Guerilla Opera to Perform at the Kennedy Center

February 28, 2020 Tori Donahue

Boston Conservatory at Berklee alumni group Guerilla Opera will perform Rumpelstiltskin in a free concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 16. Rumpelstiltskin features music and libretto by Marti Epstein, a professor of composition at the College and Conservatory, and original shadow puppetry animation by Boston-based artist Deniz Khateri.

“Guerilla Opera has been a powerful force in the Boston classical music scene for over a decade, and we look forward to bringing our work to the Kennedy Center,” said soprano Aliana de la Guardia (B.M. ’05, vocal performance, M.M. ’07, vocal performance), who will perform as Rumpelstiltskin. “Rumpelstiltskin is an emotional, magical, and powerful production. We are so proud to have it as a part of our commissioned repertoire, and cannot wait to showcase it in our Washington debut.”

In addition to de la Guardia, featured performers in the Kennedy Center program include mezzo-soprano Janna Baty as Gretchen, baritone Brian Church as King, soprano Rose Hegele (M.M. ’18, vocal performance, post-master’s degree fellowship ’19) as Miller, violinist Lilit Hartunian, cellist Stephen Marotto, saxophonist Philipp Stäudlin, and percussionist Mike Williams (B.M. ’02, percussion performance, M.M. ’07, percussion performance) with conductor Jeffrey Means.

Epstein’s magical Rumpelstiltskin, originally commissioned by Guerilla Opera in 2009, tells the tragic story of a hideously deformed man who believes that he is unlovable because of his physical appearance. The man, who has mysterious magic powers, only wants one thing in life: to love someone and have that loved returned unconditionally. The Kennedy Center performance will be dedicated in memory of Matthew Truss, an alumnus of the Conservatory who premiered the role of the Miller in 2009.

“It is an honor to present Rumpelstiltskin at the Kennedy Center with Guerilla Opera,” said Epstein. “Working with this talented group of artists has brought the story to life in a one-of-a-kind performance that will delight, shock, and inspire the audience."