Genre: Musical
Baryshnikov Arts Center

The little OPERA theatre of ny (LOTNY) in collaboration with New Vintage Baroque is developing Mozart's joyful serenata The Shepherd King (Il re pastore) in a newly commissioned singing translation from Mark Herman and Ronnie Apter. Originally scheduled to be presented at the Baryshnikov Arts Center from May 7-10, 2020, the full production of the opera is being postponed until the fall of 2020. The coming spring, the little OPERA theatre of ny (LOTNY) plans to stream a preview of the production, with dates to be announced.


"This winter, we embarked on a new project, a production of Mozart's The Shepherd King (Il re pastore)," said Philip Shneidman, director, the little OPERA theatre of ny. "With a commissioned English translation just completed, our singers have started working on their music and designers have begun their research and sketches. Score preparation with New Vintage Baroque is also well underway. Our first mailing went out just before the escalation of Covid-19 in the NY area. In the short time that has followed, it has become apparent that we must postpone the full production that was announced for this May at the Baryshnikov Arts Center."


The wisdom of a simple shepherd teaches Alexander the Great what it means to be a true king. Conducted by Elliot Figg (Piramo e Tsibe/LOTNY, Dido & Aeneas/Death of Classical, Farinelli/Broadway) The Shepherd King will be directed by LOTNY Artistic Director Philip Shneidman(Owen Wingrave, Prince of Players) with scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado (A Strange Loop, Dance Nation), costume design by Lara de Bruijn (Owen Wingrave) and lighting design by Josh Smith (Abrons Arts Center and Alabama Shakespeare Festival)

The production is double cast and will feature soprano Catherine Ortega Spitzer as Aminta, tenors Brian Downen and Rufus Müller as Alessandro, sopranos Heather Hill and Maggie Finnegan as Elisa, mezzo-sopranos Kristin Gornstein and Heather Johnson as Tamiri; tenors Daniel Curran and Kameron Ghanavati as Agenore, and others to be announced.


The Shepherd King (Il re pastore) is an early work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, first performed in 1775 when the composer was nineteen. The libretto, adapted by Mozart from an original by Pietro Metastasio, tells the story of a simple shepherd, noble of spirit and humble of heart, who is revealed to be the rightful king of Sidon. This launches a story of crossed romances, confused identity, and the struggle between achieving high position and defending true love. 


The score, often praised for its freshness and vitality, was most recently performed by the Merola Opera in San Francisco. A Glimmerglass Production from 1991 travelled to NYC for the Mostly Mozart Festival in 2003. Recent European performances have taken place at Teatro La Fenice (2019) and Théâtre du Châtelet (2015).


LOTNY's production features a brand-new English translation by Mark Herman and Ronnie Apter, and is presented in collaboration with the New Vintage Baroque (NVB), an adventurous period instrument ensemble dedicated to the creation of 21st century repertoire for early instruments.


About the Creative Team

Mark Herman (Translator) is a literary translator, technical translator, chemical engineer, playwright, lyricist, musician, and actor. He writes the "Humor and Translation" column for the online edition of The Chronicle, The Journal of the America Translators Association. 


Ronnie Apter (Translator) is Professor Emerita of English at Central Michigan University (CMU), a published poet, and a translator of poetry. Her awards include the Thomas Wolfe Poetry Award from New York University and the President' s Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity from CMU. 


Herman and Apter'stranslations of works for the musical stage have been performed in the United States, Canada, England, and Scotland, and praised in publications ranging from The New York Times to The London Times. Opera translations include Rossini's Opportunity Makes the Thief, Ernani, Il Trovatore, Luisa Miller and a forthcoming La Bohème all published by Ricordi. Translations of The Bartered Bride and The Abduction from the Seraglio have been praised for being "the best current English translation" and a "highly singable translation." Among their published books are Translating For Singing: The Theory, Art and Craft of' Translating Lyrics, by Ronnie Apter and Mark Herman (London: Bloomsbury, 2016) and A Bilingual Edition of the Love Songs of Bernart de Ventadorn in Occitan and English: Sugar and Salt, by Ronnie Apter (Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1999.)


Elliot Figg (Conductor) returns as music director and harpsichordist for his third opera with LOTNY, after the 2016 U.S. premiere of Chevalier de St. Georges' L'Amant Anonyme, and the 2018 production of Hasse's Piramo e Tisbe. Other recent engagements include: Conductor and harpsichordist for Death of Classical's production of Dido and Aeneas in the catacombs of Green-Wood Cemetery; Deputy Music Director and harpsichordist for Farinelli and the King on Broadway; assistant conductor and harpsichordist for Vivaldi's Farnace and Cavalli's Veremonda, both with Spoleto Festival USA; and assistant conductor and harpsichordist for Dido and Aeneas with L.A. Opera. In 2020, Elliot tours as duo recital partner with violinist Monica Huggett, performing Bach's Obbligato Sonatas for violin and harpsichord. Elliot is an active member of several New York-based early music and contemporary ensembles, including New Vintage Baroque, ACRONYM, and Ruckus. He is a graduate of the Historical Performance Program at The Juilliard School where he studied harpsichord with Kenneth Weiss. At the Yale School of Music, Elliot studied with Arthur Haas. Having received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music Composition from the University of North Texas, Elliot studied composition with Cindy McTee and Joseph Klein, as well as harpsichord with Lenora McCroskey.


Philip Shneidman (Director) founded the little OPERA theatre of ny. Recent productions include the NY stage premieres of Britten's Owen Wingrave; J.A. Hasse's Piramo e Tisbe,  and Carlisle Floyd's Prince of Players. For LOTNY he has also directed an original adaptation of Chevalier de Saint-Georges L'Amant Anonyme.  Floyd's Slow Dusk & Markheim, and Gioachino Rossini's

Opportunity Makes the Thief. Other opera includes Eugene Onegin and Dialogues of the Carmelites at The Mannes College of Music, Purcell's The Tempest at Rutgers. Earlier stage management:  Aldeburgh Festival (Albert Herring), Aspen Music Festival (Paul Bunyan) and Curlew River with Andrea Velis. His theater directing credits include: Fully Committed(Adirondack Theatre Festival); and Romeo & Juliet (Queens Theatre in the Park), A Drowned Girl [1919] (HERE). As an assistant director on Broadway he worked on The Full Monty, and the Gutierrez productions of A Delicate Balance and The Heiress.


Arnulfo Maldonado (Scenic Design) Off-Broadway credits include Paris

Fireflies (Atlantic); Power Strip, The Rolling Stone (Lincoln Center Theater); School Girls..., Charm (MCC); Sugar in Our Wounds (MTC, Lucille Lortel Award); one in two (The New Group); A Strange Loop, Dance Nation (Playwrights Horizons); Usual Girls (Roundabout); The Underlying Chris (Second Stage); Fires In The Mirror (Signature). Regional: Alley Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Baltimore Center Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Guthrie Theater, Humana Festival, Long Wharf Theatre, Old Globe, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Two River Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival. Tour: 

The Magnetic Fields50 Song Memoir (BAM Next Wave, International). Mr. Maldonado is a Clubbed Thumb Affiliated Artist, a recipient of a Princess Grace Fabergé Theater Award, and a multiple Henry Hewes Design nominee. Training: NYU Tisch. IG:


Lara de Bruijn (Costume Design)Recent designs include My Name is Ben at Goodspeed, Party Face at City Center, Salome at Irondale, The Two Character Play at New World Stages, Under My Skin at Little Shubert Theatre, Onegin, The Rake's Progress at Boston Conservatory, Blasted at Calderwood Pavilion, Wittenberg and Measure For Measure at Peterborough Players, Black Dolphin at DANSpace, Olityelwe at 59E59 and Stockholm Fringe.  Her opera work at the Castleton Opera Festival includes Don GiovanniRoméo et Juliette, and the world premiere of Scalia & Ginsberg. With LOTNY: Man in a Black CoatTravelersThe Reformed DrunkardOpportunity Makes the ThiefSlow Dusk & MarkheimPrince of PlayersPiramo y Tisbe, Owen Wingrave. Her new film "Ms. White Light" premiered at last year's SXSW, previous "The Good Catholic" was an Independent Cinema winner at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

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Josh Smith (Lighting Design) is a multidisciplinary theatre artist based in New York City. He's recently worked with The Builders Association, Abrons Arts Center, The Juilliard School, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Bucks County Playhouse, and Lincoln Center Education. Upcoming projects include work with the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, and NYTW Next Door. His work can be found at


Catherine Miller (Associate Music Director) enjoys an active career in New York as accompanist for voice recitals, master classes and auditions. She has worked at the Mannes College of Music in the College, Extension and Preparatory divisions, playing for lessons, juries, recitals, opera workshops and song literature classes. Venues for NYC performances, in collaboration with singers and instrumentalists, have included Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center, the Renee Weiler Concert Hall at Greenwich House, and Saint Peter's Church. Ms. Miller was music director for LOTNY's inaugural concert Gardens of Disguise at the Kosciusko Foundation; she also led THE BOHEMIANS at Socrates Sculpture Park, THE MOTHER OF US ALL at The Box, and New Voices at the Kosciusko Foundation. A native of Kansas City, where she received her undergraduate training at the Conservatory of Music/UMKC, Catherine has been privileged to coach with pianist Elizabeth Rich in New York.


About the little OPERA theatre of ny

Founded in 2004, the little OPERA theatre of ny (LOTNY) recently presented the New York premiere of Johann Adolf Hasse's Piramo e Tisbe at Baruch Performing Arts Center in collaboration with New Vintage Baroque. The production received wide critical acclaim, heralded by Opera News as "superlative [and] an excellent and irrefutable case for programming this rare work, [with] indelible performances that should count among the finest and most complete interpretations heard in New York this season." In the same season, LOTNY presented the New York premiere of Adrienne Danrich's one woman show, This Little Light of Mine: The Stories of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price,as part of the 2018 New York Opera Fest.  Other recent productions include the New York premiere of Carlisle Floyd's Prince of Players (2017 at The Kaye Playhouse), praised by The New York Times as "well made and stylish" and the U.S. premiere of Chevalier de Saint-George's

L'Amant Anonym (2016 at 59E59 Theaters). Past seasons have included Floyd's Slow Dusk & Markheim, Rossini's Opportunity Makes the Theif, a double-bill of Gustav Holst's The Wandering Scholar and Sāvitri, the U.S. premiere of César Cui's A Feast in the Time of the Plague, presented with Rimsky-Korsakov's Mozart and Salieri, and the Virgil Thompson/Gertrude Stein opera The Mother of Us All. LOTNY commissioned and performed Inessa Zaretsky's Man in a Black Coat as part of Target Margin's Last Futurist Lab at The Bushwick Starr, and presented The Bohemians, a concert of Puccini's music as part of the city-wide September Concert for 9/11.


About New Vintage Baroque

Praised by The New York Times for its "buoyant pulse...appealing energy" and "thoughtfully conceived" programming, New Vintage Baroque is an adventurous period instrument ensemble dedicated to the creation of21st century repertoire for early instruments. Founded in 2011 by Baroque oboist Lindsay McIntosh (Juilliard 2014), New Vintage Baroque is committed to bringing audiences the highest level of historical performance practice. Unique among Baroque ensembles, New Vintage unites past and present musical styles, offering new commissions by diverse modern composers alongside the music of the Baroque era.


Of their performance of Handel's Rinaldo with Boston Opera Collaborative, The Boston Globe cited New Vintage's "graceful, songful playing... a major element in the production's success." Other recent projects included a yearlong residency at Yale's Lewis Walpole Library (CT), where NVB created three new musical programs inspired by the collection. In 2015 the group toured New York and the Netherlands with a newly commissioned cantata Virginiana by Gregory Spears'. Most notable and recent has been the release of their Baroque pop album, Passionate Pilgrim on Naxos/Vision into Art (VIA). Called "music that is unstuck in time" by The Wall Street JournalPassionate Pilgrim weaves "Beatlesesque" (Steve Smith) tunes with discredited Shakespearean poetry, in a collaboration with composer collective Oracle Hysterical.

Open:   03/28/20
Close:   03/28/20

Postponed till Fall 2020:
Theater:   Baryshnikov Arts Center
Address:   450 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018
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Cost:TBD or Call: at