an opera about Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs
MUSIC BY JUDD GREENSTEIN
LIBRETTO BY TRACY K SMITH
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
ANIMATION AND DIRECTION BY JOSHUA FRANKEL
Creator of Plan Of The City

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Past Events:

Excerpt Performance at the River To River Festival

June, 2017

A 25 minute excerpt of A Marvelous Order was presented live, in a site-specific adapation, as part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's annual boundary-pushing arts festival. Five vocalists and NOW Ensemble, the opera's "house orchestra", performed two scenes in the new Fulton Center transit hub in lower Manhattan. Robert Moses, performed by Dashon Burton, moved throughout the space, beginning on the lower subway level, moving up to street level to sing amongst pedestrians, and concluded the performance on the highest balcony, looking down on us from above. Additionally, fifty video advertising screens throughout the space were "taken over" by animation that appears in the staged version of the opera. More info can be found here.

photo of River To River

Ryan Speth

photo of River to River

Ryan Speth

photo of River to River

Ryan Speth



Times Square Midnight Moment

May, 2017:

A 3 minute excerpt of animation from A Marvelous Order was on the big screens in Times Square in May, 2017, from 11:57-midnight every night that month as part of the "Midnight Moment" program, presented by the Times Square Arts Alliance. More info here.

photo of Midnight Moment

Ka-Man Tse

photo of Midnight Moment

Ka-Man Tse



"Pre-Premiere" at Williams College

March, 2016:
A major work-in-progress production of A Marvelous Order was presented to a sold-out audience at the '62 Center for Theater and Dance at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, as part of the Center Series, curated by Rachel Chanoff. Ten out of the eventual twelve scenes were presented, semi- to fully-staged, with animation. The role of Jane Jacobs was performed by Megan Schubert and the role of Robert Moses was performed by Dashon Burton.

New Am / New Works Benefit Gala 2015?format=1500w

Joshua Frankel

New Am / New Works Benefit Gala 2015?format=1500w

Joshua Frankel

New Am / New Works Benefit Gala 2015?format=1500w

Roman Iwasiwka

New Am / New Works Benefit Gala 2015?format=1500w

Robert Bloom

New Am / New Works Benefit Gala 2015?format=1500w

Roman Iwasiwka



Performance at New Amsterdam/New Works Benefit Gala

Fall, 2015:

Original composition, libretto, concept art and animation from the opera were presented at National Sawdust. Funds raised at this gala will go towards the opera's production and the mission of New Amsterdam Presents, an organization supporting the public's engagement with new music and the composers and performers who create it - and one of our co-producers. We are honored and grateful for all of the support from everyone who came out to our dinner, performance presentation, and after party. Thank you from our creative team!

New Am / New Works Benefit Gala 2015?format=1500w

Joshua Frankel

New Am / New Works Benefit Gala 2015?format=1500w

Joshua Frankel



The Ballet of the Street at the Municipal Arts Society Summit

Fall, 2015:

Music and animation for The Ballet of the Street were presented in a concert format as the closing "act" of the MAS Summit at the NY Times Center. This scene opens the opera and describes Greenwich Village as seen through Jacobs' eyes - the neighborhood that she sets out to defend as the opera's battles unfold. We are proud to present this work with MAS, an organization that continues to be one of the great champions of the story of Jane Jacobs and thoughtful approach to urban planning.

The Ballet of the Street at MAS Summit 2015

Joshua Frankel



Mannahatta at the BAM Next Wave Festival

Fall, 2013:

The first musical and visual studies for this opera were previewed with orchestra and choir at the BAM Harvey theater as part of a program titled 21c Liederabend, op.3 this November. These studies work with Walt Whitman's poem Mannahatta. Details are here.

Image of Mannahatta at BAM Next Wave

Joshua Frankel



Plan Of The City with NOW Ensemble in the Winter Garden

Fall, 2013:

The short film Plan Of The City - the seed that is growing into this opera - was presented with its music performed live by NOW Ensemble in the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place on November 19, as part of a larger program of music. More details are here.

Image of NOW Ensemble at Brookfield Place

Joshua Frankel



Sundance New Frontier Story Lab

Fall, 2013:

We are honored to have been invited to participate in the Sundance New Frontier Story Lab, an intensive residency for "artists innovating at the convergence of film, art, media, live performance, music and technology." At the Lab at Sundance we worked intensively on the narrative structure of this opera. More info is here.


Screening and Conversation at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Spring, 2014:

We discussed the process of expressing this story as an opera, and the translation of the ideas that run through it into music, text, visuals and stage movement, in a conversation lead by urbanist and author Karrie Jacobs. We also screened Plan Of The City as well as some of our first visual studies for the opera.