Hungry Opera Machine is an exciting endeavor founded by Eric Stern. In 2013 Annie Rosen came on board and now works in partnership with Stern. While new opera is the focus for HOM (the word “opera” means simply, in Italian, “works”; it is the plural of opus) the company also produces musicals and operettas. Hungry Opera Machine seeks to
- Tell Stories with song and music.
- Produce original contemporary opera, operettas and musicals in English
- Cast primarily from the talent pool of the Portland Oregon community and the Northwest.
- Extend the operatic tradition by choosing operas that not only conform to the classical standard but also ones that may include other forms of music such as jazz and music from everywhere .
- Explore the intersection of Opera and Commedia Dell’Arte
- Seek out composers of operas that conform to our mission.
- Build community around this work.
That is the short version of what we do. Here is a longer version, beautifully expressed by Annie Rosen:
There is a crossroad…isn’t there always; where one might meet the devil, or a muse, or pick the road less traveled, or stick to the beaten path. A point at which what came before becomes foundation, preparation, and backstory…where what once lay ahead now passes underfoot and all the guidance, and learning, and admiring one has done becomes not enough, and what might be becomes the irresistible beacon. I am happy to find myself at this crossroad…where, around the next bend, for all I know, there be dragons, a good meal, or dust.
For Hungry Opera Machine, this crossroad exists where story meets song, a laugh meets a cry, and – I think it is safe to say (in the third person), where Eric Stern meets Annie Rosen; two Creatives with their feet firmly on the ground (in work, and family, and community) and their heads dancing with the planets (as showmen, clowns, contemporary bards, and songsters). Having met and heeded the spark of friendship and creative recognition that said “YOU TWO CAN DO THIS SO GET STARTED”! They did…deciding to make real three little words that had been pattering about in Sterns head…Hungry Opera Machine.
But what would this be, this Hungry Opera Machine? A clanking behemoth; with Gala events and ensemble troupes? An avant-garde blip, more confusing than concrete? A 501 C3? Or maybe, just maybe…a brave, loving, bubbling, bolt of the realest and most heartfelt wonder-making these two could muster?
Hungry Opera Machine is what happens next with great regard for what has come before. It is your chance and ours: to listen and sing, to hear and tell, to make the story and discover it all at the same time. To find the spine in all its varied bending and to breath and sing boldly, or sweetly, or uproariously. This is what we choose at our crossroad.
Thank you for walking with us, shoulder to shoulder. The fog is thick; but isn’t the view grand!
Blessings on your way,