All Classical Radio James Depreist

Stage & Studio: Renegades of the Opera

Renegade Opera's artistic director, Danielle Jagelski, talks about the company's beginnings, its approach to opera, and its upcoming production, "Adam's Run."

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Conductor Danielle Jagelski
Danielle Jagelski, artistic director. Photo: Rachel Hadiashar, courtesy Renegade Opera.

Since 2020, Renegade Opera has been striving to produce operas in equitable ways that support and feature emerging artists while creating an immersive experience for their growing audience. Renegade Opera’s artistic director and founding member, Danielle Jagelski, talks with Jenna Yokoyama about the company’s beginnings, its artistic and equitable approach to opera production, and about its upcoming performance of Ruby Fulton’s opera Adam’s Run, a dark comedy about climate change, Sept 7-10 at Shaking The Tree Theater.

The podcast features music by composer Ruby Fulton and librettist Baynard Woods with Madeleine Tran, Quinton Gardner, Lisa Neher, and the cast of Renegade Opera’s production of Adam’s Run. 
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Renegade Opera presents Adam’s Run:
September 7, 8, 9, 7:30 p.m
September 10, 3 p.m.
Shaking The Tree Theater, 823 SE Grant St., Portland

Sliding scale tickets available at renegadeopera.org


About Adam’s Run

Adam’s Run is a comedic contemporary opera on climate collapse (sociopolitical and ecological) by composer Ruby Fulton and librettist Baynard Woods. In a near-future America, TV personalities Julie Shore (the Existentialist Weather Woman) and Revered Billy Noble (the Environmentalist Evangelist) vie for America’s viewership. Despite ideological differences, Billy and Julie choose to work together, but not without retaliation from Billy’s cousin and fervent follower, Rodney Richards. TV producer Dana Daring tells their story as a series of flashbacks.

About Danielle Jagelski

Danielle Jagelski is a conductor and composer. At home in both operatic and orchestral realms, she is the artistic director of Renegade Opera, Associate Conductor of PROTESTRA, Producer at First Nations Performing Arts, and mentor for Girls Who Conduct.

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Recent engagements include Dark Sisters by Nico Muhly at Temple University Opera Theater, Garden of Alice by Elizabeth Raum with City Lyric Opera (New York City), assistant conductor for Le nozze di Figaro at the Estates Theater (Prague, CZ), and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Portland). Sought out for her execution of newly written and contemporary works, she has performed concerts of world premieres at Manhattan School of Music, New Music Manhattan, National Music & Global Culture Society at Lincoln Center.

As a composer, her music has been heard throughout the U.S., Canada, and Germany with ensembles such as Hear Us Hear Them Ensemble, New Native Theatre, The American Patriots Project, and Chicago’s Artemis Singers. An enrolled member of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe Tribes with mixed heritage from Polish/Irish settler communities, Danielle is a fierce advocate for equity in musical spaces and has presented her research on Indigenous representation and Mixed-Race theory throughout the U.S. and Canada.

About Renegade Opera

Renegade Opera was founded in January 2020 by Madeline Ross (executive director), Danielle Jagelski (artistic director), and Elliot Menard (development director) to create work that reflected their values as artists, advocates, and activists. Renegade’s first season produced The Secret Diaries of Pennsylvania Avenue and the first annual Holiday Song Swap. In the company’s second season, the Renegade team was joined by Claire Robertson-Preis (operations director). Renegade’s second season featured Artists in Conversation: Deconstruct (April 2021) and Orfeo in Underland (August 2021). In 2022, Renegade virtually-produced Artists in Conversation: Contemporary Storytelling in Classical Music (April 2022), held an inaugural fundraising, Renegala, and presented Tito (August 2022), a modern adaptation of La Clemenza di Tito at Historic Alberta House. Renegade also added team member Abigail Krawson (communications director) and Creative Company members Madeleine Tran, Jesse Preis, and Joellen Sweeney.

Renegade Opera strives to dismantle systems of racism, patriarchy, homophobia, ageism, ableism, sexism, and financial gatekeeping in the opera industry. Renegade Opera advocates for the fair treatment and compensation of artistic collaborators (local Portland and emerging artists) and rejects inequitable and discriminatory practices in the opera industry. Renegade’s work addresses the financial inaccessibility of the arts for audiences and artists by implementing ethical producing practices and offering accessible performances and events to the public. The leadership of Renegade Opera represents a part of the next generation of artists bringing institutional reform to the performing arts industry. Renegade Opera is a 501(c)(3) organization.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Jenna Yokoyama

Jenna Yokoyama is a singer, theater creative, and audio producer. Her creative work often focuses on exploring the experiences of the Asian American community. She has a passion for understanding the complexity that makes up the interconnected nature of culture, identity, and art.

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