Off-Brand Opera presents: a reading of PIETÀ, by Jake Landau and Andrea DelGiudice
In 2020, the world premiere of Pietà was delayed due to Covid. In response, director Andrea DelGiudice and composer/librettist Jake Landau collaborated with filmmaker Jacob Maximillian Baron to debut the piece in an innovative documentary film format, winning highest laurels from The People's Film Festival, RAGFF New York City, and more. 2021 saw the work's live premiere in Italy at The Narnia Festival, and now, in 2023, the American premiere will be produced by Oklahoma City University's prestigious opera and musical theater program.
In preparation for this production, Andrea and Jake have joined forces with Off-Brand Opera to present the music of Pietà for the first time in NYC this September in a public industry reading that features world-class performers including Devony Smith, Claire Leyden, and Jordan Pitts.
Pietà is an opera in one-act written to pair with Puccini's Suor Angelica.
Venice,the early 1700s. Winter.
Cast against the dark, sinful city, the Ospedale della Pietà glows with hope, humor, and music. The Pietà is an orphanage that takes girls off the street and trains them to sing and play instruments, forming one of Europe’s most elite orchestras. These figlie (“daughters”of the Pietà) only ever perform from behind an impenetrable lattice, hidden from their audiences for propriety’s sake. They are cared for within the walls, but they are kept under strict lock and key by the religious officials who run the institution.
The Pietà’s two wealthy Padroni (masters),Ugo and Editta, have a teenage “grandson” named Giorgio, though their relationship is not quite so simple. Giorgio is in love with a figlia named Genovieffa, but when he takes her home to meet his grandparents, those long-repressed family secrets rush to the surface. His “grandmother” Editta, Suor Angelica’s “La Zia Principessa”, sees a chance through Genovieffa to fight her way out of years of shame and denial over what she did to her young niece Angelica—and to Angelica’s own baby, Giorgio.
Visual art by Scott Rubén LaMarca.