On Call: COVID-19 honoring the stories of frontline health-care workers is a new opera produced by Working In Concert and developed by Bellissima Opera as part the "Tales of Transcendence" series. The librettist is Christine Steyer and the composer is David Shenton.
In April 2021, Bellissima Opera will premiere the first opera in the series: On Call: COVID-19 (a one-act opera). This opera will honor the stories of six Health Care Workers on the frontlines of the COVID crisis who provide a lifeline for each other.
Opera Synopsis - 3 Scenes in 2020
Slides with COVID infected/deceased persons appear before each scene. Characters identified by location as their names will change from cast to cast.
April—Chicago connects virtually with 5 frontline workers. She is frustrated by lack of supplies and questions returning to work. New York admits he may have caused the death of his grandmother. Lombardy sings about the resiliency of Italians and Seoul translates it. Chicago resolves to return to work.
September—Lombardy has COVID; Lebanon explains the refugee situation is made worse by the Beirut explosion; Rio de Janeiro states how deforestation spreads COVID. Seoul and Lombardy join the rant. Chicago interrupts them saying the calls should be a place of healing.
New Year’s Eve—Everyone shares something positive. They note compassion is as precious a tool as vaccine and ventilator––the lifeline they provide each other will extend into the larger world. During the Postlude, a montage of workers who have died from COVID appears.
LIVESTREAM: TICKETING and LINKS
for virtual performance:
Reservations and Livestream links will be posted at workinginconcert.org/rsvp on March 15, 2021.
Saturday, April 17 at 7 PM (CST) followed by 8 PM talk-back with the artists
Sunday, April 18 at 2:30 PM (CST) followed by 3:30 PM talk-back with the artists
The Bellissima Opera Cast
Gwendolyn Brown, contralto: Chicago health care worker “Sandra Jazmond Walker”
Jeong Eun Joo, soprano: Seoul health care worker “Jane Kim”
Christine Steyer, soprano: Rio de Janeiro health care worker “Rolanda Couto”
Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, tenor: Lombardy health care worker “Paulo Zaninelli”
Russell Hoke, baritone: New York health care worker “Mario Suffice”
Carl Ranter, baritone: Lebanon health care worker “Gordon Cole”
David Shenton, piano, Carl Ratner, director