Boston Tea Party Opera: A Mythic Modern Take on the Moment Americans Discovered Their Identity as a People

MZJ Music is proud to present the world premiere of the BOSTON TEA PARTY OPERA at the 18th annual New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC, a production of The Present Company:

New love blooms – and old loyalty dies,

as Sam Adams leads a rebellion

against an Empire’s high taxes, heavy-handedness and invasions of privacy.

A mythic, modern version of the moment Americans discovered their identity as a people.

This epic but accessible music-drama rides the line between traditional opera and modern musical theater. The show features an interracial cast, and touches upon the controversial yet ever-evolving meaning of the term “Tea Party.” The Boston Tea Party Opera invites the audience to compare the patterns of injustice and oppression suffered by the American colonists leading up to the Revolutionary War—and similar patterns unfolding in America today. The comical and satirical elements of the show are directed not at the scrappy Americans, but at those who kneel to the King’s Empire.

Portions of the show were recently presented at StageFest 2014 in Jersey City, and at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum in Boston.

The show is created and directed by Matthew Zachary Johnson, faculty at Mannes College the New School for Music. Johnson is the composer of a body of often-performed works for saxophone, including Scherzo, Grand Sonata, and the instrumental soliloquy Serenade. According to About.com classical guide Aaron Green, “If this is the direction classical music is heading, well, I’d say the future will be full of wonderful music.”

Choreography is a significant part of the show, with poetic gestural dance used to communicate the major events including the Boston Massacre and the culminating Tea Party itself. Choreographer Karen Gayle—an alum of Toronto Dance Theater and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center—serves on the faculty at Steps on Broadway, Ballet Hispanico, and the New Dance Group. She is also the choreographer and host of Deante Dance, a series of modern dance based fitness videos, and Street Fusion, an instructional street jazz and hip hop DVD.

The Boston Tea Party Opera will be premiering at: Venue #13: Sheen Center – THE LORETTO, 18 Bleecker St (at Elizabeth). Show Times:  Sat 8/9 @ 8:15pm – opening night! Wed 8/13 @ 4:15pm (talk back following this performance); Sat 8/16 @ Noon; Mon 8/18 @ 4:45pm; Fri 8/22 @ 5:15pm.  Tickets: $18 on sale starting July 18. For tickets visit www.FringeNYC.org. For more information about the show, go to www.bostonteapartyopera.com