Metro Opera Tech, founded and run, by an Albanian-American artist is launching its World Premiere on November 3rd
By Ruben Avxhiu
New York City is the capital of the world’s art and culture. Almost all great artists of every time and generation have at some point moved to New York or stopped by to introduce and display their work or talent. Live in this City long enough and you will eventually see almost everyone one who is someone in your time turn up in some stage, podium, square, club, or even sit next to you in some trendy restaurant or cafeteria.
This is also the City of never-ending waves of young talents who come here following their dreams of making a name in the art world, of finding a channel for their bursting creativity. It is thus also a City of broken hearts, wasted youth, and missed opportunities.
Only a few would get the opportunity, rise to the challenge when it comes, and even fewer would reach the top. It can be even harder in the world of classical arts, where the work and the competition has become particularly hard and the opportunities ever fewer. The City is both a magical haven and cruel place in the same time.
Then came the pandemic and everything closed down. Suddenly all productions stopped and curtains were down everywhere.
You can always bet, however, in the resilience of art. Especially in New York.
A great example is Metro Opera Tech, a company determined to breathe life again in the world of art, in a time when the greatest stages of the world are shortening their staff and reducing the number of productions and the artists they employ or invite to perform.
It was born during some of the pandemic darkest days, in 2021, explains its Founder and Executive Director, Oriada Islami: “Metro Opera Tech is a testament to the resilience of the arts and the limitless possibilities of creativity. Understanding the challenges and dreams that artists carry within them.”
Her mission is twofold, she says: “first, to provide emerging artists with the chance to perform alongside established luminaries, allowing them to hone their craft and navigate the complexities of the artistic world”. Second, Oriada aims “to foster an environment where all artists, regardless of their discipline, can thrive.”
It makes perfect sense for everyone who knows her.
I had the opportunity to interview Oriada, almost two decades ago, when she was an artist performing in Broadway shows, ballet plays, or on the stage of The Metropolitan Opera. She has experienced both the angst and the sacrifices known to the myriad of struggling artists in this City and has had the opportunity to perform, prepare, and train for some of its most hallowed stages.
She is Albanian-American and many of our readers may know her name. Oriada Islami is born in Tirana, Albania, into a family of opera singers, and brings 25 years of experience, performing at some of the most prestigious opera houses, witnessed the grandeur of opera firsthand.
Metro Opera Tech is first international opera company in New York and the United States, created by an Albanian female artist.
Her hard work has paid off as her company is launching its World Premiere, on November 3rd, 7:30 PM, with “An Enchanting evening of Baroque Brilliance”, at G.W. Lynch Theater, 524 W 59th St, New York, NY 10019.
Nothing underlines the powerful start of this initiative as the featuring of 32 top musicians and orchestra professors, who are regularly active at the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New York State Symphony Orchestra, and other representative ensembles in New York who have joined Metro Opera Tech.
In a particular great news for the Albanian-American community one of the stars headlining “An Enchanting evening of Baroque Brilliance” is Petrit Çeku, an internationally renowned Albanian guitarist, a Winner of the Schadt String Competition, who the Calgary Herald has described as “an effortless player, with a string projecting sound.”
He is in great company. Two sopranos Danielle Walker and Chelsea Shephard are actively performing with Metropolitan Opera. Andrew Richardson featured in the prestigious Wagner Society. Daniel Moody is one of a kind countertenor. A rare find in the world stage. Featured in The New York Times and Washington Post, he is celebrated for his interpretations of contemporary and baroque opera and as a soloist with orchestra.
Stefano Miceli, a renowned Italian pianist and conductor, features as the Conductor of the Premiere and Oriada Islami as its Producer.
She is counting on the support and the encouragement of the Albanian-American community. Diplomats from the United Nations are among the invited dignitaries who will attend the event.
“This is the start of a great journey,” Oriada Islami says, “and I want everyone to be there on November 3rd to witness it take off and enjoy the fruits of our great work.”