Queens residents no longer have to leave the borough to see a critically-acclaimed opera. Rehearsals are now underway for "Song from the Uproar" at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center.
Two upcoming rehearsals will be open for the community to attend for free.
"So it's an opportunity for them to see what we're doing, and for us to share it," said Director Gia Forakis.
Beth Morrison Projects - a Brooklyn-based independent chamber opera group is putting on the show. The performers are rehearsing in Jamaica before they tour to Los Angeles for their main performances. The multimedia opera tells the story of 19th century Swiss explorer Isabelle Eberhardt. After the sudden deaths of her family members, she travels to Algeria alone disguised as a man.
"She joined a Sufi sect, that typically excluded woman, she converted to Islam, um, and this whole time she was living this life she was keeping these detailed journals, um, she died in a flash flood at age 27 and her journals were literally washed away in the water, so this opera is based on those writings that were pulled from the water by her husband actually," said Composer Missy Mazzoli.
One open rehearsal will also allow the community to engage with the opera. On September 28 all attendees will be able to take part in a Q&A with some of the artists.
"So it's not just, I've seen, I've come, now I go - you get to experience something in a little more greater depth," explained Associate Producer Noah Stern Weber.
The open rehearsals are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on September 28 and October 1.