By Chris Ruel
The Atlanta Opera (TAO), hailed by the industry as being at the forefront of opera’s response to the pandemic with its innovative “Big Tent” series, announced the December 15 launch of Atlanta Opera Spotlight Media.
The digital subscription service will provide access to monthly streaming bundles that combine concerts, special recordings, and behind-the-scenes footage with original opera productions captured live during the “Big Tent” series.
Atlanta Opera Spotlight, funded with support from a $500,000 gift from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation, builds upon Atlanta’s Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. General & Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun’s “Big Tent” series. This latest innovation capitalizes on the groundbreaking stagings by enabling audiences around the globe to experience TAO’s Big Tent opera and more up close.
The “Big Tent” series, which closed on November 14, provided a unique and safe experience for artists and audiences alike with performances staged in a circus big-top with open sides to allow for airflow. The safety precautions were formulated by a risk mitigation team led by one of the United States’ leading epidemiologists, Dr. Carlos del Rio, Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Emory University. Zvulun’s commitment to safety and innovation led to an invitation to speak at the November 20 Opera Europa conference on COVID-19 and the arts. Zvulun is the only representative of an American opera house speaking at the conference.
Highlights from the December bundle include “Il Pagliacci,” and “The Kaiser of Atlantis,” the latter opera a satire on Hitler penned by Auschwitz victims Viktor Ullmann and Peter Kein. The December package also highlights two “Big Tent” concerts filmed live earlier this fall: “Mack the Knife: An Evening of Kurt Weill,” and “Mezzo Extravaganza,” and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.
With the December offer, Atlanta Opera Spotlight Media kicks off a special series, “Love Letters to Atlanta,” in which members of the Company Players celebrate the people, places, and history of the Georgian capital. December’s love letters come from Morris Robinson’s performance of “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha” and Kevin Burdette singing “If Ever I Would Leave You” from “Camelot.” Upcoming releases will include “BBC Music’s” ‘2020 Personality of the Year,’ renowned mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton’s take on “Georgia on My Mind.”