Artwork by Laura Winslow
Prelude Opera is excited to announce an upcoming production of a timeless storybook classic, Little Red Riding Hood, a children’s opera composed by Seymour Barab. The first American opera performed in China after the isolationist period has been enjoyed by young audiences since it was composed in 1962. Barab (1921-2014) was a Manhattan resident and has been deemed “the Rossini of our time.”
We received two grants for this production from the Lower Manhattan Community Council. They have graciously allowed us to postpone the performance to 2021. We are now working to finish our fundraising goals in order to live-stream a production and possibly hold an outdoor performance in a park in May 2021. Stay tuned for ways to support this production, including an art sale, T-shirt sale and tax-deductible donations.
Funding goes towards the performers, production team, scenery and costumes, advertising and publicity. Acclaimed stage director Benjamin Spierman will be directing this show. This particular production will also need funding directed toward the costs of streaming the show online.
The mission of Prelude Opera is to bring opera to children. From Handel to John Adams and the Marriage of Figaro to Einstein on the Beach, operas contain some of the greatest music ever composed. Opera is a powerful artistic medium that brings together music and theater using one of the most fundamental instruments, the human voice. Learning the language of music has proven to play a compelling role in children’s intellectual development and is essential to one’s emotional well-being. Introducing children to opera exposes them to several of the greatest classical composers in the context of storytelling and theater. By enjoying family-friendly opera at a young age, children can develop a lifelong interest in this stunning musical-theatrical experience. My hope is for Prelude Opera to be a prelude to a lifelong enjoyment of opera and classical music.
Christine Pulliam Melamed
Pianist Christine Pulliam Melamed performs as a soloist, chamber musician, and accompanist. Since moving to NYC in 2010 she has developed an opera coaching career, working for the Atlantic Music Festival, Masterworks Festival and Opera Company of Brooklyn. As music director of the opera company Dramma per Music, she directed Don Giovanni, Xerxes, Giulio Cesare, and Ariodante. She has instructed piano for 23 years and is currently a lecturer of piano and music history at The King’s College in New York City. Previously she was on the piano faculty of the Levine School of Music in Washington D.C. A fan of new music, she has premiered works by Frank Felice, Benjamin Boyle, and Joshua Bornfield. Past performances also include the Opus Nine Ensemble, Académie Francis Poulenc in Tours, France, the Vancouver International Song Institute, the Kennedy Center of Washington D.C., The Washington Sinfonietta, University of Wisconsin, and Malacañang Palace in the Philippines. A native of Indianapolis, she graduated from Butler University summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and minor in journalism. She holds masters degrees from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.
“Prelude Operas are a treat to attend for families. My small children, who usually can’t sit still for anything, watched the entire performance with great interest. They loved that they could meet the singers afterwards.”Katie MartinezFounder of Elegantees
“My daughter was memorized with the singing and now often tells us she wants to be an opera singer. I appreciated the life lessons and morals that were interwoven into the stories. Prelude Opera gives kids a wonderful opportunity to be exposed to this beautiful art form and great storytelling."Michelle MullinsPsychotherapist
“It’s such a fun way to introduce kids to the beauty of opera and in such a whimsical way. I’m so supportive of the mission of the company that I’ve started volunteering to help out.”Dr. Henry BleattlerProfessor of History and The Humanities, The King’s College
“As a lover of opera, it was heartwarming to see the children having such a fun time at an “opera!” I love that the opera was in a setting where every child could feel like they were part of the story.”Louise RogersJazz Vocalist, Founder of Jazz Wahi, Teacher at Medical Center Nursery School
“Christine’s interpretation of a concept fairly abstract to young children was beautiful. She did that in a way where she respects storytelling, music and children. Nothing was stripped from authenticity but still appealing and amusing for both young viewers and their grownups. Music was divine, scenography impressive and cast talented and well rehearsed. Pure joy.”Ivana DrazicMontessori educator and mother of 8 year old
The Billy Goats Gruff
The Three Billy Goats Gruff is an arrangement by John Davies. A fun-filled, short family-friendly opera, it uses famous opera tunes by Mozart, Rossini and Donizzeti
The Three Billy Goats Gruff was produced by Prelude Opera in 2019 and is a Children’s Opera was made possible in part with funding from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and administered by LMCC.
UMEZ enhances the economic vitality of all communities in Upper Manhattan through job creation, corporate alliances, strategic investments, and small business assistance. LMCC empowers artists by providing them with networks, resources, and support, to create vibrant, sustainable communities in Manhattan and beyond.