Soldier Songs at The Atlanta Opera

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SOLDIER SONGS DAVID T. LITTLE Novmeber 11, 12, 14, 15, 2015


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This program is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA also receives support from its partner agency – the National Endowment for the Arts.


The Home Depot Foundation is proud to partner with the Atlanta Opera to honor our U.S. military veterans.

direCtOr's NOte ideological stance. It is meant to provide a window to the world of a soldier, his or her experiences and challenges. It is meant to honor veterans, commemorate those who are no longer with us, and remember all who are affected by war. The libretto was adapted from recorded interviews with veterans of five wars. It expresses their experiences through a personal lens. The show traces the shift in perception of war from the age of six to the age of 66. We follow the abstract character through the three phases of life: Youth (playing war games), Warrior (time served in the military), and Elder (aged, wise, reflective).

photo: Patrick Heagney

direCtOr Tomer Zvulun Soldier Songs is a multimedia event from composer David T. Little that combines elements of theater, opera, and rock-infused-concert music to explore the perceptions versus the realities of the soldier, the exploration of loss and exploitation of innocence, and the difficulty of expressing the truth of war. Originally commissioned by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, which premiered the work in 2006, Soldier Songs received its premiere in New York on 2008 by Beth Morrison Projects.


The arts, in different manifestations, can be used to serve a political or ideological message or it can be a vehicle for expressing the human condition. This production of Soldier Songs has absolutely no interest in taking a political or

A powerful and visceral piece, Soldier Songs speaks to me on a profound personal level. It is about soldiers and their individual experiences: training, serving, and surviving. From my own experiences as a soldier, there is no possible way to accurately convey the experience of a battle onstage or on film, and this is not what we attempt to do in this production. This piece is about people and the effects that war has on human beings, their families, and society. I find the opening quote to be especially meaningful: “I never talk about this with anybody.� Veterans seldom talk about their experience with anybody, unless they talk to another veteran. This evening is about permission: permission for veterans to share their experiences and hopefully talk about them. It’s also about permission for their families and the rest of society to have an inkling, a fragment of an idea of what their experiences really are. Soldier Songs is for and about the people affected by war and in honor of them.

Credits Soldier SongS David T. Little Published 2011 By arrangement with Hendon Music, Inc., a Boosey & Hawkes company, publisher and copyright owner. A new production by The Atlanta Opera. BARITONE Matthew Worth SupERNuMERARy Lee Buchele SupERNuMERARy Joseph Masson CONDuCTOR Christopher Rountree pRODuCTION DIRECTOR Tomer Zvulun pRODuCTION DESIGN GLMMR SCENERy & pROJECTION DESIGN Victoria Tzykun & David Adam Moore COSTuME DESIGN Victoria Tzykun LIGHTING DESIGN Maxwell Bowman SOuND DESIGN Garth MacAleavy AuDIO ENGINEER Caley Monahon-Ward pRODuCTION STAGE MANAGER Brian August MuSICAL pREpARATION Kathleen Tagg OrCHestrA CONCERTMASTER Peter Ciaschini pRINCIpAL CELLO Charae Krueger pRINCIpAL FLuTE/ALTO FLuTE James Zellers CLARINET/BASS CLARINET Kathy White pRINCIpAL pERCuSSION Michael Cebulski pERCuSSION Stuart Gerber pIANO James Johnston CONTRACTOR Mark McConnell

Musicians employed in this production are represented by the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.

Performed in English with English supertitles. Please join us for a panel discussion 15 minutes following the performance. Images courtesy of the James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. This production is dedicated to the memory of Avi Maimon. 7

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CAst & CreAtive dAvid t. little COMpOSER

ATLANTA OpERA DEBuT David T. Little is “one of the most imaginative young composers” on the scene (The New Yorker) with “a knack for overturning musical conventions” (The New York Times). His operas Soldier Songs (PROTOTYPE Festival) and Dog Days (Peak Performances/Beth Morrison Projects) have been widely acclaimed, “prov(ing) beyond any doubt that opera has both a relevant present and a bright future” (NYTimes). Recent/upcoming works include Agency (Kronos Quartet), Charm (Baltimore Symphony/Marin Alsop), Hellhound (Maya Beiser), Haunt of Last Nightfall (Third Coast Percussion), the opera JFK with Royce Vavrek (Fort Worth Opera/ALT), a new opera commissioned by the MET Opera/ Lincoln Center Theater new works program, and the music-theatre work Artaud in the Black Lodge with Outrider legend Anne Waldman (Beth Morrison Projects). His music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, the Park Avenue Armory, the Bang On A Can Marathon, and elsewhere. Educated at University of Michigan and Princeton, Little is co-founder of the annual New Music Bake Sale, has served as Executive Director of MATA, serves on the Composition Faculty at Mannes-The New School and Shenandoah Conservatory, and is Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group. The founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, his music can be heard on New Amsterdam and Innova labels. He is published by Boosey & Hawkes.


ATLANTA OpERA DEBuT: The Flying DuTchman, 2009 General and Artistic Director of The Atlanta Opera since 2013, Tomer Zvulun is also one of opera’s most exciting young directors, earning consistent praise for his creative vision, often described as cinematic and fresh. Known for creating innovative interpretations for standard operas, as well as championing new works by American composers. Recently, he created critically acclaimed new productions of La bohéme (Atlanta, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Cleveland), Don Giovanni (Wolf Trap, Cincinnati), and Madama Butterfly (Atlanta, Castleton Festival), among others. His passion for producing new works was realized in the acclaimed European premiere of Kevin Puts’s Silent Night in Wexford Festival Opera in 2014, a production that won 2 Irish Times Awards. In the 2014-15 season, he created a critically acclaimed new production of Handel’s Semele in Seattle and created Silent Night in Wexford Festival in a production that will travel to Atlanta and The Glimmerglass Festival in 2017. For The Atlanta Opera’s 2015-16 season, he will direct La bohème, Soldier Songs, and Romeo and Juliet.

CHristOpHer rOuNtree CONDuCTOR

ATLANTA OpERA DEBuT Christopher Rountree is the founder, conductor and creative director of the path breaking Los Angeles chamber orchestra wild Up. His 2014-15 season included debuts with the San Francisco Symphony (SoundBox), Opera Omaha (John Adams’ A Flowering Tree, at the composer’s invitation) and the Music Academy of the West Festival Orchestra; and start a three-year stint as guest conductor and artist in residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Rountree premiered 12 of his own compositions with various groups and soloists including a collaboration with The Crossing and artists Allora & Calzadilla at Philadelphia Museum of Art. In the 2013-14 season, Rountree debuted on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series, and with the San Diego Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Ensemble LPR. He conducted the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra’s performance of The Rite of Spring on the work’s centenary. Other recent engagements include the Brooklyn Philharmonic; Monday Evening Concerts; the Prototype Festival; Beth Morrison Projects; the American Composers Orchestra; the Michigan Pops Orchestra; the Winnipeg Symphony; Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic; American Youth Symphony; and the Rose City Chamber Orchestra. With his eclectic style and resume, he’s been tapped to curate events for contemporary art institutions including the Getty Museum, MCA Denver, and the Hammer Museum, where a long-running wild Up residency brought the group to national prominence.

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CAst & CreAtive mAttHew wOrtH SOLDIER

ATLANTA OpERA DEBuT This season he will lead the world premiere of David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s JFK with Fort Worth Opera as John F. Kennedy. Also this season are his role debut with Opera Birmingham in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Green Sneakers, his debuts with both the Colorado Symphony and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Future seasons include Naga, a world premiere with Beth Morrison Projects, and returns to Atlanta Opera and Boston Lyric Opera. Highlights of recent seasons include the title role in Eugene Onegin with Chautauqua Opera, the world premiere of The Manchurian Candidate with Minnesota Opera, his European debut with Wexford Festival Opera in Silent Night, Moby Dick at Washington National Opera and Orphée with Pittsburgh Opera. Lauded for his work in the standard operatic repertoire, Matthew’s Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) was deemed “vocally impeccable… open and incisive” by the Boston Classical Review. Other notable roles include Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Mercutio (Roméo et Juliette), Valentin (Faust), Harlequin (Ariadne auf Naxos), and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte). He has performed leading roles at Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Castleton Festival, Tanglewood Festival, Boston Lyric Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, under such luminary conductors as James Levine, Lorin Maazel, and Sir Andrew Davis.


ATLANTA OpERA DEBuT: WinTer Journey, 2015 Performer, director, and media artist David Adam Moore is a highly sought-after leading baritone by major opera houses and orchestras worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salzburg Festival, Carnegie Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Bunkamura (Tokyo), Grand Théâtre de Genève, Israeli Opera, New York City Opera, BBC Symphony, LA Phil, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and many others. His performances have been broadcast on BBC, Arte television, NPR, Radio France, RAI, and Radio Netherlands, and recorded by BMG, GPR, and Innova records. With a repertoire of more than 60 principal roles, including Billy Budd, Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Rossini’s Figaro, Papageno, DeRocher in Dead Man Walking, Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire, Prior Walter in Angels in America, Schubert’s Winterreise, Carmina Burana, and the Soldier in David T. Little’s Soldier Songs, which Moore premiered and recorded. Future engagements include a leading role in a world premiere with the Salzburg Festival that he will repeat in his Metropolitan Opera debut, a role debut as Ford in Falstaff at Arizona Opera, and Winterreise at Des Moines Metro Opera. As a multimedia artist, Moore’s interactive video and sound work has been presented by the 92nd Y, .NO Gallery, and the Guggenheim, among others. He is a founding member of GLMMR — an NYC-based collective whose current productions include The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat for Indianapolis Opera, directed by Moore and Vita Tzykun.


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Recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award®


Recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award®


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Recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award®

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CAst & CreAtive viCtOriA tZykuN pRODuCTION DESIGNER

ATLANTA OpERA DEBuT: rigoleTTo 2015 Victoria “Vita” Tzykun [tsee-’koon] has designed sets, costumes, and projections for companies such as Norwegian Opera, LA Opera, Seattle Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Philadelphia, The Kennedy Center, Wexford Opera Festival (Ireland), Boston Lyric Opera, Kristiansund Opera (Norway), Bard Summerscape, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Utah Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, Juilliard Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, 3LD Art & Media Center, NY Classical Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, and 92nd Street Y. Her numerous film and TV credits include art direction for Lady Gaga’s ABC Thanksgiving special, production design for several award-winning feature films and shorts, and commercials for leading companies such as PBS, DirectTV, Axe, Bulova, Qualcomm, and the U.S. Army. Her work was recently showcased in a solo exhibition at the National Opera America Center in New York, and has been featured in exhibitions at the Entertainment Industry Expo in NYC, Habima National Theater in Tel-Aviv, the World Stage Design Exhibition in Toronto, and in Entertainment Design magazine. Tzykun has also served as a panelist on the Opera Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts. Tzykun is a founding member of GLMMR — an NYC-based interdisciplinary art collective that fuses the worlds of fine art, audiovisual technology, and live performance. A native of Odessa, Ukraine, and Tel Aviv, Israel, Tzykun holds an M.F.A. from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she was awarded a full scholarship, and a B.F.A. (magna cum laude) from Tel Aviv University. She lives and works in NYC and is a member of IATSE Local 829.


ATLANTA OpERA DEBuT: WinTer Journey, 2015 Maxwell Bowman is a lighting and multimedia designer with side projects in interactive art and design. Maxwell has worked with award-winning artists all over the country including Elaine McCarthy, Austin Switser, and Ken Posner. Maxwell has worked nationally with such opera and theater groups as the Santa Fe Opera, The Dallas Opera, Indianapolis Opera, and Goldfish Memory Productions, to name a select few. He was the co-lighting designer for the national tour of WNYC’s Radiolab: Apocalyptical, and is a contributing member of the GLMMR collective in lighting and technology integration. Maxwell is from Tumwater, Wash., and attended Southern Methodist University (M.F.A.) and Southern Oregon University (B.F.A.). Maxwell is based in New York City, where he lives with his wife and two cats. Having spent his teenage summers in the Atlanta area, he is very excited to finally be able to give back artistically to this inspiring community.

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