On the Soundtrack: East Village Opera Company


A few years ago, I was summoned to a table to answer a question regarding the music playing on our soundtrack, a request that happened fairly frequently.  I approached the young woman, who was chatting on her cell phone.  She asked me with enthusiasm, “Do you know what’s playing right now?”  I replied, “Of course, it’s the East Village Opera Company.”  She smiled and spoke into her phone, “They’re playing our music at Bellavitae!”  A member of the string section, she delighted in hearing the group’s music to the pleasure of all our guests.

Since then, of course, the group has released two more CDs, and have toured the world with a unique live show, combining a seemingly incongruous classical string section with a powerhouse rock band.  Time Out New York said that the group “electrifies the classics for a new generation.” The Associated Press mused the band was “dramatic” and “mesmerizing” while The Wall Street Journal agreed noting, “The band rocks hard, and deranges the opera stuff with savvy skill.”

In a rare feat not many artists can claim, EVOC headlines around the world in both eclectic rock clubs and some of the most prestigious classical concert halls.  The band’s appeal is evident in both cases – The Chicago Tribune raved, “nobody puts a fresher, friskier contemporary spin on opera’s greatest hits than the East Village Opera Company.”  The band has also performed at events such as the Sundance Film Festival, the Miss USA pageant, and the world-premiere of the Da Vinci Code.  EVOC was also celebrated at the 2006 Emmy’s with an award for their PBS Special “EVOC LIVE”, and they have received commissions to pen new works from both the New York Public Theatre and the New York City Opera, for whom they have also performed at Lincoln Center.

Here are a few selections you can review / purchase:


Album releases:

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Started as somewhat of a lark in 2004 by Canadians Peter Kiesewalter and Tyley Ross after collaborating on a film project, EVOC turned the heads of New York’s music community with a series of electric genre defying shows at Joe’s Pub, the intimate venue housed by the New York Public Theatre.  Initially meant as a one-off project, they were quickly signed to Decca/Universal records and met with universal praise from both classical and rock critics and fans.  The Washington Post proclaimed – “Opera crossover acts are becoming a veritable cottage industry, but the East Village Opera Co. is markedly different.”

The East Village Opera Company – once again proving that classic opera is timeless.


“Habanera”, from Georges Bizet’s French opéra comique Carmen, which premiered at the Opéra-Comique of Paris on March 3, 1875: