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Children of Theresienstadt

Children Theresienstadt

Transformative Fava in Philly

One of the most transformative experiences to occur in the US this year will happen in PHILADELPHIA! This work came to my attention about 15 years ago, through my son, Bernard. He was at an audition outside of New York. The script was really bad. Auditions were being held in a theater so tiny that the waiting actors had to squeeze into the small audience space- forced to watch everyone else’s audition. Actor after actor went up to read, and bombed, including Bernard. Then one actor got up and animated the text in a way that had everyone else laughing hysterically. On the ride back in the bus, to get the train, to get back to New York- it was really way out there- Bernard caught up with that actor. He was curious how he had brought the house down with such crappy material. The actor told Bernard that he had one person to credit: Antonio Fava! He had studied with Antonio Fava in Italy!! Later that evening, Bernard told me the story and I immediately told him that I was going to bring Antonio Fava to Philadelphia! Bernard was dumbfounded. He knew I had never done anything like this before. He kept trying to calm me down, but I insisted I was going to do it! And I did! For 5 years we sponsored Antonio’s classes here in Philadelphia. And they were AMAZING!
Antonio shared with us the benefits of his entire lifework and historical research. Believe me this was definitely not just “do what you want”. Antonio had culled this information from his father who had been a famous Pulcinella and also from his own in depth study and burning desire to know more- to document, totally contrary to what most people teach and believe, that this work, known as Commedia dell’Arte, was the highest form of theater performed by the most famous actors in Italy and it was performed INDOORS in gorgeous theaters. Antonio has fiendishly collected historic books, all written in Italian, of course, to document and substantiate the actual work and its roots. His devouring of his own huge private collection of original manuscripts- one of the largest in the world- enabled him to share these principles with us- not just ideas about improvisation, but true facts based upon ancient documents. Once we knew these principles (which resonate within all of us- which is why authentic Commedia performances, during The Renaissance, were able to be presented in more than one language) and were presented with a scenario, we were asked, without only one hour of preparation, to present our scenes in front of a live audience. It was like magic! And torture! At the same time! For me it was especially painful, because I came from the opera world where long coaching and months, sometimes years, of other people telling me what to do went into preparation of a new piece. And here we were presenting after one hour- based on our imagination and this gorgeous new knowledge! Antonio has had a huge impact on my own work as director. His work has also led me to the principles that are at the heart of my own creations! Being with Antonio is like that. He is at the same time master and audience. When Antonio came, I was still trying to recuperate from a major tragedy that had affected our family for a year and a half. He put us in contact with the umbilical cord of our artform that, up until then, had laid dormant inside. I was experiencing the “historic memory how and why”! Why had acting become a profession? How had the greatest actors in Italy been able to inspire me through their work and add value to my understanding of art today- in a world that is so completely different, but still inhabited by humans and I was to learn that in that humanness and shared conditions, and the ability to laugh at them, is the force that connects us into what is considered the heyday of culture creating society: the 1500s. I was to experience why acting based on these authentic historic archetypes can jar, interrupt and then lift- make us laugh and fill everyday, from that time you are first introduced to it, with more creativity than you had ever imagined possible. To better understand why we do what we do and to always have a way to recapture the connection . Could an artist ask for more?

The image above is of a performance of Isabella Andreini, most famous actress in Italy during The Renaissance, in a Commedia performance. I believe it was for the wedding of The Grand Duke Ferdinand Medidi and the French Princess Christine of Lorraine in 1589 at The Medici Theater in Florence. More on Isabella Andreini soon!

Opera singers/dancers/actors/directors/historic reenactors and teachers of all of these disciplines: work under the guidance of Maestro Antonio Fava- the master of a form that can literally bring historic new life to your art. Most of you know that I have extremely high standards and am always on the lookout for people whose work which brings real value to our world!

Studying with Maestro Antonio Fava is a change in your life must have experience- and it works over and over in new ways!
Please contact christian@internationaloperatheater.org for details.
Classes February 8-12 at Ethical Humanist Society on Rittenhouse Square. Daily free performances open to public from 5-6PM.
Presentations for universities: February 15-21.


Shim Chung- Celebrates Centennial of Korean Independence Movement

Opera Singers (August 1 – 31) and Instrumentalists (August 22 – 31) – each from a different culture-

gather in an Italian opera house









to begin a once in a lifetime adventure
to transform the world of opera

Shim Chung- Celebrates Centennial of Korean Independence Movement

only a little over an hour from the

location where opera was first formed in the center of a gorgeous

Umbrian hillside town

















birthplace of the most famous Italian artist before Michelangelo & daVinci,

named the most perfect town in Italy in 2013,

where an intact Etruscan tombnamed one of the most important architectural finds of 2015, was uncovered

and during the period of an Historic Renaissance Festival

On this platform, with innovative American stage director Karen Lauria Saillant will inspire opera singers to self organize themselves onstage as together we create our new opera. Ms. Saillant has premiered works in 21 theaters in Italy & US, including with The Philadelphia Orchestra at The Academy of Music and at Teatro Valle, Rome’s oldest opera house, where Donizetti & Rossini premiered their works.

In this empowerment experience, singers will also collaborate with

an esteemed Italian conductor, Italian Maestro Mauro Fabbri,

resident conductor at The Finnish National Opera, State Opera Stara Zagora, Bulgaria and Wupperthal Opera, Germany, our conductor and musical director.

a renowned South Korean fiber artist, South Korean Fiber Artist, Mi-Kyoung Lee,

our costume and set designer. Head of Crafts at the University of The Arts.

distinguised Italian composer, Italian Maestro Angelo Inglese

and other fine artists and Italian linguists  who will create International Opera Theater 16th world premiere Italian opera-

a fully staged, fully costumed and lit new opera in 1 month- something that usually takes more than 1 year to accomplish.

We are the only opera company in the world able to create such a project in so short a period of time.

We are able because we use “ausstrahlung” (emanations- charisma) as the basis for our movement based communication model- working onstage through exercises I have developed over a period of 50+ years- with processes which empower operatic performers to self-organize onstage and be expressive physically and vocally, while remaining in harmony with nature-

to increase intercultural sensitivity, empathy, intuition, the primary impulse (meaning to be able to act before cognitive thought), mirror neurons and instinct- abilities necessary for our global peacemakers and the most brilliant musicians.

August 1-31, with performances August 29,30,31 with orchestra.

In last year’s opera premiere there were artists from 24 cultures in 1 opera: Egypt, Russia, Macedonia, Albania, Cambodia, China, South Korea, USA, Malaysia, Belarus, Italy, Greece, England, Turkey, Vietnam, Ukraine, Australia, Canada, Tatarstan, Brazil, Spain, Belgium, Chile, Poland.

Opera singers will also be invited to sing for American premiere in Philadelphia, June 2020, at The Kimmel Center and then to go with company to premiere opera in South Korea.

Through our revolutionary work we are bringing to life the objectives of The Florentine Camerata when they first created opera- the amalgamation of all arts: to heal their tainted society.

Auditions for 11th World Premiere in Birthplace of Il Perugino…Citta’ della Pieve,Italy

Citta della Pieve high in hills of Umbria where our 10th world premiere Camille Claudel will occur

Multicultural Philadelphia Youth who love to sing and act (ages 6-21)

Sing in our 11th world premiere Italian opera in Italy this August 2014.
Those selected will begin preparation in Philadelphia.

Our fantasy opera tells the tale of Shakespeare’s forgotten child characters whose unconditional love redeems and transforms The Mariner from “The Rme of the Ancient Mariner”.


First Round of Auditions at Rosenbach Museum, Saturday and Sunday, February 8 & 9.


Audition Times Still Available for this Sunday, February 9th

For Appointment Please Contact: info@internationaloperatheater.org or

or call 267- 800 5150



Mythic Fava in Philly

Oasis Cafe with Antonio 9