Compelled to write an opera after a Sunday afternoon trip to the movies with his two daughters and father, pianist/composer and producer Joel A. Martin, “The Bentley" turned the emotional force of the powerful film experience into a liberating tide of creativity and imagination that gave birth to his own HipOpera and pummeled it from the idea stage to the completed stage in less than one year.  In the process, Joel redefined the way opera is written, perceived, cast, and performed in the 21st century.
Filmmakers have long been inspired by the richness of opera with its extravagant staging, costumes, and its emotional story line to create their craft; but using film to excite opera is a rare and transformative opportunity to change people’s perceptions of the art itself.

HipOpera arises from the Jazzical trademark premise of infusing classical operatic form with jazz, world music, a little hip hop grooving, and performance poetry (rap), while retaining a solidly classical foundation.   In Joel’s words:  “If the classical composers of 1700s and 1800s were alive today, they would be using all musical genres, just the same as they did back then.  The composers did not write for themselves or some elite set of musicians - they wrote for the people!” 

And this is precisely what Joel has done with HipOpera.  Using themes of power, loyalty, loss and conflict in contemporary black life, he has elevated the art to a prominent place in the lives of ordinary people.

Joel writes for the people.  He explains: “I would like to break down a lot of barriers in order to create meaningful new works for a new generation of concert goers, performers, and in particular African American opera singers! It is hoped that the power, realism, and honesty of this work will resonate with both the opera lovers and new audiences. Everyone will be singing songs from HipOpera—relevant, cool, funky, emotionally charged, and SINGABLE songs—infused by different musical genres.  HipOpera is for everyone who loves the kind of music you can actually remember.  HipOpera presents a compelling story for modern times!”


World Premier Opera Concert Reading
June 29, 2019:  7 PM
Darien Arts Center
Weatherstone Theater
Darien, CT

Professionally videotaped and recorded in 24-track HD audio, HipOpera will feature 8 opera singers, one performance poet/rapper, and a 22-piece orchestra.  The Darien Arts Center has generously made their black box theater available to this production, and we are so grateful.



HipOpera will bring global prominence and success as an artistic work that all opera and musical theater companies can embrace and call its own.


Imagine if in hindsight you were able to help launch the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” you would have jumped on the opportunity immediately. HipOpera is another opportunity for you.  HipOpera has grand aspirations for worldwide success integrating classical, jazz, world, music, and a little dose of contemporary HipHop. 

You are at ground zero of the HipOpera launch. The hard work of creating this masterpiece has already been accomplished.  Your support will propel this project to national and international prominence.


Please get on board the HipOpera train and make a donation to our
Go Fund Me campaign or become a strategic partner as an investor.  Let’s shoot for the stars together!  

$20,000 - $35,000 will bring the HipOpera production to Stage  1 fruition on the road to Broadway.  It will be used to pay the artists, orchestra, and technical team.  This is a reasonable sum of money when you consider that anywhere else it would cost at least 2-3x more, AND we retain quality, quality, quality, the hallmark of any Jazzical production.

Our deadline to raise these funds is June 15, 2019.

$5, 10, 15, 50, 100, 200, any amount you can give will be immensely helpful. Just think of the success of "Hamilton." 


$5-50 - Mention in the HIPOPERA Program 
$51-200 - The above and a HIPOPERA T-shirt

$201-500 - All of the above plus cast recording CD in the fall 2019

$501-1000 - All of the above plus a ticket to the reading.

$1001-4999 - All of the above 4 tickets to the fully staged production of HIPOPERA, date to be determined.

$5000+ - All of the above plus a special in-house Jazzical/Hipopera Concert for you and your friends. Details TBD with you.


Many of you have supported Joel's other major projects of the past:
 Jazzical Meets Menken - Footsteps of Peace - Footsteps of Mandela

Thank you!  All of these projects have brought a new awareness to art, music, and social issues.  HipOpera is all of these projects, 8 Jazzical CDs, and a lifetime of music-making all wrapped up in one package.  

Your support will signal to the world that HipOpera is an important new way to look at opera, the arts, its presentation and relevancy to the world we live in.  It inspires opera singers to be more than technically proficient.  It allows them to believe in the role they are working on and inspires them to SING and COMMUNICATE to the people!  Also, it means greater diversity in the operatic world starting with … everything! 

HipOpera is here. It is not going anywhere but up. With your help we can all say, "We were there from the very beginning."

Thank you for your support.  As an artist of the people, by the people, and for the people, I look forward to having you on the HipOpera team!

Donations (0)

  • Ron and Dania Sweitzer 
    • $200 
    • 20 d
  • Jacqueline Schwab 
    • $20 
    • 3 mos
  • Pam Heckel 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
  • William Wright 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
  • Beverli Christensen  
    • $50 
    • 4 mos

Fundraising team: HIPOPERA Crew (3)

Joel A. Martin 
Raised $4,122 from 27 donations
Norwalk, CT
K'idar Miller 
Team member
Ruth Ehrenberg 
Team member
This team raised $1,846 from 26 other donations.
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