We’re delighted to announce that The San Francisco Opera Center has joined forces with ODC Theatre and Music Without Walls to present the world premiere performances of Love/Hate in April 2012 at the newly renovated ODC Theatre in San Francisco. This is huge news for everyone involved with this project – to start with, our San Francisco cast will be provided by The San Francisco Opera Center, from its world-renowned Adler Fellowship Program!!
Thrilled and incredibly honored by some wonderful news I have to share with you! I have been awarded a rare double distinction from The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition. In addition to receiving a $6,000 commission award under their General commissioning program, I have been named the only composer in the Endowment’s history to receive an Honorable Mention for The Barlow Prize in the same year! 170 composers applied and I am very grateful and humbled to be given such special notice from the judges.
I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be composing a new piece in 2012 for TwoSense – the magnificent duo of Bang on a Can and Cantaloupe Music recording artists, cellist Ashley Bathgate and pianist, Lisa Moore. Their concerts feature new & experimental music paired with mainstream repertoire for cello and piano. Although TwoSense is less than a year old, they’ve already earned rave reviews from major press in New York and around the country.
I am quite touched by a recent request from wonderful New York pianist, Thomas Bagwell, to write a song for the 20th Anniversary of the Aids Quilt Songbook concert. I’m really excited to participate in this amazing project. The concert will be held in New York in June, 2012.
Poet’s Cabaret is set to go into Fantasy Studios this November 2011, to record a collection of new works focusing on a mix of short vocal songs balanced with short instrumental numbers. I’m approaching it as a collection of scenes and short stories told through music and lyrics. The performers areAmie Penwell, Jordan Carp, David Arend, Jason Slota and myself.
The fabulous soprano Adrienne Danrich will feature two of my songs in her
sold-out recital at Cincinnati’s Taft Museum tonight. I’m a huge fan of hers and
very thrilled to have ‘Fireflies of the Sea’ and ‘The Peace of Wild Things’
be part of her recital.
Seattle Opera today announced Belonging(s), a new community engagement project that will use personal stories of Puget Sound area residents to create a new kind of homegrown opera. The first phase of this multi-year project involves collecting hundreds of stories, each centering on a cherished belonging that embodies struggle, success, and identity. Story collection is underway, and continues, in the coming weeks, at a Belonging(s) video booth in the lobby of McCaw Hall before each performance of Porgy and Bess.
“Opera is often described in terms of its component parts, or its 400-year old Western European history,” says Speight Jenkins, General Director of Seattle Opera. “I’m interested in finding ways that we can think more broadly about opera, as a celebration of the stories we share and the details that make us unique.”
Belonging(s) begins with a digital quilt—an online repository of videos created by you, your friends, and the people you pass on the street—that tell stories of our most precious possessions: those objects or memories that help us understand our lives, our relationships, and our legacies. From the quilt will come a newly commissioned opera, to be produced in venues throughout the Puget Sound region. A composer and librettist—to be identified in an upcoming announcement—will select a small number of stories from the quilt to create an opera that explores the time and place in which we live.
“Seattle Opera performs Wagner’s Ring cycle every four years,” says Seattle Opera Education Director Sue Elliott. “The magic ring is an object upon which an entire world projects its conflicts and history. Drawing inspiration from the Ring, we’re using stories of our most precious possessions to create new work as part of a local, communal arts practice, using ideas and images from you, your friends, and your neighbors.”
Next week I’m off to Northern Washington State, close to the Canadian border, to work with my friend Martin Kuuskmann and the Pacific Arts Association, at the Blaine Jazz Festival. I’ll spend a week there teaching kids to improvise and write music, and playing concerts. Born in Estonia, Martin is one of the world’s leading improvising bassoon virtuosos, a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music, and founding member of New York based Absolute Ensemble.
I’d like invite you to a very special performance at ODC Theater on July 11th. My dear friend and long time collaborator Rob Bailis – librettist for Love/Hate and Executive Director of ODC Theater, is stepping down from that position to return to a more active performing schedule (he’s a formidable clarinetist). Rob is also turning 40! So this concert is a celebration of major milestones. What’s more, we’ll be performing scenes from our opera Love/Hate with former San Francisco Opera Center Adler Fellows Melody Moore and Thomas Glenn. I hope to see you at this special benefit event for the ODC Director’s Fund! Continue reading “ODC’s Director’s Fund Benefit, with Melody Moore & Thomas Glenn!”
My mini opera Betty Box Office, is being made into a film! It will be directed by it’s librettist – Ken Gass. Ken is a Canadian playwright and theater director. He founded the Factory Theater in toronto, one of Canada’s most respected and well-known houses for new work.
Tapestry New Opera is an international home for creators, developers and performers of new opera: all collaborators in telling stories that surprise, thrill and move audiences. The Tapestry process begins at the annual Composer-Librettist Laboratory where writers and composers are introduced to collaborative creation.
Ken Gass is Artistic Director at and founder of Factory Theatre in Toronto, Ontario. Almost from his professional debut, Ken Gass was a proponent of alternative and experimental theatre, helping to organize Toronto’s Festival of Underground Theatre.