Anya17, The First Opera About Human Trafficking

 

Anya17 pic
Anya17
Image: anya17.co.uk

A native of Belgium with roots in France, Kristof Van Grysperre is a conductor, vocal coach, and pianist living in California. In addition to his work conducting operas such as The Consul (Long Beach Opera, Chicago Opera Theater) and Fallujah (New York City Opera), Kristof Van Grysperre serves as the artistic director of Angels Vocal Art, which recently produced an opera called Anya17.

Angels Vocal Art is an organization that stages new and older works of opera in order to work with emerging artists to promote the art form in the community through excellent performances. Anya17 was composed by Adam Gorb with a libretto by Ben Kaye. The opera was written to help raise awareness of the issue of sex trafficking across the world and is the first opera to tackle this difficult subject.

The opera, which premiered in Liverpool in 2012, has been performed all over the world. The story, which is based on extensive research into the topic, follows four young women from Eastern Europe who are sold into sexual slavery and must find a way to survive. The opera has won the Best Stage or Film Production Media Award from the Human Trafficking Foundation and was nominated for the prestigious Classical Music Award from the UK’s Royal Philharmonic Society.

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The Pacific Symphony’s 2019 Symphonic Voices Opera Package

 

Pacific Symphony pic
Pacific Symphony
Image: pacificsymphony.org

A native of Belgium with roots in France and artistic director of Angels Vocal Art in Pasadena, California, Kristof Van Grysperre builds on a career that has included significant work as a conductor with organizations such as the Long Beach Opera and the New York City Opera. In 2017, Kristof Van Grysperre lectured on Verdi’s Aida in conjunction with the Pacific Symphony of Orange County.

Under the leadership of musical director Carl St. Clair for the past 28 years, the Pacific Symphony is dedicated to providing greater Orange County with a range of exceptional musical performances and community programs. The Symphony has been deeply involved with opera for more than seven years through its highly successful Symphonic Voices initiative.

The 2019 Symphonic Voices Opera Package consists of four Pacific Symphony productions that prominently feature vocal performances. The package begins with Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly in late February and ends with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in early June. In between, Symphonic Voices Opera Package ticketholders can enjoy The Child and the Magic Spells by Maurice Ravel and My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.