The Fire Island Opera Festival kicks off on Friday, August 23 at 7pm with a VIP launch event, Opera à la carte, of famous opera arias performed by the stars of the Fire Island Opera Festival. This will be followed by a performance of Lee Hoiby's Bon Appétit! starring Jamie Barton as Julia Child. Barton shot to international stardom earlier this year when she took first prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. Bon Appétit! is a comical, culinary musical take on one of America's best-loved chefs and television personalities.
The evening will be hosted at an exclusive private home on the bay and patrons will be treated to a champagne reception and decadent chocolate treats by chocolatier extraordinaire, Lauren Gockley.
Bon Appétit! can also be heard on Sunday, August 25 at 12pm, at the High Tea Deck, Fire Island Pines Pavilion.
L'Arbre Enchanté (The Magic Tree) is a sexy, comic opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck last performed in 1775 for Marie-Antoinette at Versailles. Featuring a cast of leading stars from the opera and Broadway stage, including Matthew Morris, Chad Johnson, Jesse Malgieri, Amy Justman, Yiselle Blum and Emmett O'Hanlon, the original melodies and French lyrics will come alive within a contemporary script adaptation in English that tells the story of two men fighting for the love of a beautiful young man. Will the dashing, rich business man with a beach mansion win or will it be the hot, penniless, pool boy? Only under the spell of a magic tree does the story reach its exciting climax.
L'Arbre Enchanté will be performed on Saturday, August 24 at 10pm and on Sunday, August 25 at 2pm. Saturday evening's performance will be followed by a late-night dance party in true Fire Island style. Both performances will take place at the Pavilion Nightclub on Fire Island Pines.
The Fire Island Opera Festival will commission new one-act American operas and pair them with revivals of forgotten works from the 17th and 18th centuries. Top artists from the world of opera, theater, classical music, fashion and visual art will unite for the first time this summer at the newly rebuilt Pavilion on Fire Island Pines, converted into a beach 'opera house' by Marfa-based installation artist Charles Mary Kubricht using only repurposed wood and materials from trees and structures destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. The result will be an intimate exchange between art and nature that will transport the audience to a singular theatrical and musical experience.
A portion of the proceeds from the inaugural Fire Island Opera Festival will benefit the Sea Shore Defense Fund.