Dear Piano Forum members,
I am new to this forum and it's my first posting. I come to you with a great deal of enthusiasm, since I am a composer/conductor, who is at the moment running his own small opera company. We just bought a small baby grand, Jacob Doll, which is in fair shape. We bought it principally as a rehearsal piano. You see, a sort of miracle has happened. Over the labor day weekend I was brought to a buidling here in WIlliamsburg, Brooklyn, a building which I always thought was a school. In fact , there had been a school housed in this building for a long time but, the building was , in fact, not a school building at all. When I was guided into the building by the priest, (this building is owned by a parish, St. Peter and Paul's to be exact,) what did I find on the 2nd floor but, a 600 seat theater, with a balcony, 50 foot proscenium arch , raked , stage. with about 80 feet of flyspace. The theater has not been used, as a theater for well over 60 years. maybe even 80 years no on knows. The writer, Henry Miller, went to high school in this building. A very small school , it had to be , since it only has 11 classrooms. The theater easily takes up about 2/3rds of the building. My opera company, OperaOggiNY, is bringing this theater back to life, with performances on Nov. 6, 7th and 8th of this month. There are many things which require attention. As I said at the top, we have already bought a piano, and donated it to the theater. As a rehearsal piano. BUt, it cannot be used as a performance piano. We need to find a dealer, who will allow us the use of a fine grand, nothing too big is required, for our performances and a few rehearsals of course, of the opera we are performing. (L'Oracolo by Leoni) For further info please see this press release: www.operaogginy.com/PressTheater.pdf
I started a search online since I've done most of my searching here. I found the first piano afterall online. I come to you, because obviously you have more knowledge and hopefully, more connections than I do. I know I'm asking alot, The reason I am asking is for 2 reasons. We are a young opera company. We take our funds from the tuition that the singers pay for each production. We have already spent about 600 on the Jacob that we bought for purchase and moving expenses. Quite a reasonable affair all in all. But, there are many other expenses indeed. And many repairs that have to take place ( we even bought 40 bulbs, fluorescent of course, for the stage itself - work lights there is no actual theatrical lighting left!). The parish is quite a poor one and has this theater, and knows not what to do with it. When I found it, I sprang into action, but, again, I'm only one person and we are a small company. I will continue to develop this theater but, at the moment , our most important step are these performances. We are alerting the entire neighborhood. It is a wonderful hall, for opera, recitals, chamber music, chamber orchestra, choirs etc. In fact, we will do a Messiah on December 14th. If anyone has any suggestions as to whom I might contact, any connections so that I our request might be considered quickly, I would greatly appreciate it. Please visit our website. www.operaogginy.com
as well as mine, www.thomaslawrencetoscano.com,
to verify my veracity. Also, please feel free to look at the theater, www.operaogginy.com/T1.JPG,
through T12.JPG. The pictures www.operaogginy.com/T11.JPG
are actually the original pictures of the theater from an 1898 dedication book . The theater was built in 1897 and donated to the parish by the McCaddin family. Hence it's name, Henry McCaddin Memorial. ON November 6 , we will officially reopen the McCaddin Memorial Theater, and hopefully will restore it to its original splendor. This time, with greater success at making it a viable theater. Even here in NYC, this is a rare occurence and we are all very excited. Please forgive me if this has been too long, but, I wanted to share the story with all of you. And, therefore merit your attention and possible help.
Thanks for listening, Thomas