Two Avant-Gardists Join Forces

The collaboration between John Zorn and Richard Foreman is profiled.

Two guys meet on a corner in Manhattan’s East Village. First guy says to the second: “Why don’t you write me an opera?” Second guy shrugs and says “OK.”

“It was that simple,” said director Richard Foreman of the spark that led to “Astronome: A Night at the Opera,” his collaborative work with composer John Zorn that runs through April 5 at Mr. Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater. Seated beside him in Mr. Foreman’s book-lined loft, a week before the premiere, Mr. Zorn smiled. “I love that story,” he said, “because it’s at the heart of downtown, as far as I’m concerned. Things happen by chance all the time, between friends.”

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