The on-site opera house resumes live performances on the tall ship Wavertree at the South Street Seaport Museum



Opera on site, the pioneering New York opera company steeped in site-specific storytelling and immersive experience, in partnership with the South Street Seaport Museum, brings opera aboard the deck of the historic tall ship Wavertree with What Lies Beneath, from August 28 to September 2, 2021.

This immersive musical experience invites small groups to walk the main deck of the ship to hear and view vignettes meant to connect audiences to the complex and tragic stories surrounding American maritime history, both through African slavery and to through the novelist Herman Melvilletragic heroes.

Combining song, history, history and movement as the company returns to performing arts, What Lies Beneath is an immersive, site-specific experience aboard Wavertree. Wavertree is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and represents the thousands of ships that have docked along New York’s waterfront over the centuries. Built of riveted wrought iron in 1885, the Wavertree is an archetype of sailboats from the second half of the 19th century which in the “age of the sail” lined South Street by the dozen, creating a forest of battery masts at the Brooklyn bridge.

From the incentives used to lure Africans into slavery to Captain Ahab’s final moments of moral judgment aboard the whaler Pequod in Moby Dick, What Lies Beneath is a series of six unique vignettes featuring works by Amistad, by Anthony davis & Thulani davis, Ahab, a monodrama by Juliana Hall & Caitlin Vincent, 1619, a choral cycle by Damien Geter, Billy Budd, from Benjamin britten, EM Forester, & Eric Crozier, Sea fever, by John Ireland & John masefield and Riders to the Sea, by Ralph Vaughn Williams and John Millington Sygne.

“Over the past 9 years, On Site Opera has brought iconic New York City spaces to life through opera while partnering with impactful institutions that bring their own cultural elements to our community,” explains the general and artistic director, Eric Einhorn. As New York City welcomes audiences live once again, we look forward to partnering with the South Street Seaport Museum and, with our incredible cast and creative team, amplifying African American voices and stories across the board. ‘exploration of our country’s tragic past. “

“What excites me about this project is the care, humility and humanistic approach that are central to the design of the program. It is the opportunity to see the magic, royalty and resilience of a community of enslaved Africans through their eyes while experiencing the dissonance of the colonial and myopic vision of who they were meant to be, ”adds Winston Benons, Jr., co-director and cultural advocate for the project.

“All of us at the Seaport Museum are delighted that On Site Opera has chosen to offer its latest site-specific performances on our own Wavertree ship,” said Captain Jonathan Boulware, President and CEO, South Street Seaport Museum. “What better way to improve our reopened ship than an opera house on site? This very unique experience, aligned with the museum’s mission, will delve deeper into the difficult issues of our maritime histories. The Seaport Museum is proud to support these explorations. “

In the wake of their most recent project, The Road We Came, a 3-part walking tour of black music history, What Lies Beneath continues to use opera and music to explore themes of music. social justice, racial inequalities and the continuing impact of history on the goal. through which the world lives today.

What Lies Beneath will offer six live, in-person performances, from August 28 to September 2, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. ET. The duration is 75 minutes.

Tickets go on sale July 12, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. IS. There is a suggested ticket donation of $ 40


The tall ship Wavertree is permanently moored at Pier 16 of the South Street Seaport Museum, located in Fulton and South Streets. Access to Wavertree requires climbing a small ladder-type staircase and an angled walkway and is not accessible to the ADA.

Pier 16 is accessible by A, C, 2, 3, J, Z, 4 or 5 trains or M-15 SBS or M-15 buses to Fulton Street. Wavertree is also accessible by the New York Ferry and New York Waterway Ferry to Pier 11, as well as the Staten Island Ferry to the Whitehall Terminal.

What Lies Beneath will be played completely outdoors on the deck of the tall ship Wavertree.

Members of the public will be required to provide full proof of vaccination upon entering the Wavertree tall ship, regardless of age. On Site Opera will NOT require testing for members of the public, and all performers, staff and ushers will all be fully immunized. ‌ Masks are not compulsory for spectators but encouraged if desired. Ushers and staff will wear masks.

The artists will be unmasked. Members of the public will be seated 12 feet from the performers when they sing. High traffic areas will be cleaned regularly and On Site Opera will provide hand sanitizing areas.



Leave A Reply