This is a truly historic event.
The recently formed Queens Opera Theatre will offer its first concert ever at Flushing Town Hall on Saturday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. Attendance is free.
The brand new troupe will present a roughly 90-minute showcase featuring music from two operas – Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme” and Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto” – that members plan to perform during the inaugural season. Attendees can also expect to hear arias and duets from Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s “Die tote Stadt,” Puccini’s “Turandot” and Richard Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman.”
“It’s really more of a town hall than a performance, because we want to start getting feedback and get people excited so they know we are here,” artistic director Andy Anderson said.
Queens Opera Theatre’s two founders – Anderson and executive director Brian Gill – are good friends who have collaborated to present art for many years. They met as stage crew employees at the Interlochen Arts Camp in 1995.
Anderson moved to New York in 2015, after a seven-year stint as the artistic director for the Mobile Opera in Alabama. After noticing that Queens didn’t have an opera company, he convinced Gill, a former musician for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, to co-found one with him over dinner last January.
For the first few years, the company will favor well-known operas that appeal to broad audiences, Anderson explained. Once the troupe gains more traction, though, he wants to increase the number of shows and present modern, less well-known operas.
“So many think that [the] art form is elitist, but we want to bring opera back to the people where it belongs,” Anderson said.