The East Village Opera Company

The East Village Opera Company

by The East Village Opera CompanyThe East Village Opera Company


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The great thing about opera -- once you get rid of the lavish sets, the implausible plots, and the fat lady wearing a Viking helmet -- is the abundance of beautiful melodies, pure and simple. That's why so many arias were pop hits in their day, and that's why singers like the Three Tenors have become pop icons in our time. It's also why the East Village Opera Company is worth your attention now. Though it draws from 7 different composers (and 12 operas), this troupe's self-titled debut album unfolds like an hour-long opera, from curtain-raising overture (Mozart's Marriage of Figaro) through romance (most of the five Puccini excerpts) and lust (Bizet's Carmen, naturally) to tragic end (the lament from Purcell's Dido and Aeneas). The idea of "East Village Opera" may remind you of the rock musical Rent, which borrowed its story from La Bohème, and that's a fair point of reference. The EVOC's arrangements turn the tunes into everything from arena rock anthems ("Nessun dorma") to trip-hop ballads ("O mio babbino caro"), but they show far more respect for the classical originals than other crossover groups like Bond or Amici Forever. Skeptics and purists beware: "Un bel dì" gets the tear ducts flowing just as easily with synths and electric guitars as it does with an orchestra. Best of all, the vocals turn out to be the EVOC's trump card. Lead singer Tyley Ross has an expressive and surprisingly supple voice, and even though AnnMarie Milazzo can sing him under the table with sheer power, their duets (the "Flower Duet" from Lakmé and Bizet's "Au fond du temple saint") are the album's standout tracks. Much classical crossover is (at best) a guilty pleasure, but the EVOC's playful ingenuity offers all the pleasure of opera and pop alike, and with a clear conscience to boot.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/27/2005
Label: Decca
UPC: 0602498839829
catalogNumber: 000518102
Rank: 190744

Album Credits

Performance Credits

East Village Opera Company   Primary Artist,Ensemble
Peter Kiesewalter   Conductor,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Group Member
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Pauline Kim   Violin
Ben Butler   Guitar,Group Member
Nir "Z" Zidkyahu   Percussion,Drums,Group Member

Technical Credits

Georges Bizet   Composer
Giacomo Puccini   Composer
Henry Purcell   Composer
Giuseppe Verdi   Composer
Pete Townshend   Composer
Alfredo Catalani   Composer
Neil Dorfsman   Producer,Engineer,Engineering
Peter Kiesewalter   Arranger,Programming,Orchestration,Additional Music
Deborah Mannis-Gardner   Sample Clearance
Renato Simoni   Librettist,Composer
Nahum Tate   Librettist,Composer
Giuseppe Adami   Librettist,Composer
Michel Carré   Librettist,Composer
Eugène Cormon   Librettist,Composer
East Village Opera Company   Arranger
Tyley Ross   Composer,Lyricist
Dan Gillis   Management
Ludovic Halévy   Librettist
Henri Meilhac   Librettist,Composer
Giuseppe Giacosa   Librettist,Composer
Luigi Illica   Librettist,Composer
Francesco Maria Piave   Librettist
AnnMarie Milazzo   Lyricist
Gary Chester   Engineering
Steve Martin   Booking
Philippe Gille   Librettist
Edmond Gondinet   Librettist
Jessica Herman Weitz   Management
Giovacchino Forzano   Librettist

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