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A new beginning

Bang-up! Opera says goodbye (for now) to Gent.  But, as the saying goes…

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Saying goodbye is a regular part of a performer’s life. Every production we start runs its course. Every recital we work on reaches its end. Every encounter on stage starts with hello and, before you know it, it’s goodbye all over again.

Bang-up! Opera was born in Gent, inspired by the work of the former Flanders Operastudio Vlaanderen under the direction of Ronny Lauwers. There, we learned to explore, discover, question, and dream of the artists we wanted to be and to trust the voice inside our heads that inspired us to become singers in the first place. The growing desire to share this approach and way of performing, with our colleagues and audiences alike, took hold. And, it wasn’t long before we set out to bring audience members along for the ride, inspiring and challenging them to experience opera in a new way. From the start, we set out to have fun, but also to transform the way we think and experience opera, to be unexpected, and to bring new audiences to an art form we respect as much as we love to perform it.

Thank you for being a part of this beginning that is only just getting started. We are so grateful for your support, and we hope it will follow us across an ocean, and right here at home in Belgium as our sister company closeOpera gets set to take up the reins to this fantastic ride we started, and shared with you all, over these wonderfully rich, past four seasons. We are so proud to pass the baton, with all our love and support, to our friends and colleagues in Gent (comprised of many familiar Bang-up! Opera faces) who will continue to bring opera in a new, up close, and fresh way at our hands-down favorite concert house in Gent, and where we will always call home, Huset Kunstcafé en Galerij.

Our season in Belgium will close with our Banksy-inspired La Bohème (Puccini) production, coming to Westrand CC Dilbeek and CC Casino Koksijde this March 2016. If you missed the premiere at De Vieze Gasten (a first in many ways), don’t miss out on this very special occasion to experience one of our most talked about productions to date. With a great cast of performers and artists, many of whom you’ll continue to enjoy regularly on stage thanks to our friends at closeOpera.

Bang-up! Opera will now be based in Miami. As we go, we’ll dare to dream bigger, create more together, and grow across borders and oceans to create opera in a way that’s truly for everyone. We’ll keep on planting seeds of challenging the impossible, questioning the traditional, and embracing the good of both the past and present in our usual Bang-up! style, meanwhile never forgetting this amazing beginning we shared with you.

From the bottom of our hearts, dankje wel.

And while we know ‘thank you’ will never be enough to express our gratitude, we trust that soon enough we’ll be back to say hello again at the start of another new beginning.

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Meet closeOpera – Bang-up! Opera sister company and new resident pop-up opera company at Huset Kunstcafé in Gent

closeOperacloseOpera has landed in Gent! With Bruno de Canne as Artistic Director and Wouter Vande Ginste as Music Director, closeOpera is comprised of familiar Bang-up! Opera Troupe members who are now bringing their own twist and take to the Bang-up! Opera style of pop-up, in your face, and unexpected programming you’ve come to know and love. As we wrap up our final season in Belgium, closeOpera won’t miss a step as they step in and continue the work we’ve started with our local partners to bring opera to a new generation of opera lovers and aficionados alike, working with De Vieze Gasten,KopergieteryKoortzz Agency, and many more. As the new resident opera company at Huset Kunstcafé, you can expect more Huset concerts to come this season, as well as the passing of the Gentse Feesten torch to our closeOpera family with their own festival of concerts at Huset this summer!

We couldn’t be happier, prouder, more excited, or more ready to see what’s to come from this crew of kindred spirits. It’s a family affair, people, so let’s make sure to like and follow closeOpera on Facebook to see what’s coming and cheer them on along with us! You just never know what might pop-up next!… Hmmm, international co-production, anyone?!… Everything’s possible! 🙂

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