American Opera Projects

6 Scenes

Composers & the Voice 2008 culminates in 6 scenes, presented october 3 & 4 at AOP’s home base, the South Oxford Space. Included on this program will be about 25 minutes of Love/Hate, the new one act chamber opera I’m composing for AOP and ODC Theater. The librettist for Love/Hate is my dear friend & longtime musical collaborator, Rob Bailis.  Here’s Rob’s description…

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First Glimpse and the Whitman Project

Three recent arias composed for AOP’s Composers & the Voice project (see below for more info about aop) will be performed:

May 8 at AOP’s home base
The South Oxford Space
138 South Oxford St, Brooklyn, NY

May 9 at The Laurie Beechman Theater
West Bank Cafe

407 W 42nd Street
New York City, NY 10036

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Another aria on “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed” was selected for the annual Whitman Birthday Bash organized by Greg Trupiano and the Walt Whitman Project.

7:00 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Theater Ten Ten,
1010 Park Avenue at 85th Street

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American Opera Projects

Composers and the Voice

 

I was having breakfast with my buddy Rachael last October, when Steven Osgood called to see if i wanted to participate in Composers & the Voice for 2008. Ask Rachael – I’m pretty sure I yelled yes!!! into my cappuccino foam. AOP is a driving force behind the revitalization of contemporary opera in the United States, supporting the commissioning, development and presentation of new American opera.

Composers & the Voice is a year-long AOP workshop which let’s me write for up-and-coming young singers engaged at fancy places like the met and city opera. Over the Summer I’ll be writing a one act opera called Love/Hate (obsessive relationships, what else?) to a very funny libretto by my very clever friend Rob Bailis, to be performed in New York this Fall, and at ODC theater in 2010.

New Commission

The Paul Dresher Ensemble with Thomas Glenn

Paul Dresher, one of my favorite bay area composers, recently announced a commission for me to compose a new work for the Dresher Ensemble. What i’ve got planned is a dramatic song cycle for my favorite rock star tenor, Thomas Glenn.  Thomas created the role of physicist Robert Wilson in the world premiere of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic. He reprised the role at the Netherlands Opera in 2007, and will do so at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera of New York in 2008, as well as the English National Opera in 2009. The new piece will premiere and tour with the Dresher Ensemble in 2010.

New Teaching Position

Santa Clara University

In September I was hired to teach at Santa Clara University. This is an ideal position – composition and jazz piano. Actually, the music department was anticipating two hires, but after our initial conversations they extended the offer to combine both positions. My new students and colleagues are great, and…the campus is beautiful – it’s a giant garden!

Recent Grants

Thank You ACF, ODC and Hewlett Foundation

Hooray (and whew) for arts money. The American Composers Forum helped twice this year – through their Subito grant they supported my travel to new york for the AOP workshops. And their Northern California Commissioning Project provided support for the Paul Dresher commission.  Thanks ACF, you people are visionary (i think)!  I was also fortunate enough to receive support for the composition and performance of my second book of concert arias, from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, through the ODC Director’s Fund. We’re planning a concert of the Jack Perla song book at Theater Artaud, stayed tuned for details.

Patent Pending

Playfavorites

For a few years now, Srinka and i have been working on a methodology for automated generation of pedagogical music arrangements. This grew out of years of teaching private lessons and observing my students’ desire to play their favorite music (not mine). About a year ago we codified the principles and procedures and applied for a patent, and a couple of months ago we heard back from the U.S. patent office. The majority of our claims have been granted, thanks in no small part to our super-awesome attorney Noel Kivlin, and also thanks to the indispensable brain of good friend (and former piano student, and patent attorney) Matt Rainey.

Music Without Walls News

Workaholism

2007, and Q1 & 2, 2008 were banner years for Music Without Walls, both artistically and commercially. On the commercial side, revenues increased about 60% over the previous year. We completed a wide array of children’s interactive, adult educational and broadcast projects for clients including Crayola, Fisher Price, Duetsch, Direct TV, Scholastic, Binary Labs, MGA, Livescribe, Leapfrog, and several independent interactive media developers. Our work with Binary Labs on “Totally Stumped” won two industry awards. Ben Bernstein came on board as all around resourceful business partner.  He’s been a great addition to MWW’s activities, building the client base, helping with production and post-production, and keeping me laughing and somewhat sane. You should hear our dora & diego demo – in harmony, in spanish.

Studio JP

Jones Street Open for Business

Ben the good was also instrumental in getting the new Jones Street studio up and running. Last month we recorded voice assets for our most recent interactive project at the Jones Street studio, and Ben also recorded a piano/vocal project there, with the new Yamaha baby grand. Let us know if you’re interested in visiting the studio or recording.

Mark Foehringer Dance Project

One of the projects coming up that I’m really excited about is a commission & collaboration with the Mark Foehringer Dance Project a stunning professional contemporary ballet company based in San Francisco since 1996. The group features a repertoire of contemporary ballet works created by founder and choreographer Mark Foehringer and other professional choreographers and dancers.  The Mark Foehringer Dance Project has performed at the Joyce Theater in New York in 1999 and 2000, in Aruba in 1997 and at more than 20 venues in the San Francisco Bay Area since it’s founding.