd. I am music director and will be at the piano, for the first time in public for a really long time. The music is from the period and jazz standards with a few classical things thrown in. I am performing with 2 wonderful actresses, Margi Sharp Douglas and Rachel Murdy who I met at Camp when I was 15 years old. Isn’t that amazing!

Margi Sharp Douglas and Rachel Murdy as Norma and Vincent

Margi Sharp Douglas and Rachel Murdy
as Norma and Vincent

She walks into the first rehearsal meeting and I think, “you look really familiar.” I went home and I remembered who she reminded me of. When we met again I asked her if she went to camp in NH, she goes “Oh My God! PETER!” I am so glad to have reconnected with her. Both her and Margi are incredible actresses and sirens.


Burt Dow — August 9 – 19

We are having a revival of Opera House Arts’ original musical version of Robert McCloskey’s classic Deer Isle tale. Book and music by Maia Aprahamian and area students, featuring a community and professional cast of all ages. I am working with the same great artistic staff from the original production, with Joan Jubett directing, Kelley Hayes choreography, David Barber set design, and Debra Otte costumes design.


Water Music — July 21

I will be conducting a FREE CONCERT in Brooklyn Bridge Park with VPR (weather permitting) on July 21st at 7:30pm. There is this really amazing granite stairway in the park that will be our stage right on the edge of the water. The view will be spectacular! The stage concert will include some of the best parts of William Bolcom’s “View From The Bridge,” Puccini’s “Il Tabarro” and Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffman.”

Granite Staircase

It will be fun staging the Barcarolle on this!

The amazing Branch Fields and Glen Seven Allen will be reprising their roles, Marco and Rodolpho, from our studio production of “View from the Bridge” and Kevin Courtemanche will reprise the role of Hoffmann! We will be accompanied by Sasha at the keyboard and the entire VPR chorus will be joining us as well.


Independent Opera Alliance

My latest project has been teaming up with Gina Crusco head of Underworld productions, and Cori Ellison, faculty member at American Lyric Theater and New York City Opera’s dramaturg from 1997-2010 to create an opera organization for the New York area, the New York Opera Alliance.

We already have 19 opera organization on board, American Lyric Theater, American Opera Projects, Beth Morrison Projects, Chelsea Opera, Encompass Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, Opera Moderne, Operamission, Opera Oggi, Opera Omnia, Vertical Player Repertory, Underworld Productions Opera.

One of our goals is to create an Opera Festival in New York.


Burt Dow Deep Water Man

Great photos posted on flickr, from “Burt Dow Deep Water Man” at Operahouse Arts in Stonington, ME.

Burt Dow deep out in the ocean.

Click to view photos


VPR – The Tales of Hoffmann on BBC

A clip from the Vertical Player Repertory appeared on the BBC in a documentary about the financial collapse that was occurring across the river as we were performing on a gorgeous evening. It was a last hurrah before America’s Panic attack that has led to so much turmoil.

[View clip on YouTube]

A last hurrah before economic collapse.

Click to view video


Conducting Il Tabarro – Fuji TV Japan

A gorgeous windy opening night.

Click to view video

This is a clip from a Japanese morning television show which ran a story about VPR’s “Il Tabarro” in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Which we staged on an Oil Tanker.


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