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News - Iain Bell’s 'Stonewall' premieres at New York City Opera

Tuesday, June 4, 2019


Hot on the heels of the premiere of Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel at English National Opera's London Coliseum in March, British composer Iain Bell now travels stateside for the world premiere of his fifth opera Stonewall, commissioned by New York City Opera to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

With a libretto by American writer Mark Campbell, the new opera takes to the stage this June during NYC Pride’s full month of WorldPride celebrations. It is presented as part of NYCO's ongoing Pride Initiative to present an LGBTQ-focused work each June, following last year's Brokeback Mountain and 2017's Angels in America. Stonewall features a diverse cast, and is the first opera commissioned by a major company to portray a transgender character expressly written to be sung by a trans performer. It also includes two pre-recorded jukebox songs, performed by veteran pop singer Darlene Love.

Stonewall premieres on June 21 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater with further performances on June 22, 27, and June 28. The final performance will be hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race season 8 winner Bob The Drag Queen.

Buy tickets to Stonewall

Cast Creative Team
Lisa Chavez, Maggie Iain Bell, Music
Brian James Myer, Carlos Mark Campbell, Libretto
Andrew Bidlack, Andy Leonard Foglia, Director
Joe Beutel, Troy Carolyn Kuan, Conductor
Jordan Weatherston Pitts, Renata Richard Stafford, Choreographer
Justin Ryan, Edward Riccardo Hernandez, Set Design
Jessica Fishenfeld, Leah Ken Billington, Lighting Design
Michael Corvino, Sal David Woolard, Costume Design
Liz Bouk, Sarah Brittany Rappise, Make-up Design
Marc Heller, Larry






Brief Synopsis

Stonewall is a moving and explosive new American opera that captures the rage, grit, humour and, finally, hope of the LGBTQ community’s uprising in a Greenwich Village dance club on one hot night in June 1969. The work follows a diverse group of characters whose lives collide at that pivotal moment in history when the police push them too far and they find the courage to fight back.




Introduction to the Operas


A short overview of Iain Bell's five operas to-date, cover photo from his recently premiered fourth: Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel. Ashirah Foster Notice as Magpie & Natalya Romaniw as Mary Kelly.




About Iain Bell


Iain Bell (b. 1980) signed to Music Sales in 2016 and is a prolific composer of opera. He has worked with some the leading singers and houses in Europe and the US, including Diana Damrau, Jay Hunter Morris, Simon Callow, Theater an der Wien, Houston Grand Opera, Teatro Sociale di Trento, and Welsh National Opera who took his Opera Award-nominated In Parenthesis to the Royal Opera House in Summer 2016. This season, Bell adds English National Opera and Opera North to that list, co-commissioners of Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitechapel, which premiered at the London Coliseum in March. New York City Opera's Stonewall, is Bell's second commission from an American opera house and his fifth opera.

Read full biography



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