Opera Innovators: Nmon Ford
By: Suzanne Whitney
Throughout opera’s history composers, librettists, directors, and artists of all kinds have contributed to this ever-evolving artform. Despite the public perception of opera being a bit stodgy, today’s operatic artists are trying out new and inventive musical styles, developing new stagecraft techniques, and telling new kinds of stories to reflect our diverse and expanding world. Here at Opera Colorado we want to celebrate the artists who are pushing the envelope and moving opera’s grand history forward. So, we are happy to introduce a new series on our blog: Opera Innovators.
This first installment features baritone Nmon Ford, the composer and creator of Orfeus, A House Music Opera and star of our upcoming digital production Josephine & The Promise of Living. Nmon is a creative in the truest sense of the word, always seeking new outlets for his ideas and finding thrilling ways to unite his passions.
Enjoy the opportunity to learn about the creation process for Orfeus, A House Music Opera. Originally scheduled to premiere at the Young Vic Theater in London, like so many live performances, it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its delay, this production is electrifying and the story of its creation is not to be missed. Settle in and discover more about our first Opera Innovator: Nmon Ford.
It was something that never crossed my mind until it happened. Orfeus, A House Music Opera is the culmination of everything I’d become as an artist and a businessman. It took everything I had to give, but gave me so much more in return.
Writing and starring in Orfeus: A House Music Opera was the most fulfilling artistic experience of my life. From the first song I composed that outlined a new genre (opera + house music, affectionately called “opera house”), to the day I arrived in London to see the first show I’d ever written come to life, this video I’ve created for Opera Colorado’s Opera Innovators series tells the whole story.
Thanks to Opera Colorado, Rocky Mountain Public Media, Lane Mathis, Charles Randolph-Wright, Kwame Kwei-Armah, the Young Vic Theatre, and the genius cast and production team of Orfeus–and to all of you–for joining me on this outrageously challenging, uplifting journey.
The musicians and performers that inspire Nmon are incredibly talented and wide ranging. Take some time to listen in and find your own inspiration!
Finally, make sure to watch a few excerpts from Orpheus, A House Music Opera in this curated playlist created by Nmon himself.
Opera Innovators Video:
Directed by: Nmon Ford
Edited by: Nmon Ford and Lane Mathis
Special thanks to: Rocky Mountain Public Media, Charles Randolph-Wright, Kwame Kwei-Armah, the Young Vic Theatre, the cast and crew of Orfeus, A House Music Opera, Ozwald Boteng, Pippa Ailion Casting, Arbour Artists (Deborah Sanders), and William Morris Endeavor (Susan Weaving).
Did you enjoy our first installment of Opera Innovators? Who are the artists that you think are creating innovative projects and ideas in the world of opera? Let us know in the comments below.