Past Event

“Being Ariodante” by Jonathan Dawe (first night, May 13)

May 13, 2022
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Casa Italiana, 1161 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027 Teatro

The University's entry requirements: 

  • Columbia affiliates may show a green pass for entry.
  • All non-Columbia guests must have proof of vaccination and a booster as well as complete daily attestation prior to entry.
  • Facial masks must cover the guest's nose and mouth at all times while in the theatre. 

Walk-ins welcome (as some reserved seats may get free)

If you are a member of the Deaf or hard of hearing community, and would like seat(s) with optimal sight lines, please let us know: [email protected].

The Italian Academy announces the May 13 & 14 premiere performances of Being Ariodante, the opera by American composer Jonathan Dawe (Cracked Orlando, 2010; Nero and the Fall of Lehman Brothers, 2016) originally scheduled for April 2020. This dramatic work in Italian and English vividly explores timely themes of personal identity and awareness while evoking a timeless search for meaning and understanding in an increasingly chaotic world. Dawe's music, inspired by 18th-century opera, is incomparably beautiful, fresh, and revelatory.  

About the opera

Set in modern-day Glasgow, the opera's story follows Ariodante, a young man who, beyond his control, is living the life of a character in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, a work written 500 years ago. Living an existence of remarkable predictability, Ariodante searches for release from his pre-plotted life. He is aided and supported by his Deaf brother, Lurcanio, whose abilities in sign language help our accidental hero navigate the twists and betrayals that have led him into peril. In the end, he and his friends find meaning and purpose by realizing their true identity and in doing so create their own life’s story.

About the production

In the role of Ariodante, rising countertenor Bryce McClendon (Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Finalist 2020) is joined by a diverse and brilliant young cast and the virtuoso musicians of Ensemble Échappé under the musical direction of Benjamin Grow.  

“I’m excited to bring this new work to life after several difficult postponements,” says Grow. “This work is filled with surprises–including that the first two acts are both in Italian and in Renaissance ‘just intonation’. That must be a first for a contemporary American opera.” 

“Jonathan Dawe’s new opera explores the intersections between gender, sexuality, and ability in contemporary Glasgow,” says Mari Moriarty (Jet of Blood, 2018) who directs the production. “He pays homage to the romance of Handel’s 18th century opera while forcing audiences to reckon with the randomness and brutality of living in today’s world. The story is told in Italian, English, and American Sign Language and follows the twenty-something opera-obsessed Ariodante as he fights to live a life different from the character of Ariodante in Ariosto's Orlando Furioso that he's convinced he's destined to play. Featuring deaf and hard of hearing artists on and off the stage, Being Ariodante represents a new wave of what contemporary opera can be.” 

Bryce McClendon  ARIODANTE

Sydney Anderson DALINDA

Richard Pittsinger POLINESSO

Cree Carrico GINEVRA

Dickie Hearts LURCANIO

Vako Gvelesiani RINALDO

Chris Burns THE THUG


Ensemble Échappé

Benjamin Grow, Conductor

Directed by Mari Moriarty

Karina Parker, Associate Director

Shelly Guy, DASL (Director of Artistic Sign Language)

Laura Dearman, Choreography

Ciera Miller, Production Stage Manager

Beverly Brooks, Assistant Stage Manager

Rick Whitaker, Associate Producer

Your registration data is used for planning purposes and does not guarantee a seat. Doors open at 7 PM.

To register for the second performance (May 14) click here

Photo: Ronald Andrew Schvartman


Contact Information

Rick Whitaker (Registration link is now off; button below is disabled)
212 854 1623