Companion Star Inc has been in operation since 2004 and was incorporated in NY State in August 2005, Federal ID#56-2535118. Recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit tax exempt organization with 501(C)3 status in August 2007 and registered with the New York Attorney General’s office under charities registration # 40-13-60.
Our mission is to create opera and music theatre for a new world. Departing radically from the static top-down hierarchy of traditional opera, Companion Star leads world-class artists of various performance genres through a tightly orchestrated series of improvisations. All of our performers are actors, including and especially our musicians, and our training encourages them to explore their disciplines in a new and challenging manner. These improvisations enable us to reimagine the concepts of libretto, score, and set, while expanding the creative domain of each performer. The creative sparks that emerge from this process become the skeleton for our ensemble works, allowing our artists to feel a sense of ownership and total commitment to the work on a level not possible in the traditional opera model. Our goal is to make gesamtkunstwerk – Richard Wagner’s definition of “a complete work of art that combines music and drama” for today’s multi-media culture, and to develop a passionate and engaged audience for the sublime human achievement that is opera.
We have given 25 performances of new works created by our artists in collaboration in the last 6 years in New York, Sweden, and Wales.
Produced in April 2014 in a co-production by Companion Star (New York), Taliesin Arts Centre (Wales) and Le Chien qui chante (Québec) in association with Welsh National Opera. Under Milk Wood was chosen as one of the best operas of 2014 by The Guardian. It has been nominated for Best World Premiere in the 2015 International Opera Awards and for both Best Opera Production and Best Design/Costume in the Wales Theatre Awards. British Airways is featuring the premiere recording on long haul flights in May 2015.
The artists speak about Companion Star’s living laboratory for the creative process during the 2010 development workshop for dream seminar/drömseminarium at Västerås konserthus, Sweden.