Monthly Archives: November 2015

Parker & Dokken are the opening act on Stage 2 for Artomatic 2015

Parker & Dokken spoke about the road from Artomatic 2012 to the February 2015 GRAMMYs at the opening night for Artomatic 2015 at 6 pm on Friday, October 30. They were listed as Librettist. They played the 2013 studio album and previewed the January 8-9, 2016, Washington DC premiere of fully staged performances of A Roadkill Opera.

Photo of Parker gesturing to Dokken while sitting at microphones. Parker is holding drumsticks.
A Roadkill Opera‘s librettist/producer Stephan Alexander Parker had a lively discussion with music director/conductor Jeffrey Sean Dokken on stage 2 at the opening night of Artomatic 2015 in Hyattsville, Maryland
Photo of the 1804 manuscript for Ferdinando Paer's Leonora
The 1804 manuscript for Ferdinando Paer’s Leonora
Cover of 2013 CD release of Paer's Leonora
In February 2013, Decca released Leonora on CD for the first time. A Roadkill Opera was already halfway through its studio recording
Graphic showing the 7 generations of the Leonora/Fidelio opera, culminating with A Roadkill Opera.
Paer’s 1804 Leonora was the second version of the story set to music. Beethoven’s Fidelio was three of the six versions. Parker kept Paer’s music and wrote a new story and libretto to it. He also cut it from 2.5 hours down to 59 minutes for A Roadkill Opera
Photo of postcard announcing A Roadkill Opera
A Roadkill Opera will have its first fully staged performances on January 8-9, 2016, at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint in Washington, DC

There were some interesting characters in attendance. Artomatic is well-known for transforming empty spaces into vibrant arts communities that create unique and exciting events for tens of thousands of visitors – all FREE.  Anyone can show art at Artomatic – it is non-juried and art is selected on a first-come, first serve basis.  It is simply a great way to discover new art!

Photo of Bryan Jerome Murphy and unidentified stage manager watching Parker & Dokken on stage at Artomatic 2015
Artomatic staff kept a close watch on Parker & Dokken as they discussed the key role Artomatic has played in the development of A Roadkill Opera on the opening night of Artomatic 2015.

Every night of the event, thousands of people visit Artomatic to discover new art, grab a drink, listen to music, go on dates, and mingle with the creative community. No matter what kind of creative events you like, you’ll find something to like at Artomatic.

Photo of Parker & Dokken on Stage 2 at Artomatic 2015 with audience in foreground
Artists and performers in Artomatic 2015 listened attentively as Parker & Dokken discussed the bizarre route of A Roadkill Opera from 1804 Vienna, through Dresden, Paris, and Crystal City to the Washington DC premiere in January 2016
Photo of audience sitting by Parker's exhibit and watching a bluegrass band perform at Artomatic 2015
As other acts follow Parker & Dokken on Stage 2 at Artomatic 2015, their audiences will have a chance to view Parker’s exhibit on the history and future of A Roadkill Opera

Information on A Roadkill Opera‘s backstory and performance editions of the published score and parts are on display in Parker’s exhibit at Artomatic 2015 through December 12. Parker’s exhibit is across from Stage 2 and around the corner from Bar 2.

Photo of display case
You can learn a lot from George Lucas about marketing. Merchandise sales directly support the development of A Roadkill Opera. Here is the display case at Artomatic 2015, showing the studio recording CDs; Land’s End 100% cotton hats, t-shirts, and chambray shirts; stainless steel Opening Night bottle openers; conductor’s batons/chopsticks; bumper stickers; and Rockmount Ranch Wear limited edition 100% silk ties for “A Roadkill Opera: The Underground Opera Sensation”

As of noon on October 31, 2015, you can go to Brown Paper Tickets to buy for the January 8-9, 2016, tickets for A Roadkill Opera – world premiere performances. Shows are at 630 and 830 pm each night at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint.

Photo of Parker's display on A Roadkill Opera at Artomatic 2015
The stellar cast for the January 2016 world premiere of A Roadkill Opera is at the center of Stephan Alexander Parker’s display at Artomatic 2015. The display also showcases the photography of DJ Choupin, whose work has been incorporated into the published sheet music for A Roadkill Opera‘s score and parts.

The studio recording of A Roadkill Opera was released on July 4, 2013, on and subsequently on  CD BabyAmazonMP3, and iTunes. It is now available worldwide on nearly all platforms. This comic opera with music in the style of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is recommended for fans of PDQ Bach, Tom Lehrer, and The Rutles–but only if you like classical music with infectious hooks.

Photo of DJ Choupin with display case in background
A Roadkill Opera‘s merchandising director and photographer DJ Choupin arranged the display case at Artomatic 2015–and served as the muse for A Roadkill Opera–the character Debby is inspired by her

Chamber orchestra announced for the first fully staged shows of A Roadkill Opera on January 8-9, 2016, at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint in Washington, DC

The chamber orchestra for the January 2016 premiere performances of A Roadkill Opera returns four players from previous incarnations. Martine Micozzi, flautist, is the key link who introduced librettist Stephan Alexander Parker to conductor/music director Jeffrey Sean Dokken.  Like Martine, trumpeter/flugehornist Michael Thompson performed in the Artomatic 2012 workshop and on the 2013 studio recording. Val Rauch will return on viola, which she played on the 2013 studio recording of A Roadkill Opera.

As of noon on October 31, 2015, you can go to Brown Paper Tickets to buy for the January 8-9, 2016, tickets for A Roadkill Opera – world premiere performances. Shows are at 630 and 830 pm each night at the Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint.

You can see the complete conductor’s score and parts through December 12, 2015, at Artomatic 2015 in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Long banner with photos of cast and creative team
A Roadkill Opera is now available on most online music platforms.

Michael Thompson – Trumpet – is Associate Conductor and Principal Trumpet of the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia. He attended Grammy Award-winning South Salem High School in Salem, Oregon where he was a member of the Wind Ensemble, Full Orchestra, and Jazz Band and the recipient of the John Philip Sousa and Louis Armstrong awards. Michael studied trumpet performance and music at the University of Oregon and was the trumpet section leader of the Oregon Symphonic Band and all Oregon Athletic Bands and the musical director of the Green Garter Band. Michael was a member of the original orchestra for A Roadkill Opera and has also played in productions of Les MisérablesInto the Woods, and The Music Man. Besides the original recording of A Roadkill Opera, Michael has recorded with the Oregon Marching Band, Green Garter Band, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salem, OR and can be also be found on numerous live recordings and in the introduction to EA Sport’s NCAA March Madness 2004.

Martine Micozzi -Flute- originally hails from Los Angeles where she started her foray into music while in elementary school. While not a music major and pursuing music as a hobby, she enjoyed performing with the Solar Winds Woodwind quintet in L.A. and has performed internationally at venues including the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Hollywood Bowl, Meyerhoff Hall, the Strathmore Center, and La Madeleine in Paris. Martine participated in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Corwin Master Class and Ransom Wilson’s Master Class in Italy. While in Paris, she founded, managed, and performed as Principal flutist of the orchestra of the Paris Choral Society. Upon her return to the U.S., she has participated in summer academies and performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Martine presently performs with and serves on the Board of Directors for the Symphony Orchestra of Arlington, Virginia.

Tanya Whisnant -violin- started studying violin at age 4, and quickly discovered a preference for ensemble playing.  During her school years she formed a quartet (Dalibor Strings), joined Yale University’s Saybrook Orchestra, and played in the pit orchestra for Yale’s Gilbert & Sullivan Society and student opera group, among others.  After moving to the DC area Tanya was pleased to join the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia (Sonova), and still enjoys finding opportunities to play with new ensembles.
Val Rauch -viola- is a violist from the Pittsburgh, PA area. She earned a B.M. in music education from James Madison University and a M.Ed. in school technology from George Mason University.  She has been teaching orchestra for Fairfax County Public Schools since 2006. Val has performed with The McLean Symphony, The Reston Community Orchestra, the Vino Trio, and is currently principal violist of the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia. She has enjoyed performing A Roadkill Opera!  Val resides in Reston, VA with her husband, Robert.
Deborah Albert -clarinet- Debbie plays with the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia.  Locally, she has also played with the Capital Wind Symphony and the Arlington Concert Orchestra.  In a past life in Albany, New York, she played with the SUNY/Community Orchestra and in the pit orchestra for Opera Excelsior performances of The Magic Flute and Cavalleria Rusticana, where she discovered a love for opera she didn’t know she had.  During the day, she is an urban planner in Arlington.

Francesca Martin -violin- has been performing twenty-­two years with the violin, earning musical merit and academic scholarships for orchestral studies, chamber music ensemble classes and private lessons. Most notably, Francesca was the recipient of the “Blackwood Theater Organ Society Scholarship” in 2006. Prior to her acceptance into the Mary Pappert school of Music in 2007, Francesca was under the tutelage of Marian Irwin of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. She was awarded merit scholarships to pursue violin performance in the studios of Charles Stegeman from the Curtis Institute of Music and Christopher Wu, a violinist and member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Prior to becoming Concertmaster of the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, Francesca led her university’s chamber orchestra as Concertmaster for five years. She was a member of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony under the baton of Daniel Meyer for three years in which she was awarded principal second violin her first year with the orchestra. Her orchestral and chamber playing have taken her on tours throughout Eastern Europe (2005), a National Festival of the States Tour (2006), and a special performance at the White House with the Maryland Classic Youth Quartet for their 2007 Christmas season. Since, she has been privileged to return again as a member of Sonova in 2013 for their annual “Holidays at the White House”. Before her acceptance into Sonova, Francesca volunteered for the University of Maryland Baltimore County Orchestra while studying for a masters degree at the Washington Montessori Institute.

Whitney Miller -bassoon- was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and raised primarily in Dumfries, Virginia. She graduated from James Madison University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Music Industry, concentrated in the recording arts, and from Western Michigan University in 2014 with a Master’s in Bassoon Performance. Her career as a bassoonist has led to international performances in Canada, Mexico, and across Europe, and with legendary musicians, such as the band KANSAS and under the direction of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s music director Leonard Slatkin. Combining her love with performance and for sharing that with young people, she is currently pursuing her initial Virginia teacher certification, with the goal of becoming an elementary music educator in mind. She is currently employed as a substitute teacher for Prince William County Schools. When she’s not working, performing with the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, or making reeds, she can be found reading, spending time with her family, or getting in one last bike ride before it becomes too cold to do so.

Jorge Alvarez -cello- graduated with Bachelor of Music in cello performance from Shepherd University. There he participated in many activities/shows/events the music department put together;  was part of the Two River Chamber Orchestra; taught the cello; led cello sectionals of the Shepherd University Orchestra; participated in marching band (it is hard not to think of Woody Allen in Take The Money and Run); and played in the honors recital.