You've heard opera, and you've heard rock?but you've never heard opera rocked like the East Village Opera Company. The East Village Opera Company ?a powerhouse five-piece band, a string quartet, and two outstanding vocalists?brings the towering emotion and timeless musicality of opera into the 21st century on its Decca/Universal Classics debut with its inventive, hard-hitting arrangements of the music's ?greatest hits??including ?La donna ? mobile? from Rigoletto, ?Habanera? from Carmen, and ?Nessun dorma? from Turandot ? performed at full length and in the original languages.
The concept of the East Village Opera Company is totally fresh, but not unprecedented in pop. In 1985, for example, former punk-rock impresario Malcolm McLaren released Fans, an album of ?hip-hopera? that brought funky beats and electronic programming to the works of Puccini and Bizet. But EVOC is a whole new thing: an integrated, eleven-strong working band dedicated to rocking the opera and electrifying the classics, as the ensemble has been doing to spectacular effect ever since its New York stage debut in the spring of 2004.
The East Village Opera Company was co-founded by lead singer Tyley Ross and arranger/multi-instrumentalist Peter Kiesewalter. They assembled a full-on rock band, adding two guitars, bass, and drums to Peter's keyboards, then synched it to a string quartet. A second vocalist, AnnMarie Milazzo, was recruited for impassioned duets with Tyley Ross (cf. "Au fond du temple saint," from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers) and soaring solos like ?Ebben? ? Ne andr? lontana? (from La Wally by Alfredo Catalani).
EVOC's Decca/Universal Classics debut was produced and recorded in April-July, 2005 by Neil Dorfsman, a three-time Grammy Award winner whose credits include international bestsellers by Sting, Dire Straits, Paul McCartney, and Bjork. The string arrangements were recorded in Prague by the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra featuring lead violinist Pauline Kim.