Basie Summer Opera Camp returns; auditions set for Saturday, April 14


(RED BANK | MARCH 27) The Count Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy is proud to announce the return of its Basie Summer Opera camp program, a two-week, audition-based program in August under the direction of Eli Villanueva of the Los Angeles Opera and music director Jasom Tramm.

Auditions are set for Saturday, April 14th from 10am-4pm, with advanced reservations required. Interested parties should call 732-842-9000 x 125 to reserve a slot; students aged 10-17 are encouraged to audition.

This year’s presentation, The White Bird of Poston, tells the story of a Japanese teenage girl stationed in an internment camp in Poston, Arizona during World War II. The opera, written by Villanueva,  recalls the story of the girl, whose friendship with a Native American boy allows each of them to rediscover their cultural traditions and history.

Accepted students will study under Villanueva and Tramm from August 13-25. The two-week intensive will teach not only the vocal, movement and acting techniques necessary to the story, but also offer students the opportunity to explore the cultural significance of the story and its characters.

Villanueva headed the Basie’s first-ever summer opera camp last year, leading students through a critically-acclaimed performance of Brundibár, the Hans Krása opera set during World War II in a concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia. As part of the program, students visited the Museum Of Jewish Heritage in New York City, and also met with a Holocaust survivor from Ocean County. The story of the Count Basie Theatre Summer Opera Camp presentation of Brundibár can be seen below.