Hermitage Artist Retreat Presents

Hermitage North @ New College

“LGBT Opera, Then and Now”

With composer Joseph N. Rubinstein and dramatist Jason Kim

Thursday, January 10, at New College of Florida

In this presentation, Rubinstein and Kim discuss gay-themed work in opera and explore the opera they’re collaborating on at the Hermitage, which is set in the uptown New York City drag scene of the 1980s.


(Sarasota County) The Hermitage North @ New College series continues with composer Joseph N. Rubinstein and dramatist Jason Kim, who will address the cultural relationship between gay-male life and opera, Thursday, January 10, 6 p.m., in the Academic Center, Classroom ACE 102, 5800 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Reservations for this free series are required and can be requested at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org. For more information about the Hermitage, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

While gay men have long been associated with classic opera fandom, there have rarely been gay relationships explicitly portrayed in operas themselves until recent years. Rubinstein and Kim will talk about some recent gay-themed work, and include a discussion of “Legendary,” the opera they’re collaborating on at the Hermitage. “Legendary” is set in the uptown New York City drag scene of the 1980s.

Joseph Rubinstein grew up in Newport News, VA, and currently lives in New York City. His music is often concerned with dramatic narrative and character, and has been presented by Fort Worth Opera Festival, The Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, Triad: The Boston Choral Collective, American Opera Projects, The Holy Cross Chamber Singers, The Secret Opera, bass-baritone Matthew Burns at the Spoleto Festival USA, C4, the Society for New Music, and the Young New Yorker’s Chorus, among others. Recent performances include scenes from “Legendary” in a 2017 workshop by American Opera Projects, a premiere on Sparks and Wiry Cries inaugural songSLAM, and a new choral work as part of Novi Cantori’s 2017 Composers Forum. In 2016 he was a fellow in New Dramatists’ Composer-Librettist Studio, and in 2017 he received an Opera Genesis Fellowship with librettist Jason Kim. Select works are published by See-A-Dot Music and recorded on 4Tay Records. He studied music at Columbia University (BA) and The Juilliard School (MM).

Jason Kim is the creator behind the Off-Broadway hit musical “KPOP.” His other works include the operas “An American Man” (Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington National Opera), “Legendary” (American Opera Projects), “A Year of Madness” (American Opera Projects), and “Seeking You” (Spoleto Festival). His plays include “New America” (Naked Angels), “Stuck” (Serials at the Flea Theater), “A Modern Feeling” (New School for Drama), and “History of a Marriage” (Gowanus Art + Production). His film and television work include “Auto” (LineXLine Productions), “Girls” (HBO) and “Gracepoint (Fox).”

“This winter, the Hermitage hosts three composing teams from the Metropolitan Opera and American Opera Projects,” says Patricia Caswell, co-founder and program director. “They are busy at work in their studios, so we’re grateful to Joseph and Jason for taking a few hours to share their work and its context with us in Sarasota.”

Award-winning creators of all artistic disciplines are invited to live and work at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood. During their residencies, they share their talents with the community. Hermitage North @ New College is the most recent iteration of this outreach. This free series encompasses artist talks and readings, glimpses of the creation of works-in-progress, and live performances of music, theater, poetry and more.

All programs are subject to change. Please check the Hermitage website or Facebook page to check program status. For more information the Hermitage, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.


About New College of Florida:

Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre bayfront campus is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.


About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:

The Hermitage is a nonprofit artist retreat located in Englewood, Sarasota County, Florida. It invites accomplished artists in all disciplines for residencies on its beachfront campus which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its artists, who are asked to interact with the community, touch thousands of Gulf Coast residents and visitors with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage fellows have included Pulitzer, Tony, Emmy, Grammy and MacArthur Fellowship award winners. The Hermitage awards the $30,000 Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, and the Aspen Music Festival awards the annual Hermitage Prize in Composition. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.


The Hermitage is supported by:

Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by philanthropist Gerri Aaron; by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes).