Jonah & the Whale was commissioned by Los Angeles Opera. With a wonderful, imaginative libretto by Velina Hasu Houston, the piece re-imagines the biblical hero’s struggle with God & faith, his reluctance to forgive, and ultimate enlightenment through the encouragement of a feisty chorus of krill and other sea-creatures met in the belly of the famous whale. Based on the familiar Old Testament tale, Jonah and the Whale explores the universal themes of overcoming personal fear and the burden of responsibility for the greater good of humankind. When God asks Jonah to prophesy to the sinful people of Nineveh, the fearful Jonah attempts to flee by sea, where he is thrown overboard during a storm. A great fish swallows Jonah, but he emerges safely after agreeing to fulfill God’s orders.
Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, River of Light is the final work in the East + West series. With a libretto by beloved author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, the work is a brief one-act opera dramatizing main character Meera’s yearning for an authentic Diwali celebration in Houston, far from her home and family in India. Over the course of the 30 minute piece, Meera comes to a new understanding of the true meaning of Diwali. River of Light incorporates North Indian raga and bhajans, and blends sitar, harmonium & tabla with piano, violin, cello and operatic voices.
7:30pm, March 29 & 2pm March 30, 2014
The Asia Society of Houston
1370 Southmore Blvd.
Houston, TX 77004
This week, Love/Hate receives its world premiere in an innovative partnership between ODC Theater and the San Francisco Opera! With four singers from SF Opera’s Adler Fellowship program, live chamber ensemble, stage direction by M. Graham Smith and choreography by Chris Black, we’re truly blessed. It’s a gift to have one’s work rendered at this level! I’ll be posting photos and video as we move into the theatre for staging and full rehearsals. Sheri Greenawald, Mark Morash and everyone at the San Francisco Opera Center, and Christy Bolingbrook and the entire staff at ODC Theatre have been a dream team to work with. I’m a bit tired, but I’m having a wonderful time! Ticket & performance information More about the opera
Love/Hate San Francisco World Premiere
April 12, 14, 15 ODC Theater, San Francisco
Cast and Crew Marina Boudart-Harris, soprano Laura Krumm, mezzo-soprano Thomas Glenn, tenor Ao Li, baritone Robert Mollicone, music director/pianist David Hanlon, conductor M. Graham Smith, director Chris Black, choreographer Stephanie Buchner, lighting design Bethanie Baeyen, stage management/scenic elements
With special thanks for the stewardship of Sheri Greenawald, Mark Morash, and Sandra Bernhardt
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!!
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.
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.
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!”
The wonderful soprano Adrienne Danrich is performing Lilacs, my setting of Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed”, at the Arts Club of Washington on May 25th, as part of a celebration of Whitman’s life and writing. Thank you Adrienne, for helping to get the music out!