Three years was all it took for the PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/ Now Festival to go from an intriguing showcase of new operas to an indispensable part of the New York City opera scene. The dissolution of City Opera and Gotham Chamber Opera has left an obvious space for smaller-scale productions, which in no way diminishes PROTOTYPE’s importance, earned through polished productions of skillful, imaginative scores.
This year’s festival opens Wednesday with the world premiere of Du Yun’s opera Angel’s Bone—about lost angels, and the people who rescue and prey on them. The festival also boasts the American premieres of Donnacha Dennehy’s existential The Last Hotel, and the multimedia performance work Sága, created by composers Gregory Frateur and Nicolas Rombouts.
In addition, there will be a concert reading, a look at a work in progress, and an appearance by indie/world nightclub band Bombay Rickey, fronted by soprano and composer Kamala Sankaram. But pride of place goes to the long-awaited New York premiere of David T. Little’s Dog Days January 9, a look at ordinary people caught in a grim but believable possible future. There’s no better headliner for a festival that reveals a look into the future of opera now.
PROTOTYPE runs from Wednesday through January 17, with multiple performances scheduled for several venues. prototypefestival.org.