For Immediate Release: February 8, 2015
Roadkill Opera: Stephan Alexander Parker firstname.lastname@example.org 240.277.6640
UNDERGROUND OPERA SENSATION “A ROADKILL OPERA” NOW AVAILABLE AS DO-IT-YOURSELF OPERA IN A BOX
Jeffrey Dokken, Music Director and Conductor for the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, Vetted Score and Parts at Artomatic 2012 Workshop and 2013 Studio Recording Sessions
Just add Five Opera Singers and a Nine-Person Chamber Orchestra to Perform “A Roadkill Opera”
See A Roadkill Opera at Artomatic 2015/2016
HOLLYWOOD, CA (February 8, 2015) — The creative team behind the Artomatic 2012 workshop performance and 2013 studio recording of A Roadkill Opera are at the Grammys this week, where they announced a new initiative: A Roadkill Opera DIY. ARO DIY comprises the complete opera in a box, including the conductor’s score and parts so anyone can put on a concert performance—just add five singers and a chamber orchestra.
Under ARO DIY, groups that commit to performing by Groundhog Day (February 2) 2016 can order the opera-in-a-box for $150—a savings of more than 25 percent over purchasing the items separately. To make it even more attractive, ARO DIY Is further offering BOGO—buy one at $150 and get a second one for half price. Challenges of cross-town rivals could ensue…
A Roadkill Opera is a new opera first workshopped at Artomatic 2012, the Washington area’s largest free creative arts event. Set to classical music from 1804 and crossed with a backstage comedy, the 59-minute opera tells the story of the hour before the lights go up on opening night for a comedy improv troupe in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
“This music is too much fun for us to be the only ones performing it,” said Jeffrey Dokken, music director and conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia.
“A Roadkill Opera is not roadkill on the road to Grammy gold—we got bronze!” said Stephan Alexander Parker, librettist for the opera. He was referring to the invitation to attend the Grammy awards. Together with Dokken and Parker, the Roadkill entourage includes video director Ben Ganz and merchandizing director DJ Choupin. All four are attending the Grammy ceremonies tonight with Bronze level tickets. Composer Ferdinando Paer was not available to attend, as he passed away in 1839.
“It was a thrill to provide A Roadkill Opera as an entry for consideration last year. We are not nominated or performing…this year. But we’ll be back!” said Parker.
“This project has become extremely dear to my heart and I am working hard to ensure its immediate and long term success,” said Dokken.
Maestro Dokken became involved with the project after long-time Artomatic exhibitor Stephan Alexander Parker completed this new English libretto, begun and roughed-out during Artomatic 2004. A search for interested producing partners was launched at Artomatic 2009, and ended in 2012 when Dokken received a copy of the score through a mutual friend. The Artomatic 2012 workshop performance of A Roadkilll Opera in Crystal City, Virginia was “sprawling room only—every seat was taken and people were sprawled out in all directions,” said Parker.
Further Washington DC-area performances are planned for the next Artomatic events in 2015 and 2016, once they are officially announced.
Music from 1804. Action set in 1988. A new opera (in just 59 minutes)
A Roadkill Opera tells the story of the hour before the lights go up on opening night for a comedy improv troupe in Jackson Hole, Wyoming—the Roadkill On A Stick Frozen Foods Theatre Company. Based (loosely) on a true story from a fast-developing tourist town, this original English libretto by Parker is set to music by Ferdinando Paer (Napoleon’s maître de chapelle).
It took 25 years to identify the classical opera Parker recorded off an FM station, and another 5 years to acquire the score. The story of chasing down the obscure score is related in Parker’s 2013 book, If you see roadkill, think opera. A sequel is in the works.
The 2012 performance was one of many featured at the month-long arts event. Artomatic 2012 was the largest ever event, featuring work and performances by more than 1300 artists, performers, musicians, filmmakers, fashion designers, and creatives of all kinds in a 380,000 square-foot office building in Crystal City, Va. The 6-week event attracted more than 80,000 attendees—not all at the same time, obviously.
**MEDIA AVAILABILITY: To schedule an interview with Maestro Jeffrey Dokken or librettist Stephan Alexander Parker, or to arrange photo opportunity, contact Stephan at 240.277.6640 or email@example.com.
Jeffrey Sean Dokken (Music Director and Conductor).
Maestro Jeffrey Sean Dokken is one of today’s most exciting and vibrant conductors, composers and musicians. Northern Virginia Magazine wrote, under Maestro Dokken’s direction “NOVA has a world-class symphony in the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia.” Over the past decade, Dokken has performed all across the United States and in some of America’s greatest venues including The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Marie Collier Baker Theater, Parilla Performing Arts and The Kavli Theater. In October 2013, Dokken traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador to sit on an elite three member international adjudication panel for the Guayaquil Symphony Orchestra, one of South America’s foremost national orchestras. In April of 2014, Dokken will return to Ecuador as guest conductor of the GSO. Over the past three years, Maestro Dokken has had the distinct honor of conducting at the White House in Washington D.C. as part of “Holidays at the White House.” In December 2013, Dokken returned to The Kennedy Center to conduct a combined choir of 250 voices in a performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”
After earning his degree in vocal performance from the prestigious University of Redlands School of Music, Dokken pursued graduate degrees in music education and conducting at California Lutheran University and Shenandoah Conservatory, respectively. Maestro Dokken has studied conducting with Dr. Steven Cooksey and Jeffrey H. Rickard; euphonium and trombone with Dr. Phil Keen; piano with Dr. Angelica Prodan and voice with Mrs. Patricia Gee and Dr. Anthony Zwerdling. Dokken has had the good fortune of working with some of the world’s greatest conductors, including Valery Gergiev, Christoph Eschenbach, Marvin Hamlisch and Norman Scribner. In addition to being a conductor and composer, Maestro Dokken is in high demand as a vocalist. As a singer, Dokken has performed with innumerable world-class soloists, including Andrea Boccelli, Kelli O’Hara, Brian D’Arcy James and David Archuletta, among others. Dokken recently made his debut in the Bach Cantata #80 with St. Marie’s Musica, and performed a duet recital with renowned opera singer Jeanne Kelly this August 2014 in New York.
Upon his relocation to the East Coast, Maestro Dokken quickly became the Associate Music Director of Open5ths, then one of the premiere men’s choirs in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2010, Dokken was hired as Music Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia (SONOVA), a position he still proudly holds. Additionally, Maestro Dokken is the Artistic Director of the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia Chorale. Dokken has recently been guest conductor with the Opera Guild of Northern Virginia; American University; The Washington Men’s Camerata; The Reformation Festival Choir and Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music. Maestro Dokken is also proudly a conductor for the Northern Virginia Area Encore Chorales. He eagerly anticipates numerous exciting opportunities in 2014, including performances with cross-over recording artist Jackson Caesar; international opera stars Laura Wehrmeyer, David Timpane, and Larry Boggs; a week in residence at the Chataqua Institution; his debut conducting appearance with The Metropolitan Chorus; and choral and orchestral guest conducting performances in Ecuador, New York, Cuba, and Colonial Williamsburg as well as a season full of outstanding music with SONOVA, the SONOVA Chorale, and several special guest artists.
Dokken has composed for, conducted and performed on a number of opera, classical and musical theatre CD’s and DVD’s. Most recently, he conducted and co-produced Stephan Parker’s 2013 adaptation of Ferdinando Paer’s classic opera “Leonora,” released commercially in July 2013. Additionally, Dokken is the Musical Consultant and Composer in Residence for the largest health care corporation in America, Kaiser Permanente, where his duties include composing health related musicals; scoring videos for public and in house use; and providing musical consultation on a wide array of arts projects. Dokken also maintains a thriving private voice and piano studio and is active as an arranger, educator and adjudicator.
Artomatic creates community, builds audience and expands economic development by transforming available space into a playground for artistic expression. Open-entry events showcase creative work including visual art, music, film, performance, poetry and fashion. Artomatic is a non-profit organization headed by a volunteer Board of Directors and funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit www.artomatic.org.
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