POP-Up productions are best described as "a party where an opera happens to be playing."
The idea for these "simple" productions started in November of 2012 with La boheme AKA: The Hipsters. That production was done almost as an after thought during our run of Sweeney Todd. It was put together in four days, sold-out three performances immediately, and received amazing reviews from audiences and critics. The idea was to produce shows in about a week of rehearsal, with relatively low production costs and with table seating, including wine and food all for a very low price. Well, POP-Ups have come a long way since then!
La boheme was followed by a sold-out run of Il barbiere di Siviglia in March of 2013. With the addition of a small chorus, the basic formula stayed the same-- bring in incredible singers for a few days of rehearsal, keep production costs low with minimal sets and just piano, and seat audiences at tables as close as possible to the stage.
By 2014 it was clear that audiences wanted more POP-Ups and we couldn't resist upping the stakes a litte each time. Carmen (March 2014) had a full chorus of 20 and the stage was built out to surround the audience. La Calisto (May 2014) brought the addition of a small period orchestra and production values were raised across the board with elaborate satyr costumes, special effects, more lighting, and even running water on stage.
In December of 2014, a revival of La boheme AKA: The Hipsters tried to stay true to the simplicity of the original production with a few important exceptions: the singers were paid nearly five times what the original cast received and the audience (5 sold-out performances) had grown from 20 tables per night to 43 per night.
In 2015 we returned with two new POP-Up productions, Ariadne auf Naxos in May and Falstaff in September. These productions will share the basics of their forerunners in that they will have a short rehearsal period and offer intimate table seating with food and wine. However, the days of small production budgets and minimal sets and costumes have past. These will be nothing short of "full" productions.
POP-Up productions are the PERFECT way to introduce your friends to opera. Fun, accessible, intimate and affordable. You'd be hard pressed to find a more affordable and enterianing night of theater anywhere else in the country.