NEW YORK. “The Director of a theater in Manhattan that is being restored organizes an important concert with a prominent pianist and a famous soprano opera singer after 15 years. However, the Director doesn’t have enough money to pay their fee. So, he’ll sell, without his wife’s knowledge, a precious Chinese vase he had given her as a gift. The artists threaten not to finish the concert and start fighting about their stormy past.” It seems like the brief synthesis of a feuilleton, when in reality it is a taste of “Cabaret OPERA,” the new show that Italytime presents as a world premiere in its permanent theatrical home in the heart of the West Village in Manhattan. It is a show that, thanks to the storyline of love, hate, and personal interests, combined with a cabaret formula coupled with famous opera arias, gives life to a unique vision of theatrical productions in a far from traditional New York scene. Because we were curious about the theme of the event, we asked the author of the script Domenico Capotorto, Musical Director of Italytime who came expressly from Paris to perform and play in the role of the pianist, how the idea of combining irony with the sacredness of opera was born: “In order to have the audience share in the experience, in my concerts I tend to improvise the presentation of the pieces to be performed, talking about their structure, the composers, and any related anecdotes. During a concert in Paris with a splendid Italian singer I made an ironic, almost sarcastic, presentation of the arias I had to perform, narrating the stories of the operas to be sung. The audience responded by laughing and the soprano, who did not understand French, let herself go by the euphoric atmosphere and started to joke with me, even physically―she would shake me, pull me by my jacket, pass the pages of the score when there was no need to… In other words, she performed a comic role. At the end of the concert, everyone who came to congratulate us thanked me for presenting the arias and, especially, for having narrated the story of the operas in just a few minutes. That’s how I had the idea of creating characters who had had a relationship with episodes similar to those of the arias or intertwined with the operas. Lastly, the purpose of presenting a comic Cabaret is to allow an audience not used to opera to discover the arias they have undoubtedly heard before (on TV, commercials, cinema…) but whose context they are not aware of. The hope is to get them closer to opera or classic music, giving them a different and more accessible perspective. Music lovers are also certainly interested in listening during one evening between seven and eight arias presented in an ironic and unconventional form.” David Donahoe, a permanent actor of italytime who plays the role of the theater director added: “The Director is less than he presents himself to be. He is anxious for his concert to be a success because he is in dire financial circumstances and needs the money. His pairing of Arturo and Maria is risky but if successful, could be his salvation. Parallel to the concert he has arranged he tries to make additional money by selling his wife’s prized vase without telling her. Playing a comedy with so much classic music within is exciting because it brings another dimension to the entertainment. The music brings as much interest and enjoyment to the players as it does to the audience.” Kari Lyon explains: “I started in theatre in Australia, but now spend most of my time on opera and music, so it’s very special for me to be doing a play in New York City, and exciting to receive a script for a completely new work. A cabaret is such a fun, informal way to perform some well-known arias – the audience can expect to recognize songs they know from La Boheme and, of course, Casta Diva. It’s especially fun for me to sing from something like Carmen – I would never get to sing the role because it’s written for an entirely different voice type – alongside Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, which was one of my first roles, and my current repertoire like Violetta in La Traviata.” The show will have its debut at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday April 28th, Friday April 29th, and Saturday April 30th at the Our Lady of Pompeii-italytime theater, located at 238 Bleecker Street (and Carmine Street). For reservations and information: – Tel. 212-860-2983.