Something Old, Something New is featured in our new opera Octavian and Cleopatra

Something Old, Something New

Something Old, Something New is featured in our new opera Octavian and Cleopatra   It was a labor of love for Sharon and David Ohrenstein. Incidentally, it only has two spoken words for dramatic effect: When Cleopatra and Octavian see each other for the 1st time, they speaks each other’s names. . The opera was written under great difficulty and many obstacles.

  • There was no funding and little time.
  • We were raising three small children.
  • We had no spare income for the opera.

So How Did we Do It?

Sharon starred as Cleopatra, She also wrote the story and libretto. David played the piano for the world premier. He also composed the music. They were the moving company for the props and costumes that they mostly assembled by themselves. The work took almost two years. They often worked on the opera nightly until 1 or 2AM. In this regard, had they not have been married, the opera would never have been written.

So what’s Something Old, Something New?

There have been operas written about Cleopatra. No one, to our knowledge, has written one about Octavian and Cleopatra. I really believe it took Sharon’s genius to find the story. That’s something old, something new. Below is a list of some of the existing Cleopatra operas:

"My Lily of the Nile" Ghost of Julius Caesar with Cleopatra David Powers; Sharon Lesley“My Lily of the Nile” Ghost of Julius Caesar with Cleopatra
David Powers; Sharon Lesley Ohrenstein

In our opera the captain of the guard falls in love with Cleopatra.
The Captain  is supposed to guard Cleopatra. He falls in love with her. 

So what has happened since? We say never give up. There is tremendous interest in our writing. People are looking for something different including:

  • An opera filled with beautiful arias in the same manner that Richard Rodgers wrote for Broadway musicals.
  • A meaningful story with a transformation. In this case:  Octavian goes from being a low and debauched character to the 1st emporer king of Rome. He was renamed Augustus.
  • Placing women on a pedestal. As the new king Augustus did for Cleopatra.

We have the full performance on video. We still need backers. That hasn’t changed. But the times have dramatically changed over the last 20 years. People are looking for meaning and beauty in opera. Our Octavian and Cleopatra offers exactly that. Be the 1st to have the new sound of the 21st century in your home town!

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