FANWOOD, NJ -- Bird That Wants To Fly, an opera is based on a story book of the same title written by Diane Kaufman, M.D., a Fanwood-based child psychiatrist with a passion for arts and healing, will make its premiere  on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. at Kennedy High School, 61-127 Preakness Ave., Paterson.

Trilogy commissioned critically acclaimed composer Michael Raphael to create an imaginative opera about the transformation of a sad little bird who has decided to walk instead of fly. Encouraged by a surprise friend, the little bird’s hope is restored, and she once again spreads her wings. Raphael has used his ingenious musical sensitivity to deliver an engaging and irresistible score.

Dr. Kaufman has been recognized for her practice of “humanism in medicine” by The New Jersey Healthcare Foundation and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. Her  book is brilliantly illustrated in whimsical water-soluble crayons by artist Olya Kalatsei, who magically made the pages of this charming story come to life.   

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The title role of “The Bird” will be performed by award-winning soprano Pamela E. Jones, who has been featured in numerous operatic and theatrical productions and performs regularly with New York City Opera. The supporting role of “Horse” will be played by Basso Kevin Maynor, international opera singer and Artistic Director of Trilogy. Maestro Gregory Houston will conduct.  

As part of an experiential education initiative coordinated in collaboration with Paterson public schools, elementary and high school students will observe operatic rehearsal techniques and procedures, culminating with the student’s participation in the actual performances.

Members of the production team include: Tuffus Zimbabwe (pianist, Saturday Night Live band), associate music director; Phil Bingham, chorus master/assistant music director; Donna Holmes, director; Adrienne Armstrong (Newark City Ballet artistic director and former principal dancer, Alvin Ailey Dance Company), choreographer; Tony Davidson, set designer; and Glenroy Marsh (House of D’Marsh), costume designer.

Trilogy: An Opera Company (TAOC) provides this genre that is reflective of the world in which we live.  The company's productions  focus on works written about the Black experience, including Nat Turner; Frederick Douglas; Harriet: A Woman Called Moses; and Robeson: The Opera, among others.

Trilogy’s upcoming plans include the commissioning of new works on The Central Park Five, Marcus Garvey, and Jomo Kenyatta; a free summer festival; and a return to New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark later this year.

Bird That Wants To Fly 
Kennedy High School
61-127 Preakness Ave.
Paterson, NJ
Admission: free
Preview performance: Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
World Premiere: Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.