"Park Avenue, where is your heart?"


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BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES: THE OPERA, the first theatrical adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s epic satirical novel of greed-soaked, ego-fueled New York City, premiered October 9th and 10th, 2015 at El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY.

Melodically ingratiating; caustically witty.
— Financial Times

Wall Street trader Sherman McCoy (RANDAL TURNER) invents a bond whose popularity propels him to the top of the financial world. But just as he meets the peak of his success, he collides with a scandal that brings all of New York City crashing down upon him, including a ferocious Harlem reverend (KEVIN MAYNOR), his own loyal but cosseted Park Avenue housewife (ANNE-CAROLYN BIRD), an ambitious and jaded Bronx ADA (GLENN SEVEN ALLEN), a sexually irresistible femme fatale (YINGJIE ZHOU), and an idealistic lawyer who demands better things for her city (ADRIENNE DANRICH).

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s rejoice! Opera is back.
— Public Seminar
Tuneful and grateful to the voice; [...] sizzling performances.
— New York Observer

Stefania de Kenessey’s score, with its emphasis on melody and strong rhythms, erupts from an 18-piece orchestra and brings together elements of classic opera and popular music to create a unique blend that brings out both the truly contemporary concerns of the narrative and the deep emotions of its characters. Michael Bergmann, whose films have been described as “unafraid to be both smart and silly” (Variety), articulates the story with the ripe urban vocabularies of uptown and down, punctuating the narrative’s volatility with extensive video imagery.  Produced by Process Studio Theatre, BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES: THE OPERA is a masterpiece of collaboration that counts among its proponents Bonfire author Tom Wolfe. 

 

Totally accessible and melodic. One can’t help recalling that the titans of the golden age of opera wrote for the PEOPLE and addressed contemporary concerns.
— Voce di Meche
I would love to see an entire season of operas like this; many, many seasons, in fact.
— Travalanche
[De Kenessey’s] melodic style is rich and entirely uncliched, the themes sing in the manner one associates with great songs, and everything, fast or slow, has an amazing rhythmic life that propels the music forward.
— Fanfare