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Spotlight Sunday Feature - Beth Ratay and Rich Orloff

Hello HOTOpera fans! We hope you've enjoyed the return of our Spotlight Sunday series. We can't believe that our 10th annual New in November festival is LESS THAN ONE MONTH away. We hope you've purchased your tickets and plan to join us for Connecticut's HOTTEST opera event of the season! Today we're happy to introduce the dynamic duo behind our third NIN opera: Womb with a View. We hope you enjoy learning about composer, Beth Ratay, librettist, Rich Orloff, and what Opera for the 22nd Century means to them.


Beth Ratay has been composing for over 25 years. She has had works performed around the world, by ensembles such as Earplay, West Edge Opera, Third Millennium Ensemble, The Boston New Music Initiative, Boston Opera Collaborative, Coalescence Percussion Duo, the Cambridge Chamber Singers, the Phoenix Symphony Chorus, the Willamette University Wind Ensemble, the Arizona State University Concert Band and the University of Colorado Wind Ensemble.

Her works have been featured at the Oregon Bach Festival Composer’s Forum, the April in Santa Cruz Contemporary Music Festival, the Women Composer’s Festival of Hartford and the Society of Composers, Inc National Conference.

Dr. Ratay received her Doctor of Musical Arts in World Music Composition from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her musical research has focused on the music of Harrison Birtwistle as well as text setting, poetic interpretation and the relationship of language to music, especially in Czech, German and English. She has studied with composers David Evan Jones, Paul Nauert, James DeMars, and Michael Theodore.

Dr. Ratay also enjoys teaching, and is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College. In the past, she has taught courses at Hartnell College, Gavilan College, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Beth currently lives with her amazing family including one husband, two sons, and one cat in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Here is what Beth wants you to know about Womb with A View:

Womb with a View is an tongue-in-cheek opera about being human, and what that means. I hope everyone can see some part of their own experience in the story.

Here is what Beth had to say about Opera for the 22nd Century:

Opera in the 22nd Century means telling stories which are new, exciting, and relevant. It means music that engages audiences and brings them into the world and story being told.


Rich Orloff is the author of 18 full-length plays, mostly comedies and mostly award-winning. The New York Times called his comedy BIG BOYS "rip-roaringly funny" and named FUNNY AS A CRUTCH a Critic's Pick. Rich’s 80 short plays have received over 1900 productions on six continents (and a staged reading in Antarctica). His short comedies have been published seven times in the annual Best American Short Plays anthology, more than any other contemporary playwright. His comedy ROMANTIC FOOLS has had over 100 productions on four continents, including two productions in Madrid, where they’re apparently no better at romance than we are. To learn more about Rich, please visit his website:

Here is what Rich wants you to know about Womb with a View:

This opera is based on my short play with the same title. Set in the womb, just minutes before birth, a baby girl has second thoughts about leaving the comfort of her current home. Then contractions begin! Winner of the Audience Favorite Award, Driftwood Players Short Play Festival, the play has been produced in short play festivals in the United States, India, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Dubai.


Thank you for tuning in to our Opera for the 22nd Century blog! We hope you are excited as we are to see Womb with a View and our other 4 operas featured at this year's New in November festival! Visit our social media pages this week to learn more about Beth Ratay, Rich Orloff, and Womb With a View.

To purchase your tickets for NIN10, visit our website at this link!

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