Gene Kaufman’s New Vision for Opera NYC Commissions Mila, A Work-in-Progress Opera
Prolific hotel architect Gene Kaufman and his wife, pianist Terry Eder, have commissioned a working production of Mila for the seventh annual PROTOTYPE festival which features fresh opera-theatre and music-theatre programming and runs January 5-13, 2019.
Produced by New Vision for Opera NYC, Mila will be performed on January 12th and 13th, a 1:00pm, at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Mila is composed by Andrea Clearfield, directed by Kevin Newbury, and conducted by Manoj Kamps, with libretto by Jean-Claude van Itallie and Lois Walden.
Mila depicts the life story of Milarepa, a Tibetan yogi and poet who has been venerated for one thousand years. But as a child, directed by his mother, he wields black magic against the aunt and uncle who stole his inheritance, and destroys his entire village. His remorse sends him on a life journey from mass murder to enlightenment. Set to lush orchestration melding Eastern and Western sounds, his transformation and redemption into the most revered teacher of Tibetan Buddhism offer hope and spiritual wayfinding to all who regret acts of consequence and seek higher ground.
Kaufman’s interest in opera runs deep, and he and his wife are both avid theatergoers. He also bid to revive the bankrupt New York City Opera in 2015, though he ultimately withdrew from the competition. “The lifecycle of putting together an opera is in many ways similar to putting up a building,” Kaufman observed. “I think architects as visual people and as cultural people are drawn to visual art forms,” he said.
145 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013