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Published on Sep 25, 2008
September 2007, PortSide inaugurated its H2O Art Series with a Puccini opera in the Red Hook Containerport. The tanker Mary Whalen was the stage. Performers and orchestra bobbed as the ship moved with the waves. The backdrop was gantry cranes, the lumberport and the downtown Manhattan skyline and passing ships. Sell-out crowds sat parallel to the ship along the pier.
The audience walked in through a corridor of containers to be greeted by the mermaid Miss Red Hook and her assistant mermaids. The pier dressed with vintage signal flags and our collection of shipping line flags from the defunct Propeller Club. PortSide offered a Sunset Reception, cash bar, and mini-museum. The opera was performed by Vertical Player Repertory and directed by Beth Greenberg, the Stage Director of the New York City Opera who was working independently on this production. Video shot by Helen Tschudi; editing by John Weave