I was honored to be asked to contribute to two important songbook collections in 2012. The Opera America Songbook was a commissioning project in conjunction with Schott Music, as part of the activities celebrating the opening of the new National Opera Center. I set James Fenton’s delightful poem “Down to the Twigs and Seeds”, sung at the opening concert by soprano Sarah Jakubiak.
I also was honored earlier this year when pianist Thomas Bagwell called to ask if I’d contribute a setting of poet Steven Cordova’s “Across a Table”, for the 20th Anniversary edition of the Aids Quilt Memorial Songbook. The presentation will include songs from the 1992 premiere, written by William Parker, as well as songs written for various regional performances of the piece over the last two decades and brand new songs written especially for this performance by me and composers Robert Aldridge, Stephen Dembeski, Herschel Garfein, Gilda Lyons and Wolfram Wagner. Among the performers will be Stephanie Blythe, Amy Burton, Adrienne Danrich, Anthony Dean Griffey, Suzanne Mentzer, Kurt Ollmann, Sidney Outlaw, Randall Scarlata, William Sharp, Michael Slattery, Sanford Sylvan, Monica Yunus, and Camille Zamora.
The performance will be at Cooper Union’s Great Hall, on December 1st, 2012.