April 30â€“May 1, 2010 nyu skirball center for the performing arts
SCHEDULE Friday, April 30 6:00–11:00 pm 6:00–7:00 pm
Saturday, May 1 12:00–5:30 pm 12:00–1:30 pm
Panel Discussion: Writing for the Voice
Panel Discussion: why write an opera?
VOX Producer Beth Morrison is joined by select VOX composers in a discussion about the relationships between composers and singers in developing new operatic works.
New York City Opera General Manager and Artistic Director George Steel leads a panel discussion with several VOX composers about the relevance and future of opera as an art form.
7:30–8:45 pm session
2:00–3:00 pm session
With Blood, With Ink
Daniel Crozier, composer Peter M. Krask, librettist Pages 2–3
9:00–10:00 pm session
3:20–4:40 pm session
Du Yun, composer-librettist Pages 4–5
song from the uproar
Missy Mazzoli, composer-librettist Pages 6–7
Julian Wachner, composer Alexis Nouss, librettist
revolution of forms
10:20–11:00 pm session
5:00–5:30 pm session
David T. Little, composer Royce Vavrek, librettist Pages 10–11
I am proud to welcome you to New York City Opera’s VOX Contemporary American Opera Lab, our annual showcase that offers audiences the opportunity to hear the works of emerging and established composers and librettists, performed by New York City Opera’s orchestra, chorus, and soloists. For the past ten years, this free music lab has presented over 100 new operas, more than 40 of which have gone on to become full productions. Over the next two days we will present ten operas selected from 99 submissions, a record high for the program. Eight of these selections have never beeen professionally produced. Two additional works are presented as part of VOX Second Look, which showcases pieces that have not had another production or have significantly evolved since their initial VOX premiere. An essential element of City Opera’s mission is nurturing emerging American artists and fostering American opera. As the leader in this field, City Opera has produced 95 American works by over 58 American composers, including 29 world premieres. VOX serves as a wellspring for planning future mainstage repertory for the company. During the upcoming 2010-2011 season, City Opera will present four New York premieres of works by American composers— all of them New Yorkers—two of which were previously part of VOX: Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon and John Zorn’s La Machine de l’être. We are thrilled to share with you the exciting works that comprise VOX this year. I hope that the coming days will demonstrate to you the vibrancy of contemporary American opera. Thank you for being part of these performances which realize our mission. Your presence and support help pave the way to a bright future for new music and for New York City Opera.
This year, VOX showcases a diverse array of selections including pieces that could be described as boundarypushing, traditional, jazz-influenced, Latin-influenced, African-American, music theatre, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, minimalist, lush, and improvisatory. The only term that could possibly encompass this varied body of work is “Contemporary American Opera.” Having come into the City Opera family in September 2009, this is my first season as the producer of VOX. I have been a long-time admirer of this unique program and the work that it has brought forward. There is no other program of its kind in the country, and I am very honored to be shepherding VOX into its next decade. During the selection process, we asked the composers and librettists of VOX 2010 to answer the question, “Why write opera?” Throughout the program book their answers are revealed, offering further insight into their works. The question that I ask myself is, “Why produce contemporary opera?” With an ever-increasing landscape of media and entertainment options, and amid reports of the demise of classical music, I choose to be extremely optimistic about the operatic art form. This is largely due to the writers and the work that they are creating, which has become as relevant and inclusive in the 21st century as it was back in the days of Mozart or Verdi. As an art form, opera has always synthesized the worlds of music and theater (Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk) and now becomes the ultimate multimedia vehicle for our times. At its best, that synthesis between contemporary expression and the inclusive language created in the compositions of our living composers, brings opera to the cutting edge of the performing arts. So, why produce contemporary opera? … I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Anthony Davis, Dafnis Prieto, composers Alma Guillermoprieto, Charles Koppelman, librettists
a star across the ocean
Scott Davenport Richards, composer-librettist Pages 8–9
Brian Current, composer Anton Piatigorsky, librettist Pages 12–13
George Steel General Manager and Artistic Director New York City Opera
Beth Morrison VOX Producer
Paola Prestini, composer-librettist
Michael Gordon, composer Deborah Artman, librettist 3
With Blood, With Ink Friday, April 30 7:30–8:45 pm artists Composer: Daniel Crozier Librettist: Peter M. Krask Conductor: Julian Wachner Chorus Master: Charles F. Prestinari Young Juana: Michelle Areyzaga Dying Juana: Kerri Marcinko Sor Isabel/Sor Rosa: Amelia Watkins
Maria Luisa: Jennifer Tiller Padre Antonio: Andrew Drost Sor Andrea: Krysty Swann Archbishop: Stephen Bryant
With the women of the New York City Opera Chorus Presented as part of VOX Second Look
With Blood, With Ink tells the story of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648–1695), the 17th–century Mexican nun, poet, intellectual, and champion of women’s rights who was forced by the Inquisition to sign a blood oath renouncing her life’s work. Sor Juana faces all of the years her memory can encompass. She has a feverish vision of her younger self, an elusive shadow she cannot reach or warn as events build to their tragic destiny. Then, at last, arms outstretched through the ruin of years and memories, she embraces her younger self, and reconciled, she dies.
From the Composer With Blood, With Ink was developed under the direction of Roger Brunyate at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, where it has been performed twice. Since its premiere in 1993, this prize-winning opera has been performed at several universities throughout the country, in addition to making an appearance at VOX in 2000. Keeping in mind the initial request to write a work that would create roles for a variety of women, the creators were drawn to an amazing untold story. Not only was the life of Sor Juana dramatic, visionary, and tragic, but it presented the opportunity to draw upon many musical and literary sources such as High Baroque poetry, the Bible, Gregorian chant, the Requiem Mass and contemporary questions of conscience and identity. With Blood, With Ink is inspired by the works of Verdi and Britten that feature an individual destiny tragically colliding with the implacable forces of history. Through scenes that dramatize an expanding gulf of misunderstanding, With Blood, With Ink revolves around the ambiguity of Sor Juana’s life in that the means of her destruction were also the means of her ultimate success. It is in the spirit of her voice that the opera delves into the beautiful and devastating story of a complex, inspiring, and confounding woman, who, as she herself once wrote, “… with her blood, if not with ink, wrote the lesson of her life.” With Blood, With Ink is cast in an eclectic musical language, drawing upon several enduring traditions of 20th–century music, and moving freely between lyric tonality and the heightened drama of atonality. The range of emotion explored in the text seemed to demand a wide palette in terms of harmonic vocabulary. The ecclesiastical setting of the story, the chant melodies interwoven throughout the score, the rich imagery of Sor Juana’s intensely lyrical poetry, and the high drama of the libretto all help to shape the opera’s musical atmosphere and dramatic flexibility.
Daniel Crozier, Composer Birthplace: Doylestown, PA Current Residence: Winter Park, FL
Previous Work The Reunion (libretto by Roger Brunyate), premiered at Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University (1989); Symphony: Triptych for Orchestra (2004); Ballade: A Tale after the Brothers Grimm (orchestra, 2006); Winter Aubade (piano, 2009)
Peter M. Krask, Librettist Birthplace: Frederick, MD Current Residence: New York, NY
Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra; Branford Marsalis and the Walden Chamber Players; The Brazilian Guitar Quartet; Orchestra Nova
The Language of Birds (music by John Kennedy, commissioned by Sarasota Opera, premiered 2004); From the Diary of Kaspar Hauser, the Child of Europe (composer Charles Griffin, in development); Rendezvous of Light
Grants and Awards ASCAP Foundation/Morton Gould Young Composer Award; First Prize, National Opera Association Chamber Opera Competition; Individual Artist Fellowship from the State of Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs
Feature writer The Baltimore Sun, The City Paper, The Boston Phoenix, The New York Blade
Why Write Opera?
Why Write Opera?
Why write an opera? Because for me, opera draws on everything we ever attempt in music, from instrumental miniature to symphony, from song to cantata, all fashioned in the service of a drama about real people. It is the genre that at once presents the most formidable challenges and the greatest rewards. Why write our opera? Because of our subject, the remarkable visionary Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. We wanted to introduce this irresistible figure through music that strives to be grateful to sing and to draw an audience deep into these characters’ inner world.
Why write an opera? Because it’s the most difficult, perplexing theatrical form there is. It’s just plain–old hard. (And I like a challenge.) So much can go wrong in infinite ways. And yet, when it all goes right, unmistakably right ... well, nothing is better or feels more alive. (And it’s sheer fun, too.) The alchemy of music and words on a stage at the hands of living beings can be combustible, dangerous, thrilling, and even terrifying. I want to help strike the spark that sets that blaze to burning, casting some needed warming light in the dark.
Du Yun, Composer/Librettist Birthplace: Shanghai, China Current Residence: New York, NY
Previous Work Gold Ocean (to be showcased at Music with the View, Flea Theater, NYC); Hovering, for Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; Impeccable Quake, for Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Canada); Vicissitudes No.3, for Boston Modern Orchestra Project; I have been to Hiroshima Mon Amour, Ohio Theatre (2009); Ennui, for Oberlin Orchestra; Obliteration, for Internacional Festival Cervantino.
Commissions Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mann Center for Performing Arts, Whitney Museum Live, Festivals für Neue Musik & aktuelle Kultur (Switzerland), Chamber Music America Commissioning for iO Quartet, Fromm Foundation for Claire Chase, Meet the Composer Commissioning/USA for Moving Theater, Festival of New Trumpet (FONT), Jerome Foundation for ICE, Shanghai New Music Foundation
Friday, April 30 7:30–8:45 pm
From the Composer
Composer/Librettist: Du Yun Conductor: Julian Wachner
Zolle alludes to the spoken–text soundworld created by William Burroughs, Tom Waits, Diamanda Galás and Laurie Anderson, with influences ranging from Portuguese fados, 17th–century Italian opera, Japanese Noh theater, Chinese Kun opera, tangos, and Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat. As the woman moves through the phases of her memory, the music moves with her and conveys mournful seclusion, in the lament and the serene episodes through which she travels. Zolle, written in 2005, was originally written for the Sound/ Image Event series at the Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art Gallery in SoHo. It was performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble, during the exhibition of Frank Dituri’s photography, Zolle. Inspired by the images and the general spirit, a story formed in me. I then decided to use it to serve as a dramatic structure for the piece. Zolle is my fascination with our respective relationship to earth, to our roots. For me, the protagonist in the story is a woman without a name, devoid of any particular geographical belongings. I often think that in today’s world, no matter where we are from or where/what we think we belong to, we are all psychological immigrants, adapting to different geological and cultural collisions. I imagine this could be about the transitional stages we all pass through during our times, including the “befores” and “afters” we all endure.
Narrator: Hila Plitmann Voice: Hai-Ting Chinn Tenor: Brian Anderson
Synopsis In Zolle (Italian for “chunk of earth”), a dead woman is a land-watcher. She wanders through the shadowy space between memory and reality, tracing the lines of her identity through the land she once walked: an immigrant in death as in life. In her haunted travels between the living world and the afterlife, she is unable to choose between either. Finally, through her sorrows and solitude, she arrives at a state of peacefulness, ultimately letting go of both, and becoming part of the earth.
Rockefeller Foundation-Bellagio Residency; Aaron Copland House; Opera en Création at the Festival de Aix–en–Provence; Ucross Foundation
Grants and Awards Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Fourth Elaine Lebenbom Competition (2009); Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio Residency (Italy, 2009); Meet the Composer; Whitney Museum of American Art; Aaron Copland Award (2008); Chamber Music America Commissioning (2008); Fromm Music Foundation Commission (2007); American Music Center/Dance Commission (2007); Runner-up, Shanghai ZhongGu Award (2007); Audience Award, International Young Composer Forum (Canada, 2004); Jerome Foundation (2003); 3rd British International Bass Music Competition (2003)
Why Write Opera? Life is, above all, dramatic. Fabricating an opera makes life’s drama more fathomable. If only in real life we could have a dramaturge; if only in reality could we have all the living and historical fragments illuminated for us, just as a theatrical work would be staged. To see an opera is to witness the intricacies of the drama in life unfolding in front of our own eyes, musicalized, fantasized, compressed, and amplified. Being an observer and being a composer are an inseparable matter: to create is to observe, and hopefully trigger reflection. In the end, it is our reflection in life that makes life sustainable.
Missy Mazzoli, Composer/Librettist From the Composer
Song from the Uproar Friday, April 30 9:00–10:00 pm artists Composer/Librettist: Missy Mazzoli Film: StephenTaylor Conductor: Steven Osgood Chorus Master: Charles F. Prestinari Isabelle: Nina Yoshida Nelsen Mother: Ariana Chris Slimene: Christopher Burchett With members of the New York City Opera Chorus
Synopsis The text for Song from the Uproar was inspired by the journals of Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904), a Swiss explorer, nomad, journalist, novelist, passionate romantic, Sufi, and one of the most unusual women of her era. From 1900 to 1904 she traveled extensively through the North African desert on horseback, often dressed as a man, and relentlessly documented her travels through detailed journals and short stories. Song from the Uproar immerses the audience in the surreal landscapes of Isabelle’s life. We watch her describe the sudden loss of her family, the thrill of her arrival in Africa, her tentative joy at falling in love, the elation of self-discovery and the mystery of death.
I conceived Song from the Uproar in 2004, soon after picking up a copy of Isabelle Eberhardt’s journals. I was immediately struck by the universal themes of her story — how her struggles, her questions and her passions mirrored those of women throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2009 I joined forces with filmmaker Stephen Taylor, New York-based chamber quintet NOW Ensemble, mezzosoprano Abigail Fischer, and director Gia Forakis to complete a chamber version of the opera. Since early 2009 I have worked to expand this opera for larger forces. Since large parts of Eberhardt’s journal have been censored by translators and publishers little is known about her life. This work is more a personal response to significant events in her life than a simple chronological account of her story. Song from the Uproar focuses on the universal themes in Isabelle Eberhardt’s journals: the desire to break with one’s past, the confusion of falling in love, the need to break free from stereotypes, and conflicts between Eastern and Western culture. Isabelle transcends the confines of her upbringing and her environment in each scene, transforming from a depressed Swiss woman to a fearless Moroccan man, from a patient wife to a restless adventurer, from life to death. While death is omnipresent, I don’t think of this as a morbid or depressing work; Isabelle’s final aria is uplifting and cathartic, expressing her idea that earthly life is a brief and fleeting preparation for the “oblivion” of life after death. The background of this aria is a film of a slowly rising flood, then the brief image of a high-diver turned upside down — Isabelle diving into the sky. The language of this work is like that of my other works, a combination of my musical influences and experiences; there are elements of romanticism, minimalism, indie rock, and austere electronica. I wanted to create music that reflects not only the extreme emotional landscapes of Isabelle’s writings, but also the physical setting of the opera. The frequent repetition and brutal, hammering chords are meant to give the impression of traveling through a desert — terrain that is unfamiliar but also intoxicating. I also wanted to depict Isabelle’s romantic streak, the violent passion with which she approached her life and her travels, through rich harmonies and sumptuous melodies.
Birthplace: Abington, PA Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Previous Work These Worlds In Us, for orchestra (performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, ACO, South Carolina Philharmonic and many others); Cathedral City, (released by New Amsterdam Records in September 2010)
Commissions Harp and Altar, commissioned by the Kronos Quartet; Still Life with Avalanche, commissioned by eighth blackbird; new work commissioned by the League of Composers Chamber Orchestra; new string quartet commissioned by the Santa Fe Commissioning Club; new work commissioned by Roulette; new work commissioned by Linda and Stuart Nelson for violist Nadia Sirota
Residencies Composer-in-residence, Westfield Symphony Orchestra (2010); MacDowell Colony Fellow (2009); Blue Mountain Center Fellow (2008)
Grants and Awards Fulbright Fellowship (Netherlands), Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (2007, 2008, 2009), Jerome Foundation Grant, Barlow Foundation Grant, Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives Scholarship
Why Write Opera? Some stories demand to be told through opera. When I discovered Isabelle Eberhardt’s story I quickly realized that it was not enough to tell her story though a concert piece or even a song cycle; her life required something elaborate, a medium that allowed the audience to be completely immersed in her tale. Ironically, the things that turned me away from opera as a young music student — the grandeur and the complexity — are the things that attract me to it now. Music has always been for me an experience that engages all the senses, and I hope that this will be the first of many operas I am able to write.
A Star Across the Ocean
Scott Davenport Richards, Composer/Librettist Birthplace: New York, NY Current Residence: Montclair, NJ
Previous Work From the Composer
Friday, April 30 9:00–10:00 pm artists Composer/Librettist: Scott Davenport Richards Conductor: Scott Dunn The Director: Sidney Outlaw The Dancer: Rebecca Ringle The Son: Joaquín Delmar The Chanteuse: Katherine Jolly The Bandleader: Darius de Haas The Back: Chuck Cooper
Synopsis An interracial family comprised of The Director, The Dancer, and their 4–year–old son flies to Paris on a new Boeing 707 to join a European tour of a play very much like James Baldwin’s Amen Corner. Beset by the anxieties of competing political problems with personal and career crises, they arrive in a Paris haunted by the ghosts (still living) of American expatriates who attempted to define themselves outside of the American caste system. In abstract time, The Chanteuse (who represents Josephine Baker) walks the length of the Champs–Élysées reflecting upon her life, while The Director and The Dancer struggle to meet the needs of both the play and their child, while taking action to define the course of their lives.
In the mid 1960s the winds of the progressive movement in the United States shifted from racial integration to black nationalism, and a good number of the interracial families which began in the late 1950s and early 1960s suddenly found themselves out of favor even with the progressives who had previously embraced them. While my parents chose to hunker down in their commitment to one another and our family, this shift was the proximate cause of a good many divorces among New York artists and intellectuals. The fictional story of a family’s journey to Paris provides a narrative through-line for an examination of human aspiration, longing, and disappointment. Thus many of the images in the libretto are metaphors for issues of difference/sameness and may have an ambiguous or double meaning. Many heroes of 20th–century progressive movements ended their lives in defeated circumstances. Paul Robeson particularly can be seen as a 20th– century Hercules or John Henry, but here we see him after the battle has taken its very high toll. While I utilize the harmonic connections between French Impressionism and jazz as a musical continuation of allegory, each scene is distinct, its style, structure, energy, and motives being determined by character, setting, and dramatic action. The orchestral underpinning to Four Engines was inspired by the sound of the “beats” created by two jet engines running slightly out of phase.
Charlie Crosses The Nation (VOX 2008); A Christmas Story, The Musical, premiered at Kansas City Rep (2009); A Thousand Words Come to Mind, premiered at The Zipper Theatre (2008), Public Theatre Joe’s Pub (2009); Corduroy, the Musical, Theatreworks USA (2003-2005); Sundiata! The Lion King of Mali, Theatreworks USA, (1999-2001); Coyote Goes Salmon Fishing, Perseverance Theatre (1995); University of Houston Stuart Ostrow Project (1996); Dance of the Holy Ghosts by Marcus Gardley, premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre (2006); Christopher Columbus by Nikos Kazantzakis (U.S. Premiere), New Federal Theatre, New York (1998); The Red Badge of Courage, Kennedy Center (1993); Cobb, premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre (1990)
Grants and Awards Shen Family Foundation American Musical Voices Project Honoree (2009); American Music Center’s Composer Assistance Grant (2008); Jonathan Larson Award (2001); Frederick Loewe Award, (2001); Dramatists Guild Workshop Award (1998); Meet the Composer Grant (1990); Goethe House of San Francisco Grant (1990); Helen Hayes Award Nomination, Best Musical, Washington, DC (1989)
Why Write Opera? Sometimes music is not enough. Sometimes words are not enough, and there’s so much that needs saying.
David T. Little, Composer Birthplace: Blairstown, NJ Current Residence: Weehawken, NJ
Previous operas written Synopsis
Dog Days Friday, April 30 10:20–11:00 pm artists Composer: David T. Little Librettist: Royce Vavrek Based on a short story by Judy Budnitz Conductor: Carolyn Kuan Father: Michael Hayes Elliot: Andrew Drost Pat: Ariana Chris Lisa: Lauren Worsham Mother: Lisa Vroman Dogs Days has been developed with Peak Performances at Montclair State (NJ).
The country has fallen into chaos as an undefined war rages on U.S. soil. A family of five — two parents, two sons, and a young daughter, Lisa — do what they can to survive. One day Prince, a man in a dog suit, arrives and befriends Lisa. Her mother supports this friendship — Prince is her pet — though her father, Howard opposes it: “He’s dangerous.” He confronts Prince. “Stand up like a man,” he says. Father needs proof that Prince is, in fact, human. Many months pass. It’s winter now. Dark early, and cold. The family hasn’t eaten in weeks, maybe months. “I wish I had a steak,” says one brother. The other brother adds, “I heard in China people eat dogs.” There is silence in the room. Howard rises, takes his rifle. “Where are you going? Howard — don’t — don’t,” says Mother. “He’s a man, Howard! A man! You can’t,” she screams. “He’s a dog,” Howard replies. “He’s an animal.” Lisa tries to stop them, but she is too late. She arrives just in time to see her father and brothers descend upon Prince, snarling.
From the Composer Dog Days is a work in-progress, based on a short story by Judy Budnitz, that incorporates elements of opera, musical theatre, and rock-infused concert music. It investigates the psychology of a working class American family pitted against a not-so-distant future wartime scenario. This black comedy asks: is it madness, delusion, or sheer animal instinct that guides us through severely trying times? Where is the line between animal and human, and at what point must we give in to our animal instincts merely to survive? I was first drawn to the story in its film version by Ellie Lee. I happened to see it one day on an IFC shorts program, and became obsessed enough to track Ellie down to get a copy of the VHS tape (in those days). She and I would go on to become friends, and she’s been very helpful as we’ve moved toward creating the operatic version. When I was commissioned to write a new piece for the Osvaldo Golijov/Dawn Upshaw Professional Training Workshop through Carnegie Hall, the story re-emerged, and it seemed like the perfect fit. I then brought Royce on board to create the libretto, and here we are! My musical language is eclectic, and I like to keep my options open stylistically. If a musical style will help convey the drama of a scene, I’ll go for it. These disparate musical styles are then unified by harmonic language, which stays consistent throughout, ideally creating a convincing narrative flow and structure to the piece. My background in rock music is also always present.
Soldier Songs, premiere by Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (2006); Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera, premiere by Bard Conservatory (2010); The Closed Mouth Speaks, for bass-baritone and orchestra (2008); Songs of Love, Death, Friends and Government (2006); Electric Proletariat, for Newspeak (2006); Piano Trio (2004)
Commissions New solo works for Todd Reynolds, Nadia Sirota, Kathleen Supové, Brian Snow; crush for amplified quartet, Third Coast Percussion Quartet; raw power for sax quartet, Prism Saxophone Quartet; Vinkensport, for six singers and orchestra, Dawn Upshaw/Bard Conservatory; Scenes from Dog Days, Carnegie Hall Corporation; Spalding Gray (for mixed quintet), NOW Ensemble; 1986 for string quartet, New World Symphony; Ashé for amplified ensemble, Albany Symphony; East Coast Attitude for symphony band, University of Michigan; Soldier Songs, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble; Valuable Natural Resources, ensemble-courage, Dresden
Royce Vavrek, Librettist Birthplace: Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada Current Residence: New York, NY
DilettanteMusic.com, digital composer-in-Residence (2009-2010); New World Symphony, composer-in-residence (2009); Albany Symphony, guest artist (2007); Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, guest artist (2006); Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, composer-in-residence (2004); Aspen Music Festival and School, guest artist (2004); Atlantic Center for the Arts, associate artist-in-residence (2002)
Kristin Hevner and Daniel Wyatt’s Bully Pulpit, Metropolis Opera Project (2010); Jay Anthony Gach’s Nora at the Altar-Rail, American Lyric Theater (2008) and Boston Metro Opera (2010); Jeff Myers’ The Hunger Art, American Lyric Theater (2008) and Center City Opera Theater (2008); Song score for Black Snow with Andrew Gerle (The New Ensemble)
Grants and Awards
Carnegie Hall Musical Connections and Carnegie Hall Teaching Artist Collaborative Fellow (2009); Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop: Upshaw/Golijov (2008); Fellowship Recipient, Anna Sosenko Assist Trust and New Jersey State Council on the Arts (2008); Opera Vista Opera Competition Winner (2007); ASCAP Morton Gould Award (2006); American Music Center Composers Assistance Program Grant (2006); Harvey Gaul Prize, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (2005)
Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera, Bard College; … of the Flesh, American Lyric Theater
Why Write Opera? For as long as I can remember, I have loved music, dramatic storytelling, and the expressive power of the human voice. Opera combines these three elements into a coherent whole like nothing else. And as if this weren’t enough, each new operatic work I compose has provided a new level of personal/artistic gratification that has, increasingly, hooked me on this unique art form. Add to this the joy of working with a great collaborator — which I’ve been fortunate to find — and I can only wonder: how could I not write opera?
Residencies Resident librettist, American Lyric Theater’s Composer/Librettist Development Program
Grants and Awards Alberta Foundation for the Arts Creation Grant for The Bear Dance (2009); Corus Young Filmmakers Initiative (2004)
Why Write Opera? Music and stories have always been important elements of my life; their marriage is perhaps inevitable. It has become second nature to create drama that is told either entirely, or in part, through music. That said, it’s probably the rush that keeps me coming back — the rush that results when I hear the musical life that the composer breathes into my words, which is nothing short of addictive.
Brian Current, Composer
Birthplace: London, Ontario, Canada Current Residence: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Previous Work Airline Icarus (VOX 2007); This Isn’t Silence; For the Time Being; Symphonies in Slanted Time; Concerto for accordion and orchestra
Saturday, May 1 2:00–3:00 pm artists Composer: Brian Current Librettist: Anton Piatigorsky Conductor: Carolyn Kuan Shopgirl: Lisa Vroman
Commissions American Composers Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, New Music Concerts, Soundstreams, Esprit Orchestra
Synopsis A young woman daydreams while working her shift at a shoe store.
From the Composer Inventory (2006) was composed for Patricia O’Callaghan and the Soundstreams ensemble with funds from the Ontario Arts Council. Conceived as a miniature music drama, it can be performed as a staged or concert work. Early on, Anton and I thought it would be interesting to create a piece about something contemporary and immediate, rather than a historical drama or abstract poem, something with numbers. Anton came back with a wonderful text that luxuriates in shoe names — Silverslingbacks with slip-resistant soles, Espadrille grosgrain ribbon ankle-wraps. The best part is that these are real! The piece was premiered in Toronto at the Glenn Gould studio in concert form and broadcast on CBC Radio in 2006. It has not received a staged performance. The music is often made up of different kinds of tremolos, or wide trills, played by groups of instruments. Also included are sections with overlapping accelerating gestures, where the change in speed is meant to be the normal state of the music.
Anton Piatigorsky, Librettist Birthplace: Washington, D.C. Current Residence: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Airline Icarus; Numerous plays, an adaptation, screenplays; a soon–to–be–published novel and a collection of linked stories.
Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, Bogliasco (Italy), US-Japan Friendship Commission
Grants and Awards
Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Soulpepper Theatre Festival, Opera Breve
Guggenheim, Koussevitzky Commission, Barlow Prize (orchestra, 2003), Barlow Commissions (2009), Selected Work International Rostrum of Composers (Paris), Grand Prize, CBC National Competition for Young Composers, Juno Nomination (2008)
Residencies Stratford Shakespeare Festival (2008); National Theatre School of Canada (2000)
Why Write Opera?
Grants and Awards
Composing can often be a lonely profession with many hours spent alone at a piano or entering notes into a computer at 4:00 am, all the while walking around the house like a zombie for weeks leading up to the deadline. There is some discord to this, as many composers are also “people” people, or at least more so than the stereotype might imply. Yes, there are wonderful aesthetic advantages to writing an opera — helping to create a total artwork experience is certainly exciting — but I suspect many composers are also attracted to opera because it offers the chance to collaborate and connect in a fairly profound way with singers, a librettist, a stage director, designers and sometimes choreographers and dancers.
Dora Mavor Moore Award, Outstanding New Play, Independent Theatre (1998-99, 2008-2009); Siminovich Prize in Theatre, Protégé Award (2005)
Why Write Opera? Opera is a welcome challenge. It allows me to explore different aspects of writing than I’m able to explore in a play or a novel. Opera requires brevity, compromise with a co-creator, close attention to the sound and texture of words. As a librettist, it’s also a terrific surprise — I am unable to predict the final outcome. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of hearing my simple sentences transformed into a lush soundscape.
Synopsis Evangeline is an Acadian woman betrothed to her beloved Gabriel, but they are separated as the British deport the Acadians. Evangeline journeys across the landscapes of America as she spends years in a search for him, sometimes being near Gabriel without realizing it. Finally she settles in Philadelphia and, as an old woman, works as a Sister of Mercy among the poor. While tending to the dying during an epidemic she finally finds Gabriel among the sick, and he dies in her arms.
From the Composer
Evangeline Revisited Saturday, May 1 2:00–3:00 pm artists Composer: Julian Wachner Librettist: Alexis Nouss Conductor: Scott Dunn Longfellow: Daniel Bubeck Evangeline 2: Amanda Pabyan Shawnee Woman: Krysty Swann Evangeline 1: Kerri Marcinko Commissioned by McGill University to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the music faculty.
The language of the score continues my eclectic understanding of post-Bernstein America, which is the logical musical vocabulary of a Greek–Mexican–Hungarian–German, half Jew, half Catholic, born–in–Hollywood, grew–up–in–New York City, Anglican boy chorister, formally trained in Boston, protégé of Lukas Foss, thirty-something composer! One then expects to find driving pulse, mixed meter, modes of limited transposition, aleatoric gestures, overtly tonal melodic structures, references to jazz and the blues, large-scale orchestration, and harmonies that have become known as “American.” All of these sounds are there, with the intention that the collage of the component parts do make a unified whole: a statement that is clear and emotionally intact. A work that perhaps has elements of derivative familiarity — but in a manner in which the successful synthesis of stylistic variety becomes the objective. Evangeline Revisited retells the classic story of Evangeline, a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1847. Longfellow, as the author of the tale, is present onstage throughout the opera. This makes us aware that the story is not, in fact, real but rather a construction, a product of its time and place. The Brechtian presentation of characters in the first scene also helps us to get “outside” the story and look at it with a critical view. The distance also allows the chorus to challenge Longfellow on many occasions, and for the alter ego, Evangeline 2, to enter and call Longfellow to task. Throwing Longfellow’s papers in the air, Evangeline 2 demands that we rewrite this story. She wants tyranny and suffering to be fully acknowledged, not only here in this story of the Acadian expulsion, but in all the cases of people displaced by oppressive regimes. The opera itself can be seen as a reworking of the genre. It follows the traditional framework of opera with its love duets, arias and recitatives, but these are often dealt with in unconventional ways. It has straightforward narrative that follows a single character’s movements through time. It is written for a traditional orchestra which uses time-honored techniques without the addition of computerized technology. It appeals to popular taste in a way that much contemporary music does not. Yet this opera is very modern in its critical reflection on the poetic text and the way it juxtaposes diverse musical material. Ultimately this opera does not provide answers. It opens the box and tries to get inside the story to understand it better, but does reveal Evangeline’s true character. Just as Longfellow’s poem was the view one man from a certain time and place, so too is this opera just a retelling of the story. Evangeline, like so many refugees, speaks to us only through the voice of another.
Julian Wachner, Composer Birthplace: Hollywood, California Current Residence: Montréal, Québec, Canada, and Washington, D.C.
Previous Work Come, my dark-eyed one for chorus, soloists and orchestra (2009); Triptych for Organ and Large Orchestra (2006); Re-orchestration of Ravel L’Enfant et les sortilèges (2006); Four Scenes from the Rubaiyat for men’s chorus (2006); Lifting the Curse for narrator and chamber orchestra (2006); Psalm Cycle for chorus and chamber ensemble (2005); The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere for narrator and chamber orchestra (2004); Celebrations for orchestra (2002); Concerto for clarinet (2002); Incantations and Lamentations for orchestra (2001); Rilke Songs for mixed choir (2001)
Published Works (Selected) ECS Publishing Company. All Creatures of Our God and King (SATB, brass quintet, timp); Alleluias, Intercessions and Remembrances (SATB & wind ensemble); Canticles (SSAATTBB, chamber orchestra); Cymbale (organ, chamber orchestra); Idyllwild Fanfares (orchestra); Joy to the World (SATB, brass sextet, timp, perc & organ); Jubilate Deo (3 SATB choruses, children’s chorus, brass sextet, timp, perc, harp & org); Lifting the Curse (Narrator & orchestra); Psalm Cycle III (SATB chorus, brass sextet, timp, perc (3), harp & organ); Regina Coeli (S solo, SATB, orchestra); The Somerville Service (SATB, organ, brass); String Quartet No. 1 (string quartet); Symphony No. 1 (SATB, orchestra); Triptych for organ and large orchestra
Commissions Back Bay Chorale (Boston), CBC Radio 2, Landmarks Orchestra, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Opera McGill, Orchestre Métropolitain, Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, New Haven Symphony, Cape Ann Symphony, ALEA III, Quincy Symphony Orchestra, Newton Choral Society, Arcadian Winds, Brown New Music Group, Harvard University Choir, Brown University Orchestra, St. Mary’s Choir, Seraphim Singers, Greek Composers Union (Athens, Greece), Providence Singers, Marsh Chapel Choir (Boston University), The United Parish, Idyllwild Chamber Orchestra, St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys
Why Write Opera? It’s got something for everyone — sex, drama, tears, love, drinking, dancing, fighting, great tunes, big orchestra, fame and glory — who WOULDN’T want to write opera?! And to unleash your inner Dionysius while collaborating with brilliant directors, creative designers, costumers, lighting gurus, and other impresario types is to live in a fairytale fantasy-heaven world that composing string quartets just can’t offer! And on top of it, it’s damn hard — almost impossible to do well: and quoting Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own: “It’s the hard that makes it great. If it wasn’t hard — everyone would do it!”
Alexis Nouss, Librettist Birthplace: Paris, France Current Residence: Cardiff, Wales, UK
Previous Work L’Archange, Compagnie Chants Libres, Montréal (2005); Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse (based on J. Potocki’s book), Compagnie Chants Libres/S.M.C.Q., Salle Pierre Mercure, Montréal, 2001; La Porte, Compagnie Chants Libres, Montréal (1989)
Published Works Paul Celan. Les lieux d’un déplacement, Lormont, Éditions Le Bord de l’Eau (2010); Plaidoyer pour un monde métis, Paris, Éditions Textuel (2005); Poésie, terre d’exil. Autour de Salah Stétié (dir.), Montréal, Trait d’union (2003); Métissages. De Arcimboldo à Zombi (with F. Laplantine), Pauvert, Paris (2001); Dire l’événement, est-ce possible? Séminaire autour de J. Derrida, L’Harmattan, Paris (2001); Le métissage, Flammarion, Paris (1997) Réédition: Paris, Éditions Téraèdre (2009); La modernité, P.U.F., Paris (1995); Sida-Fiction. Essai d’anthropologie romanesque, Presses Universitaires de Lyon, 1994; La modernité, Grancher, Paris (1991); Fictions de l’identitaire au Québec, Éd. X.Y.Z., Montréal (1991); La princesse perdue. Balade dans le légendaire juif, Éd. Bibliophane, Paris (1986)
Why Write Opera? Why write an opera today rather than a novel or a poem? That is how, as a librettist, I understood the question. My first answer will be that the complexity of our contemporary reality calls for a complex aesthetic medium into which it may be translated, opera being inherently such a genre. My second answer will reflect on the different rhythms created by the co–presence in an opera of the human voice and of musical instrumentation; such polyrhythm generates a perception of chronology which corresponds to our current understanding of time as multilayered.
Anthony Davis, Composer Birthplace: Paterson, NJ Current Residence: San Diego, CA
Previous Work X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X (1986); Lilith (2009); Wakonda’s Dream (2007); Amistad (1997); Tania (1992); Under the Double Moon, (1989); Hemispheres, Episteme with Molissa Fenley and Dancers, BAM (1983); Voyage Through Death to Life Upon These Shores, Chanticleer (1991); Angels in America (music for Tony Kushner’s play on Broadway, 1993); Lear (music for Yale Rep production, 2004)
Fidel Castro, after playing golf with Che Guevara, commissions a little–known Cuban architect, Ricardo Porro, to build art schools on the site of the Havana Country Club. The builders, art students, engineers, and architects who comprise the community which builds the schools and creates the designs, prove too controversial even for the Revolution. The schools are built but never fully completed. Porro is exiled.
REVOLUTION OF FORMS Saturday, May 1 3:20–4:40 pm
artists Composer: Anthony Davis Composer: Dafnis Prieto Librettist: Charles Koppelman Librettist: Alma Guillermoprieto Conductor: Steven Osgood Chorus Master: Charles F. Prestinari Ricardo Porro: John Rodger Vittorio Garatti: Ross Benoliel Roberto Gottardi: Matthew Curran Alina: Michelle Areyzaga Quintana: Gabriela Garcia Piano: Adonis Gonzales Bass: Charles Flores Percussion: Cliff Almond Percussion: Juan Castellanos With members of the New York City Opera Chorus
From composer Anthony Davis
Birthplace: Santa Clara, Cuba Current Residence: New York, NY
John S. Guggenheim Foundation, American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment for the Arts, MacArthur Foundation, Lift Every Voice Award (from the National Opera Association), Aaron Copland Fund, Opera America, NYFA, NYSCA
Si O Si Quartet Live at Jazz Standard (2009); Taking the Soul for a Walk (2008); Absolute Quintet (2006); About the Monks (2005); Bla Bla Bla (2009); Sueño de Amor (2009); The Only Personal Thing I Do (dance piece with Judith Sanchez Ruiz); Five Pieces Pieces Pieces Five (2007); The Guiros Talk (for 4 guiros) and “Claveteando” (for 4 percussion sets); Trail of Memories (for trumpet and percussion, 2005); Song for Chico (2005); New Work for Large Ensemble (for small big band, 2005); Echo Dimensions (2005); Citizens or Individuals? (dance piece, 2005); On and On (2004)
Why Write Opera?
select Awards and Grants
Opera allows music to reach beyond itself in a complex interaction with drama, movement and time. In an opera the composer can create a world in its own terms. Time can be expanded or contracted. The music refers not only to itself but also interacts with a web of musical traditions that are infused by social meaning.
Grammy Award (2008); Latin Grammy Nomination, Best New Artist, (2007); Grammy Award Nomination, Best Latin Jazz Album (2006); Grammy Award for “The Gathering” Caribbean Jazz Project (2002); Composer New Works Grant (2007); Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation New Works Grant (2006)
select Grants and Awards Synopsis
Dafnis Prieto, Composer
Just as the music is being created by two composers, the music itself is a fusion: Cuban dance forms (rhumba, danzon, bolero, and others), European classical, and contemporary representations of American jazz. The music has a profound relationship to Cuban and Afro–Cuban music while also being free of particular folkloric idiom. The music, like the structure of the opera itself, is influenced by the styles and forms of the National Art Schools of Cuba, where this story takes place.
Why Write Opera? When I think about this question it raises another question: Why not opera? Opera is one of the most complete art forms in history. It has music, dance, acting, visuals, poetry and anything that fits the story, therefore it deserves to be treated as a contemporary art form just like any other.
From composer Dafnis Prieto The art schools in Havana were originally conceived as a synthesis of the African and the European. My ambition as a composer of opera is to reinvent the form as a cultural hybrid engaging in the full range of cultural traditions of the African diaspora yet fully conscious of the traditions of opera. My music is not a combination of the vernacular and the classical but an intricate negotiation of complex cultures and traditions.
From librettist Charles Koppelman I was inspired to produce this opera when I fell in love with the story, first by seeing an exhibition of blueprints and photos, then by discovering its rich characters, surprising narrative, and universal themes in Revolution of Forms , a book about the schools by John Loomis. As a filmmaker, I struggled to see the movie in the story, but realized instead that it has all the elements for a contemporary opera. I pulled the creative team together and we’ve been developing the project together over the last five years. The story of Ricardo Porro and his Italian architect colleagues, Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi, is a metaphor for the Cuban Revolution, illustrating its hopes and its dreams. The opera contains timeless and universal themes of creativity, revolution, and community. In Porro’s exile we experience the tragic forces of history. The work does not take sides. Instead the audience is immersed in an all–encompassing musical, visual, and emotional experience, allowing them to draw their own conclusions.
Charles Koppelman, Librettist Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA Current Residence: Berkeley, CA
Previous Work Film: Dumbarton Bridge, The Circle of Recovery, Squatters: The Other Philadelphia Story, Teamsters, New Schools. Book: Behind the Seen: How Walter Murch Edited Cold Mountain Using Apple’s Final Cut Pro and What This Means for Cinema (Pearson/Peachpit, 2004)
select Grants and Awards The Ford Foundation; Russell Shapiro Family; Creative Capital MAP Fund; The James Irvine Foundation; The LEF Foundation; The Reed Foundation; Fundacion Amistad
Why Write Opera? I am a filmmaker and a writer. When I encounter a story that moves me deeply I ask myself whether I can make a film of it or write about it. With Revolution of Forms I discovered a story — based on actual people and events in the early days of the Cuban revolution — that wanted to express itself as opera. After all it involved theatre, dance, music, an artistic dream, and larger-than-life characters set in a historic moment. I listened to that story’s voice and set about the tasks of producing an opera from scratch for the first time in my career.
Alma Guillermoprieto, Librettist Birthplace: Mexico Current Residence: Mexico
Previous Works Samba (Knopf, 1990, New York); The Heart that Bleeds (Knopf, 1994, New York) (Al pie de un volcan te escribo, multiple editions); Looking for History (Pantheon, 2001, New York) (Historia escrita, Plaza y Janes, 2001, Mexico); La Habana en un Espejo (Random House/Mondadori España 2005, Barcelona); Dancing with Cuba (Pantheon, 2004); Havanna im Zimmer (Behremberg Verlag, 2009)
Grants and Awards Alicia Patterson Foundation, 1985; Nominated for New York Book Critics Circle Award, 1990; MacArthur Foundation Fellowship 1995; Honorary Degree 2008, Baruch College; Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
From the Composer
OCEANIC VERSES Saturday, May 1 3:20–4:40 pm artists Composer/Librettist: Paola Prestini Film: Ali Hossaini Conductor: Robert Treviño Chorus Master: Charles F. Prestinari Queen: Helga Davis Marinaio (Sailor): Claudio Prima Mother: Hila Plitmann Man: Christopher Burchett With the women of the New York City Opera Chorus
Synopsis Oceanic Verses is an operatic tableau of rituals that pays homage to Italian folk music from across the ages and from different regions from Genoa to Salento and Sardinia. With a nod to the great contemporary Italian singers Fabrizio D’Andre and Roberto Licci, Prestini creates a “world music” of the Mediterranean people and a tribute through her own musical lens. The libretto is a story derived from the texts of songs and intermittent poems from Italian writers through time such as: Vittoria Colonna, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Dante Alighieri, and Aleardo Aleardi. Oceanic Verses is sung in various dialects including Griko, Genoese, and Sardinian, coloring the work with various ethnic influences. The characters in the opera include a Mother, a Queen, a Man, and a Sailor, who all passionately interrelate, recounting tales that fuse the personal, social, and political, while the ocean surrounds and binds their tales as a sonic and visual narrator.
Oceanic Verses is a chamber opera that paints a picture of Italy as it once was, a cross section of cultures expressed through song. By examining and researching various locations such as the Sardinia and Salento regions, which maintain many ancient traditions and still speak forgotten languages, I created a work that illuminates the complex ethnic mosaic that has shaped my cultural heritage. Each tableau illustrates a different ritual, from weddings to curative rituals, combining fragments of folk music that date as far back as 3000 BC, field samples recorded on electronic backing tracks during research in the Salento region, and my original music. Water is a recurring theme in my music. From when I was sixteen until now, it has had a presence. Since a young age I have been recording and collecting various water and ocean sounds. Water nurtures, heals, and separates. Thus, the ocean plays an important role as narrator in the piece, establishing relationships between the music and stories of different cultures, all finding their home on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. This piece is timeless in that it explores important dramatic themes such as the role of the narrator (sung by an Italian folk singer), and various aspects of a woman’s psyche — the martyr, the courtesan, the nurturer, and the ruler, all represented in the opera by individual women, but in real life each character forms part of one woman. Their struggles include the balance of leadership and femininity. The opera places women in positions of power both in society and in the home. The selected poems tell stories of lost loves, the aftermath of destruction (such as the Black Plague), and of doomed leadership, all seen through feminine eyes. As we know, the developments throughout the ages fell far short of equality and human rights as understood today. Yet they did result in significant and enduring social change that we are fortunate to benefit from as women living in today’s society. This work, my biggest work to date, brings together the things I love most in music. I have always identified strongly with opera and film traditions. In general, I like music that has a powerful emotional impact and music that’s fun. This piece brings together adaptations of music I have been listening to since the 1980s (such as Fabrizio D’Andre) with music I have just discovered, fragments of vocal folk music from Italy throughout the ages. In this work I have combined these adaptations with my own invented “folksongs” that interpret the words of my favorite Italian poets; in addition, my own field recordings that I made in Lecce, Italy, in 2007 appear as electronic resonances in several movements. I have always been fascinated by the human voice and folk traditions, and Oceanic Verses is a reclaiming of these roots.
Paola Prestini, Composer/librettist Birthplace: Trento, Italy Current Residence: San Francisco and New York City
Previous Work Sounds, an interdisciplinary chamber opera written for ensemble VisionIntoArt, commissioned by WNYC; Oceanic Verses (chamber piece) commissioned by Carnegie Hall; As Sleep Befell for VisionIntoArt, commissioned by Whitney Live; Cut Him Out in Little Stars, for Carnegie Hall, commissioned by Concert Artist Guild; VioLens, an interdisciplinary theater piece written for VisionIntoArt, commissioned by Concert Artists Guild; Armenia, a movement-based piece, commissioned by Kronos Quartet
Residencies Ucross Foundation, UCLA, Dickinson College, Franklin Marshall College, Presbyterian University, among others
Grants and Awards ASCAP Morton Gould Award, 3 AMC Cap Awards, Trust for Mutual Understanding Grant, BMI Foundation, 2 NYSCA Individual Artist Awards, Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship, 2 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Awards
Why Write Opera? Operatic form is a synthesis of musical and visual story lines that need to be told dramatically, and live onstage. For me, bringing my own take to this classic form is important — the innovation at hand is the combination of styles I interpret, from songs tinged with Sephardic influences to contemporary folk, to my own style intertwined with original field recordings I have made. Electronics play a role, as will video design eventually, and my experience in multimedia and the balancing of foreground and background allow me to handle the interdisciplinary and musical counterpoint at hand. This is my first attempt to bring together music, staging, and film in a large–scale form with an orchestra. The libretto I created juxtaposes different songs and poems from Italian history. The story is a reflection of my own femininity and a personal journey into a culture I left at a young age.
Michael Gordon, Composer Birthplace: Miami Beach, FL Current Residence: New York, NY
Acquanetta Saturday, May 1 5:00–5:30 pm artists Composer: Michael Gordon Librettist: Deborah Artman Conductor: Robert Treviño Chorus Master: Charles F. Prestinari Acquanetta: Heather Johnson Ape: Amelia Watkins Brainy Woman: Katherine Jolly Director: Matthew Curran Doctor: Jon-Michael Ball With members of the New York City Opera Chorus Presented as part of VOX Second Look
From the Composer In 1943, a former cheesecake model known only as Acquanetta lit up the screen in the B–movie horror film and now cult classic Captive Wild Woman. Stunning and exotic, Acquanetta played the untameable and gorgeous creation resulting from a mad scientist’s experiments on an ape. The young actress made such a sizzling appearance that a sequel soon followed. So began her brief career in bread-and-butter films, ending just a few years later when Acquanetta inexplicably walked away from the Hollywood studio system and swanned off to Mexico. Because of her come–hither stare and sensuous pout, Walter Winchell nicknamed her “The Venezuelan Volcano.” Her past is a mystery. In interviews, she claimed Native American roots, and her obituary in 2004 stated that she was born on an Indian reservation near Cheyenne, Wyoming. Who was Acquanetta, and why did she walk out on her contract with Universal Pictures at the height of her career? In Acquanetta, the mock serious, campy spirit of horror movies is turned inside out in a bravura, one-act deconstruction of the five minutes that changed Acquanetta’s life forever. The mad scientist Doctor, the insistent Ape, the reluctant Brainy Woman, the visionary Director, and the beautiful monster herself gather in this reimagining of that fateful experiment. In soaring, sometimes comic, and always indelible songs that capture the heightened drama of horror films, these vivid characters reveal their inner longings and emotional shadows in what is ultimately a haunting meditation on the meaning of identity, transformation, stereotypes and typecasting, set in the heyday of Hollywood gloss.
What to Wear premiere by New Century Players, Redcat Theater (2005); Chaos, premiere by Creation Productions and Ridge Theater, The Kitchen (1998); Van Gogh, premiere by Michael Gordon Philharmonic, Bang on a Can Festival, CSC Repertory Theater (1991); The Carbon Copy Building, premiere by Ridge Theater, Teatro Carignano (1999); Decasia, An Environmental Symphony, premiere by Basel Sinfonietta (2001); Lightning at our Feet, premiere by Ridge Theater, Mitchell Center for the Arts (2008); Shelter, premiere by Musikfabrik (2005); Lost Objects, premiere by Concerto Köln, RIAS-Kammerchor, DJ Spooky, Bang on a Can Lost Objects Ensemble (2001)
Commissions Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAM, Dresden Music Festival, LA Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Beethoven-Fest Bonn, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern Orchestra, Siemens Kulturprogram, Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird
Deborah Artman, Librettist Birthplace: Washington, D.C. Current Residence: Provincetown, MA
Previous Work Shelter, a music-theater piece; Lost Objects, an oratorio; Keeper, a choral piece (2000); Music for Gracious Living, a music-theater piece (1997)
Commissions A new libretto for David Lang based on Knut Hamsun’s novel Hunger
Residencies Fine Arts Work Center, The MacDowell Colony
2002-2004 Composer in Residence, Merkin Concert Hall; 2004 Composer in Residence, Gaida Festival
Grants and Awards
Grants and Awards:
2007 and 2006 ASCAP Plus Awards, 2002 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship
2009 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2002 Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Grant, 1999 American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, 1999 Obie Award
Why Write Opera?
Why Write Opera? It would be bizarre and delightful for people to go through life singing to each other. Yes, we would all be certified weirdos, but wouldn’t it be worth it? In opera we start with this given. I love that you can understand more than one person singing at the same time. Opera is also huge. It’s like building a skyscraper. Who wouldn’t want to build a skyscraper?
In my experience, opera composers have always asked for the libretto first, before they work their magic. To me, there is nothing as thrilling as hearing words one has written come to life in song. To feel the complexity and depth the music adds and how a character’s emotional life blooms in orchestrated song is a deep inarticulate pleasure. I can still remember the first time I heard Acquanetta and how the force of Michael Gordon’s music instantly thrust me into the mad, forlorn longing of our characters in their heightened, dark and comic horror-film universe.
For the past 11 years, New York City Opera’s VOX has showcased new works by American composers and librettists in orchestra readings that are free and open to the public. To date, VOX has presented excerpts from more than 100 new operas, with more than 40 of those going on to full productions — four at City Opera, an additional two in the City Opera 2010-2011 season, and the remainder at companies including Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, and Santa Fe Opera. To learn more about any of the operas featured in VOX and listed here, visit nycOpera.com/VOX.
Apollo 14: A Space Opera
Music by Scott Wheeler, Libretto by Romulus Linney
Music and Libretto by David Meckler
Music and libretto by Jennifer Griffith
Haroun and The Sea of Stories
Music by Charles Wuorinen, Libretto by James Fenton
Music by Dan Welcher, Libretto by Paul Woodruff
Music and Libretto by Tom Cipullo
Dum Dee Tweedle
Music and Libretto by Jeremy Beck
Music and Libretto by David Del Tredici
Music by Donald Hagar, Libretto by John Burns
The Firmiana Rain
Music and Libretto by Michael Remson
Music and Libretto by May-Tchi Chen
Music by Adam Silverman, Libretto by Susan Gubernat
Music by John Duffy
Music by Randall Eng, Libretto by Donna DiNovelli
Music by Richard Danielpour, Libretto by Toni Morrison
My Kinsman, Major Molineux
Lovers and Friends (Chautauqua Variations)
The Reverend Jim Jones
Music by Bruce Saylor, Based on a poem by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Music and Libretto by Michael John LaChiusa
Nicholas and Alexandra
Life is a Dream
Music by Deborah Drattell, Libretto by nicholas von hoffman
Music by Lewis Spratlan, Libretto by James Maraniss
Romeo and Juliet
Music by Lee Hoiby, adapted by mark shulgasser from the play by william shakespeare
Music by Bright Sheng, Libretto by Colin Graham
Sacco and Vanzetti
Music by Ezequiel Viñao, Libretto by Caleb Carr
Music and Libretto by Anton Coppola
Tess of the D'Urbervilles Music by Matthew Harris, Based on a novel by Thomas Hardy
The Thief of Love
Music by Jonathan Sheffer, Based on a story by Gertrude Stein
The Newport Rivals Music and Libretto by Kirke Mechem
The Rape of the Lock Music and Libretto by Deborah Mason
Dora Music by Melissa Shiflett, Libretto by Nancy Fales Garrett
All Quiet on the Western Front
Music by James Legg, Based on the play by Arthur Miller
Music by James Stepleton, Libretto by Andrew Joffe
Androcles and the Lion
Music by Lenny Pickett
Little Women Music and Libretto by Mark Adamo
Little Women VOX 1999 New York City Opera March 2003 Additional performances throughout North America and in Australia
All My Sons
Music and Libretto by Nancy Van de Vate
Music and Libretto by Philip Hagemann
Music by Bernard Rands, Libretto by Leslie Dunton-Downer
The Cows of Apollo or The Invention of Music
Music by Chris Theofanidis, Libretto by William M. Hoffman
Music by Harold Blumenfeld, Libretto by Charles Kondek
Dreaming of Wonderland
Inferno of Dante: Canto V
Music and Libretto by Manly Romero
Music by Patrick Soluri
Henry and Clara
Music by Jorge Martin, Libretto by Peter M. Krask
Music by Greg Sandow, Libretto by Thomas M. Disch
Hit & Run
The Old Majestic
Music and Libretto by Michael Abels
Music by Robert X. Rodríguez, Libretto by Mary Medrick
The Lost Childhood
Music by Janice Hamer, Libretto by Mary Azrael
Music by Chandler Carter, Libretto by Joan Ross Sorkin
Lysistrata or The Nude Goddess
Music and Libretto by Mark Adamo
Music by Joel Feigin, Based on a play by William Shakespeare
Haroun and the Sea of Stories VOX 2000
New York City Opera October 2004
to scratch an angel
music by Victoria Bond, libretto by Hilary Bell
Welfare: The Opera
Pope Joan: An Operatic Heresy
Music by Elodie Lauten, based on the poetry of allen ginsberg
Music by John Musto, Libretto by Denise Lanctot
Music by David Diamond, Libretto by Katie Louchheim
Waking in New York
Music by H. Leslie Adams, Libretto by Daniel Mayers
The Noblest Game
Music by Daniel Felsenfeld, Libretto by Ernest Hilbert
With Blood, With Ink Music by Daniel Crozier, Libretto by Peter M. Krask
Summer and All it Brings
Music and Libretto by Sheila Silver
Blood on the Dining Room Floor
Music by John Eaton, Libretto by James Reston, Jr.
Music and Libretto by Mason Bates
Crescent City Music by Anne LeBaron, Libretto by Philip Littell Music by Thomas Pasatieri, Libretto by Frank Corsaro
Harmony Music by Robert Carl, Libretto by Russell Banks
A Letter to E. 11th Street Music by Martin Hennessy, Libretto by Mark Campbell
Leaving Santa Monica Music and Libretto by Jenny Olivia Johnson
The Maiden Tower Music and Libretto by Justine F. Chen
Messer Marco Polo Music by Max Stern, based on the novel by Donn Byrne
Paradises Lost Music by Stephen Andrew Taylor, Libretto by Kate Gale
Red Azalea Music by William Kraft, Libretto by Christopher Hawes
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Music and libretto by Herschel Garfein, based on the play by Tom Stoppard
Music by Lou Harrison, Libretto by Robert Gordon
music and libretto by Ari Frankel
www.love music by Kevin March, libretto by kim yaged
2007 Airline Icarus Music by Brian Current, Libretto by Anton Piatigorsky
Crossing the Horizon Music by Chris Lastovicka, Libretto by E.M. Lauricella
Elegy for a Prince Music by Sergio Cervetti, Libretto by Elizabeth Esris
VOX 2010 Artists
Armide Music by Jonathan Dawe, Libretto by Heather Raffo
A Bird in Your Ear Music by David Bruce, Libretto by Alasdair Middleton
Car Crash Opera Music by Michaela Eremiášová and Jairo Duarte-López, Libretto by Skip Battaglia
Music by Robert Aldridge, Libretto by Herschel Garfein
Music by Anne LeBaron, Libretto by Douglas Kearney
Music and Libretto by Jenny Olivia Johnson
The Fisher King
Music and Libretto by Christopher Cerrone, based on the novel by italo calvino
Music and Libretto by Marc Lowenstein
In the Father’s Garden Music by David Kirtley, Libretto by Mark Kirtley
La Machine de l’être music by John Zorn
Nannan music and libretto by Wang Jie
The Rat Land Music by Gordon Beeferman, Libretto by Charlotte Jackson
Río de Sangre Music by Don Davis, Libretto by Kate Gale
Katrina Ballads Music and Libretto by Ted Hearne
Mosheh Music and Libretto by Yoav Gal
No Easy Walk to Freedom Music and Libretto by Chandler Carter
The Rat Land Music by Gordon Beeferman, Libretto by Charlotte Jackson
Séance on a Wet Afternoon
Brian Anderson, tenor Birthplace: Lynn, Massachusetts. This season at VOX: Tenor in Zolle. City Opera debut: Belfiore in La finta giardiniera, 2003. Career highlights: Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at City Opera; Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Belmonte in Die Entfuhrüng aus dem Serail and Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette with Florida Grand Opera; Belfiore in La finta giardiniera, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Johnny Inkslinger in Paul Bunyan, Nemorino in The Elixir of Love at California’s Sonoma City Opera; Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri with Palm Beach Opera; Roderigo in Otello, Remendado in Carmen, Second Priest in Die Zauberflöte, Borsa in Rigoletto, Eisslinger in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with San Francisco Opera; Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos with Dallas Opera; Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Omaha; Fenney/Hugo in The Mines of Sulphur at Glimmerglass.
Music and Libretto by Stephen Schwartz
With Such Friends… Music by Tom Schnauber, Libretto by Jeff Duncan
2008 Charlie Crosses the Nation Music and Libretto by Scott Davenport Richards
Criseyde Music by Alice Shields, Libretto by Nancy Dean
Dice Thrown Music and Libretto by John King
Dylan and Caitlin
Lysistrata or The Nude Goddess VOX 2001 New York City Opera March 2006 Margaret Garner VOX 2004 New York City Opera September 2007 Additional performances throughout the United States
Michelle Areyzaga, soprano Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois. This season at VOX: Young Juana in With Blood, With Ink and Alina Porro in Revolution of Forms. Career highlights: Adina in L‘elisir d’amore for DuPage Opera, IL and Mozart’s Le nozze de Figaro with Opera Birmingham, AL. She is also scheduled for appearances with the symphonies of Northwest Indiana, Wichita, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Recent concert engagements include a fourth appearance at the New York Festival of Song, Poulenc’s Gloria with the Flint Michigan Symphony, Gustavo Leone’s Mundo at the Grant Park Music Festival, and “Bernstein on Broadway” with both the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Festival and at the Tilles Center in Long Island.
Music by Robert Manno, Libretto by Gwynne Edwards
Eleni Music by Cary Ratcliff, Libretto by Cary ratcliff with Robert Koch
Jeanne Music and Libretto by Justine F. Chen
The Mortal Thoughts of Lady MacBeth Music by Veronika Krausas, Libretto by Tom Pettit
La Machine de l'être VOX 2007 New York City Opera March 2011
The Officers Music and Libretto by Steve Potter
Our Giraffe Music by Sorrel Hays, Libretto by Charles Flowers
Soldier Songs Music and Libretto by David T. Little
Séance on a Wet Afternoon VOX 2009 New York City Opera April 2011
Jon-Michael Ball, tenor Birthplace: Olive Branch, Mississippi. This season at VOX: Director in Acquanetta. Career highlights: Red Whiskers in the 2008 production of Billy Budd with Santa Fe Opera, d’Indy’s Fervaal with the American Symphony Orchestra; Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; and Jacquino in Fidelio with the Hong Kong Philharmonic led by Edo de Waart; title role in Candide with Orlando Opera Studio; the role of James Joyce in Exiles with American Opera Projects; and both Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and the title role in Albert Herring with Intermezzo Opera. Recipient of Santa Fe Opera’s 2008 Richard Tucker Foundation Award.
Ross Benoliel, baritone Birthplace: New Rochelle, New York. This season at VOX: Vittorio Garatti in Revolution of Forms. City Opera debut: Sciarrone in Tosca, 2008. Career highlights: Il barbiere di Siviglia, Jen˚ ufa and world premiere of Stephen Hartke’s The Greater Good at Glimmerglass Opera; Thomas Putnam in The Crucible with Chautauqua Opera. Companies he has performed with include the New York Philharmonic, Tulsa Opera, Opera Omaha, Madison Opera, and Portland Opera. Upcoming engagements: Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Lyrique En Mer, Schaunard in La Bohème with Hong Kong Opera, Charles Edward in Candide with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Stephen Bryant, bass-baritone Birthplace: Union City, Indiana. This season at VOX: Archbishop in With Blood, With Ink. City Opera debut: Gonzales in Harvey Milk, 1995. Career highlights: Colline in La bohème for Indianapolis Opera, Leporello in Don Giovanni at Mobile Opera, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Berkshire Opera, Escamillo in Carmen for Opera North, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro for Madison Opera, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly at San Francisco Opera, Capulet in Roméo et Juliette for Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Chautauqua Opera; Gonzales in Harvey Milk at San Francisco Opera, George Milton in Of Mice and Men with Arizona Opera, The Mother of Us All for Santa Fe Opera; concert appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and Musica Sacra at Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Daniel Bubeck, countertenor Birthplace: Wilmington, Delaware. This season at VOX: Longfellow in Evangeline, Revisited. Career highlights: world premiere of John Adams’s El Niño at the Théâtre Musical de Paris-Châtelet, for which he also sang on the recording for Nonesuch and Art Haus Musik DVD; He has since performed the work in productions on four continents with the Boston Symphony, BBC Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester-Berlin, Tokyo Symphony, Radio Filharmonisch Holland, Adelaide Festival, St. Louis Symphony, San Francisco Symphony; concerts of Handel arias with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Henze’s Das verratene Meer with the Tokyo Symphony, U.S. Premiere of Lost Objects with Concerto Köln, and excerpts from Phillip Glass’ Akhnaten for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Minimalist Jukebox series, conducted by John Adams. Other collaborations include performances with American Bach Soloists, Carmel Bach Festival, the Princeton Festival, and the soundtrack for the Warner Brothers thriller I am Legend.
Christopher Burchett, baritone Birthplace: Pikeville, Kentucky. This season at VOX: Man in Oceanic Verses and Slimene in Song from the Uproar. Career highlights: The Good Soldier Schweik, Jen˚ ufa, Hartke’s The Greater Good, and Patience, all at Glimmerglass Opera. Engagements this season include the Count in Le nozze di Figaro at Eugene Opera; and his debut with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra in the title role of Don Giovanni. Recent engagements have included Sir Lancelot in Camelot with Ash Lawn Opera Festival; Falke in Die Fledermaus with Piedmont Opera; Willy Wonka in Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket with American Lyric Theatre; the world-premiere of Blizzard Voices by Paul Moravec and Ted Kooser with Opera Omaha; and a return to Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre as Belcore in L’Elisir d’amore. In addition, he was Masetto in Don Juan in Prague, with performances at the Estates National Theater in Prague, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Hai-Ting Chinn, mezzo-soprano Birthplace: Arcata, California. This season at VOX: Voice in Zolle. Career highlights: Aloès in L’Étoile at City Opera, title role in Francesco Cavalli’s La Didone for the Wooster Group; Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea; Dorabella in Così fan tutte; Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Dido in Dido and Aeneas; Hansel in Hansel and Gretel; Lady Thiang in The King & I on London’s West End, and the title role in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince with City Opera’s education program. She has recently premiered roles in new projects by Conrad Cummings, Nick Brooke, Yoav Gal, and Stefan Weisman. As concert soloist, she has been heard with the Israel Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Waverly Consort, the New York Collegium, Rebel Baroque Orchestra, and P.D.Q. Bach/ Peter Schickele. Hai-Ting holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Yale School of Music.
Ariana Chris, mezzo-soprano Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This season at VOX: Mother in Song from the Uproar, and Pat in Dog Days. City Opera Debut: Lola in Cavalleria rusticana, 2007. Career highlights: Greek National Anthem at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics; Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos with Opera Baltycka (Polish Premiere – televised 39 Countries); BBC Singer of the World 2005 representing Greece; Athens 2004 Olympic Games Canadian Gala; Junon in Platée with Santa Fe Opera; Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Nantes Angers Opera, France; Poldine in U.S. premiere of Marie Galante with Opera Français de New York; Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Hong Kong; Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel and Carmen in Carmen with Atelier Lyrique/ Opéra de Montréal; Myrtale in Thaïs with Kentucky Opera, Opéra de Montréal.
Chuck Cooper, baritone Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio. This season at VOX: The Back in A Star Across the Ocean. Career highlights: won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a musical for his portrayal of Memphis in The Life. Broadway credits include: Lennon; Caroline, Or Change (Audelco Award, Best Featured Actor); Chicago; Passion; Someone to Watch Over Me; Rumors; Amen Corner; Getting Away With Murder; Hair (BCEFA concert event); and St. Louis Woman; (City Centers Encore series). National tours: The Tap Dance Kid; Eubie; and Whistle Down the Wind. OffBroadway: Caroline Or Change (the Public Theatre); Thunder Knocking on the Door (Minetta Lane, Audelco Nomination); Marco Polo Sings a Solo (Signature Theatre); Avenue X; Police Boys; Four Short Operas (Playwrights Horizons); Colored People’s Time (Negro Ensemble Co.); King Island Christmas (SIR Studios).
Matthew Curran, bass Birthplace: Princton, New Jersey. This season at VOX: Director in Acquanetta and Roberto Gottardi in Revolution of Forms. Recent appearances include the Castleton Festival in The Beggar’s Opera as Mat of the Mint, conducted by Lorin Maazel; soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, Inspector Watts in a concert reading of Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon, Edwin Cheney in Shining Brow, by Daron Hagen, with the Buffalo Philharmonic, recently released on the Naxos label. He has also been a regular singer with various works in development with American Opera Projects and has been a resident singer for their Composer and the Voice workshop for three seasons. He has performed with Seattle Opera, Zürich Opera, Opera New Jersey, New Orleans Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Central City Opera, Skagit Opera, Washington East Opera, Center City Opera Theater, and Opera Company of Brooklyn, among others.
Helga Davis, vocalist This season at VOX: the Queen in Oceanic Verses. A New York based artist whose inter-disciplinary work includes collaborations with composers and choreographers alike. For the past five years she has been the co-star of The Temptation of St. Anthony, directed by Robert Wilson with libretto and score by Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock. She wrote and performed a new multi-media piece entitled: “Imaginings” at the Whitney Museum at the conclusion of Kara Walker’s retrospective. In March 2007, Davis began hosting “Overnight Music” on WNYC and was awarded the ASCAP Deems Taylor Multimedia Award. In the Spring of 2008 Davis also starred in The Blue Planet, a multimedia theater piece written by Peter Greenaway and directed by Saskia Boddeke.
Joaquín Delmar, vocalist Birthplace: New York, New York. This season at VOX: The Son in A Star Across the Ocean. He began his musical training at the age of four at Larchmont Music Academy and joined the New York City Opera Children’s Chorus in 2007, and appeared this past season in Hugo Weisgall’s Esther. He is a student at the French American School of New York, where he has played leading roles in the School’s musicals. He is also the leading singer at his School’s rock band. He has participated in various summer theatre camps and productions, playing a variety of roles.
Scott Dunn, conductor Birthplace: Eagle Grove, Iowa. This season at VOX: A Star Across the Ocean and Evangeline Revisited. Career highlights: conducting posts with Pittsburgh Opera and Glimmerglass Opera; guest conductor with the Orchestre National de France, the North Carolina Symphony, and the NYU Symphony; on conducting staff of the L.A Philharmonic’s Hollywood Bowl Orchestra; music director of Carousel for UCLA Opera and The Happy Prince for Kentucky Opera.
Andrew Drost, tenor Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan. This season at VOX: Padre Antonio in With Blood, With Ink and Elliot in Dog Days. City Opera debut: Pirelli in Sweeney Todd, 2004. Career highlights: Tapioca in L’Étoile, Rodrigo in La donna del lago, Belfiore in Il viaggio a Reims, Victorin in Die tote Stadt, Bagha in Haroun and the Sea of Stories with City Opera; Prunier in La rondine, Macduff in Macbeth with Sarasota Opera; Lensky in Eugene Onegin with Connecticut Lyric Opera, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Sinfonietta
Gabriela García, mezzo-soprano Birthplace: Puerto Rico. This season at VOX: Quintana in Revolution of Forms. Career highlights: Vivaldi’s Gloria with MidAmerica Productions and Teresa in the Opera Orchestra of New York’s La Sonnambula, both at Carnegie Hall; Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri with the DiCapo Opera Theatre; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with New Mexico Symphony Orchestra; Marcelina Barela in 2006 world premiere of Time and Again Barelas with the New Mexico Symphony. Her operatic roles include Maddalena and Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Siébel i n Faust and Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette with Puerto Rico’s Teatro de la Opera; Mrs. Quickly in Falstaff with Israel’s International Vocal Arts Institute; Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with Puerto Rico’s Fundación de Zarzuela y Opereta; title role of Carmen with Seagle Music Colony; Ursule in Béatrice et Bénédict with the Aspen Music Festival and Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra; Dido in Dido and Aeneas with the Intermezzo Young Artist Program; Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opera de Puerto Rico; Le nozze di Figaro with the New York Grand Opera.
Michael Hayes, tenor Birthplace: College Park, Maryland. This season at VOX: Father in Dog Days. Career highlights: Don José in Carmen with City Opera and Florida Grand Opera; Cavaradossi in Tosca with Florida Grand Opera; Radames in Aida with Manitoba Opera and L’Orchestre National de Lyon; title role in Otello with Opéra de Nantes; title role in Les Contes D’Hoffman and Erik in Der Fliegende Holländer with Fort Worth Opera; title roles in Faust and Werther with Portland Opera; Calaf in Turandot with Edmonton Opera and Virginia Opera; Rodolfo in La bohème with City Opera; Herod in Salome with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; title role in Otello and Paul in Die Tote Stadt with Washington D.C.’s Summer Opera Theatre Company; Steva in Jen˚ ufa with Sarasota Opera; Canio in Pagliacci with Knoxville Opera; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with the Princeton Festival; and title role in Weill’s The Protaganist with the American Symphony Orchestra.
Heather Johnson, mezzo-soprano Birthplace: St. Paul, Minnesota. This season at VOX: title role in Aquanetta. City Opera debut: Annina in La traviata, 2004. Career highlights: Meg Page in Falstaff, Soroya in Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Lady Saphir in Patience, Mercédès in Carmen and Flora in La traviata at City Opera; Title role in Carmen at Volkstheater Rostock, Germany; Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel and Beppe in L’amico Fritz at Sarasota Opera; Zerlina in Don Giovanni at Boston Lyric Opera and Glimmerglass Opera; Lola in Cavalleria rusticana at Glim merglass Opera; Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at Madison Opera; Lisetta in Il mondo della luna at Opera Lafayette; Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti at Nashville Opera; 2002 Metropolitan Opera National Council semi-finalist. Upcoming: Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel for PORTopera, title role in La Cenerentola and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible at Sarasota Opera, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Boston Lyric Opera, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ottawa.
Katherine Jolly, soprano Birthplace: Davis, California. This season at VOX: The Chanteuse in A Star Across the Ocean and Brainy Woman in Acquanetta. City Opera debut: Fairy Godmother in Cendrillon, 2007. Career highlights: Laoula in L’Étoile at City Opera, Blondchen in Entführung aus dem Serail with Florida Grand Opera, Yum-Yum in The Mikado and the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Zerbinetta in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, and Saphir in Patience; concert with the Sinfonia Gulf Coast singing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Made European debut as Morgana in Handel’s Alcina with Opera Theatre Lucca and performed throughout Tuscany singing recitals of Italian music. Awards: 2006 Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals Winner, William B. McMillan Award from Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Carolyn Kuan, conductor Birthplace: Taipei, Taiwan. This season at VOX: Dog Days and Inventory. Career highlights: associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra; guest conductor for the Baltimore Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony (UK), Detroit Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan, Festival del Sole, and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; assistant conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music under music director Marin Alsop; first female winner of the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship by the Herbert von Karajan Centrum and the American Austrian Foundation; awards from the Women’s Philharmonic, Conductors Guild, Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship and Susan W. Rose Fund for Music.
Kerri Marcinko, soprano Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio. This season at VOX: Dying Juana in With Blood, With Ink, and Evangeline 1 in Evangeline Revisited. City Opera debut: Micaëla in Carmen, 2006. Career highlights: created the role of Missy in Tod Machover’s Resurrection at Houston Grand Opera, which she later reprised at Boston Lyric Opera; Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress for Aspen Opera Theater, also broadcast on NPR. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2003 in masses by Beethoven and Charpentier. Other opera credits include Ann Putnam in The Crucible and Leonora in Il trovatore with Toledo Opera; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Bellingham Festival and Micaëla in Carmen with Lyric Opera of San Antonio. Recent performances include Tosca at Opera East Texas; Alice Ford and Antonia with Festival de Belle-Ile, France; Verdi’s Requiem with the Richmond Symphony; Leonora with San Antonio Opera, Berta with Los Angeles Opera and an Opera Gala with Toledo Opera.
Nina Yoshida Nelsen, mezzo-soprano Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California. This season at VOX: Isabelle in Song from the Uproar. City Opera debut: Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, 2010. Career highlights: Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro for Utah Opera, Stéfano in Roméo et Juliette for New Jersey Opera Theater, title role in Carmen with Komische Kammer Opera Munich, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Livermore Valley Opera and Kate Pinterkton in Madama Butterfly for Opera Santa Barbara. Awards: Recipient of a 2008 Encouragement Award from the Gerda Lissner Vocal Competition, 2006 National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. 2009 graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia, where she studied with Bill Schuman. At AVA, her roles included Smeton in Anna Bolena, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Kabanicha in Katya Kabanova, Annina in La traviata, Larina in Eugene Onegin, and Erika in Vanessa.
Steven Osgood, conductor Birthplace: Dallas, Texas. This season at VOX: Revolution of Forms and Song from the Uproar. City Opera debut: La bohème, 2003. Career highlights: recently conducted the world premiere of Xenakis’s Oresteia at the Miller Theatre; Tan Dun’s Marco Polo with De Nederlands Opera; Transformations with Juilliard Opera; and Tosca with Chautauqua Opera. Upcoming productions include The Ghosts of Versailles at Northwestern University, and his debut with Wolf Trap Opera conducting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. From 2001 to 2008 he was artistic director of American Opera Projects, where he created the company’s Composers and the Voice Workshop Series, and conducted the world premieres of Paula Kimper’s Patience and Sarah and Janice Hamer’s Lost Childhood.
Sidney Outlaw, baritone Birthplace: Brevard, North Carolina. This season at VOX: The Director in A Star Across the Ocean. Career highlights: recently completed the Florida Grand Opera Young Artist Development Program 2009; three international debuts singing the role of Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte in Weimar, Germany; debut in Tel Aviv, Israel as Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; debut with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; appeared on the Wigmore Hall recital stage in London, England as a winner of the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition; performances with the Memphis Symphony under the direction of Maestro James Feddeck; upcoming debut in 2010 with the San Francisco Opera Center Merola Program as Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore.
Amanda Pabyan, soprano Birthplace: Warren, New Jersey. This season at VOX: Evangeline 2 in Evangeline, Revisited. Career highlights: Metropolitan Opera debut as the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte led by James Levine, Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Anchorage Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with Opera Atelier, soprano soloist in Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” with the Seattle Symphony, covered the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with New York City Opera. Other highlights include Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel for Washington National Opera, Die Zauberflöte with Opera Colorado, and the title role in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice at Glimmerglass Opera.
Hila Plitmann, soprano Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel. This season at VOX: Narrator in Zolle and Mother in Oceanic Verses. Career highlights: performances of Larsen’s Sonnets from the Portuguese and Salonen’s Fire Images After Sappho with Orchestra 2001 in Philadelphia, Bernstein and Golijov with the Seattle Symphony and conductor Joana Carneiro, and the New York premiere of Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings at Carnegie Hall; appearances on the soundtracks to The Da Vinci Code and New York, I Love You.
Claudio Prima, folk singer This season at VOX: Marinaio in Oceanic Verses. He has concertized in both Italy and Europe and now actively co-produces his own and others theater work. He has been the guide of the international show called “The World Umbilicus”, and has performed in festivals such as Folkontest, La Palma in Rome, Negroamaro Festival, Fimu in France, Venettnico a Venezia in the Padillion of the Biennale with Boban Markovich Orchestra, Jazz a-Luz and Jazz and Luberon in France (with Michel Portal, Louis Sclavis, and more), followed by other important festivals in France, Switzerland, and Holland.
Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Career highlights: Lola in Cavalleria rusticana, Dorothée in Cendrillon, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with City Opera, Rossweise in Die Walküre with Washington National Opera; Schumann Eichendorff Liederkreis and Janácek Diary of One who Vanished with Marlboro Music Festival, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Piedmont Opera, Tebaldo in Don Carlo with the Cleveland Orchestra; Messiah with Utah Symphony, St. Matthew Passion with Richmond Symphony, Pâtre/ La chatte in L’enfant et les sortilèges with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi; Penderecki Credo Mass with Yale Philharmonia, Mahler/Schoenberg Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. Orchestra New England, Miriama Young’s The Inner Voices of Blue (world premiere) with New Millenium Ensemble; Dorabella, Così fan tutte, Yale Opera. Ruggiero in Alcina with Oberlin Opera. Upcoming: title role in Ariodante with Princeton Festival, Dido in Dido and Aeneas with Macau International Music Festival (China), Messiah with Richmond Symphony. ˆ
Darius de Haas, tenor Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois. This season at VOX: The Bandleader in A Star Across the Ocean. Career highlights: Broadway: Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Carousel, Rent, Fascinating Rhythm, Marie Christine, Dreamgirls, Hair. Other credits: Running Man (Obie Award) The Bubbly Black Girl…, Children of Eden. Concert soloist: Lincoln Center, The Blue Note (Japan), Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, LA’s Disney Concert Hall, London’s Royal Festival Hall. Special guest appearances with Vanessa Williams, Roberta Flack, Marvin Hamlisch, Audra McDonald, Deborah Harry, Elvis Costello, and Michael Feinstein. Recordings: Darius de Haas: Day Dream (PS Classics), Children of Eden, Marie Christine, I Was Looking at the Ceiling…, Myths and Hymns, The Bubbly Black Girl…, Dreamgirls, Bright Eyed Joy, Anastasia, Chicago.
of Riverdale, Bernstein on Broadway concert at the Caramoor International Music Festival; Belfiore, Ramiro in La Cenerentola with Opera SouthWest and Count Libenskof in Il viaggio a Reims with Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Italy. Upcoming: world premiere of The Golden Ticket with Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
with Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, where she appeared in Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea and as Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon.
John Musto (Bastianello) and William Bolcom (Lucrezia) with the New York Festival of Song. Her Broadway debut was in Aspects of Love, and she is the first to have sung both Fantine and Cosette in Les Miserables.
Jennifer Tiller, soprano Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia. This season at VOX: Maria Luisa in With Blood, With Ink. City Opera debut: Second Maid in Daphne, 2004. Career highlights: Nedda in I Pagliacci with Anchorage Opera; Suzuki in the Emmy Award-winning telecast of Madama Butterfly, Mercédès in Carmen, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Maddalena in Il Viaggio a Reims, The Fox in The Little Prince, Alecto and Dika in Lysistrata, all with New York City Opera; Augusta Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Illinois; Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Tulsa Opera, and Ash Lawn-Highland Summer Festival; La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi with Indianapolis Opera; Mrs. McLean in Susannah with the Ash Lawn-Highland Summer Festival; Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette with Opera Grand Rapids and Opera Northeast.
Julian Wachner, conductor Birthplace: Hollywood, California. This season at VOX: With Blood, With Ink and Zolle. Career highlights: recent engagements with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Portland Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Music Academy of the West, Calgary Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Handel & Haydn Society, Pacific Symphony, and L’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal. He was recently named music director of the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center. In addition, he is professor of music at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montréal, Québec where he serves as Principal Conductor of Opera McGill.
John Rodger, tenor Birthplace: Miami Beach, Florida. This season at VOX: Ricardo Porro in Revolution of Forms. Career highlights: La traviata and Das Liebesverbot for Glimmerglass Opera, Don Carlos and Tosca with Sarasota Opera, Luigi in Il tabarro, Macduff in Macbeth and Manrico in Il trovatore at Taconic Opera, Alfredo in Un ballo in maschera with Miami Lyric Opera, and Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera with Opera in the Heights; Duke in Rigoletto, Rodolfo in La bohème, Judge Danforth and Reverend Parris in The Crucible, Leandro in Busoni’s Arlecchino with Indiana University. He has appeared with MidAmerica Productions as tenor in Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore at Carnegie Hall, Pollione in a concert performance of Norma in New York City, Verdi’s Requiem with the Indiana University Philharmonic, a concert of Verdi arias and duets with the Alhambra Orchestra in Miami, Florida; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Musical Arts Youth Orchestra in Bloomington, Indiana.
Robert Treviño, conductor Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas. This season at VOX: Oceanic Verses and Acquanetta. Career highlights: Associate conductor for new production of Don Giovanni, 2009 at City Opera; has conducted orchestras and ensembles across North America, Europe, and Asia; New World Symphony, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, Suwon Philharmonic of South Korea, Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra of Germany, the Ohio Light Opera, Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra National of Montpellier France, Ensemble Modern Academy at the Klangspuren Festival in Schwaz, Austria, and the Millennium Chamber Players at the Jusqu’aux Oreilles Festival in Montreal, Canada.
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano Birthplace: Oak Park, Michigan. This season at VOX: Sor Andrea in With Blood, With Ink and Shawnee Woman in Evangeline Revisited. City Opera debut: Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, 2010. Career highlights: covered the title role in Margaret Garner in its New York premiere at City Opera; Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall; mezzo-soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem at Avery Fisher Hall; Emilia in Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin’s The Firebrand of Florence with the Collegiate Chorale at Alice Tully Hall; Puccini’s Edgar with Opera Orchestra of New York; appeared with Michigan Opera Theatre and the International Vocal Arts Institute, Israel; mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with Baltimore Concert Artists, opera gala concert
Lisa Vroman, soprano Birthplace: Watertown, New York. This season at VOX: Mother in Dog Days and Shopgirl in Inventory. City Opera debut: The Most Happy Fella, 2006. Career highlights: starred for several years on Broadway as Christine Daäe in The Phantom of the Opera, as well as a run in San Francisco, and a return engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles; Sweeney Todd with San Francisco Symphony on PBS. She recently made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Pops, starred as Lili Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate with Glimmerglass Opera, Marian Paroo in The Music Man with Shirley Jones at the Bushnell Theatre in Hartford, CT. Birdie in Regina with Utah Opera, New Jersey Opera debut as Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, and premiered two comic operas by
Amelia Watkins, soprano Birthplace: Calgary, Canada. This season at VOX: Sor Isabel/Sor Rosa in With Blood, With Ink and Ape in Acquanetta. Career highlights: appearances at Estates Theatre Prague, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Lincoln Center, Tanglewood Music Festival, Verbier Festival, Leipzig Gewandhaus, and in concert in Hong Kong. Amelia can be heard heard on Albany Records, and in various film and television scores. She is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music. Upcoming: role debut as Königen der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte.
Lauren Worsham, soprano Birthplace: Austin, Texas. This season at VOX: Lisa in Dog Days. City Opera debut: Cunegonde in Candide in 2008. Career highlights: Olive in the 1st National Tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall; International Premiere of Adam Guettel’s Myths and Hymns at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Cinderella in Into the Woods directed by Moises Kaufman at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Sophie in Master Class at Paper Mill Playhouse, and Clara in The Light in the Piazza at the Weston Playhouse. Lauren is the 2009 2nd place winner of the Kurt Well Foundation’s Lotte Lenya competition. She is also the co-founder and executive director of the downtown opera theater company, The Coterie. Graduate of Yale University, 2005. Upcoming in July: Lili in the Goodspeed Opera House production of Carnival.
New York City Opera Orchestra David Titcomb, Orchestra Manager James Biddlecome, Librarian FIRST VIOLIN Yevgenia Strenger, Concertmaster, The William Petschek Family Chair Alicia Edelberg, Associate Concertmaster Nancy McAlhany Sander Strenger Richard Rood Sophia Kessinger Deborah Wong Conway Kuo Junko Ota Pecht Wei Yi Wang Claire Chan Ann Leathers Victor Heifets SECOND VIOLIN Ellen Payne, Principal Martha Mott-Gale, Assistant Principal Yana Goichman Alisa Wyrick Kate Light Sarah Pratt Susan Gellert Anne Fryer-Eddis Barbara Randall VIOLA Daniel Panner, Principal John Dexter, Assistant Principal Sarah Adams, Assistant Principal Donald Dal Maso Susan Gingold CELLO Mark Shuman, Principal Elizabeth Anderson, Assistant Principal Robert LaRue Bruce Rogers BASS Lewis Paer, Principal Gail Kruvand, Assistant Principal David Romano FLUTE Janet Arms, Principal John McMurtery Helen Campo OBOE Randy Wolfgang, Principal Youson Chung Tuck Lee ENGLISH HORN Kelly Peral CLARINET Laura Flax, Principal Mitchell Kriegler Erin Svoboda BASS CLARINET Mitchell Kriegler SAXOPHONE Lino Gomez BASSOON Frank Morelli, Principal Cyrus Segal Benadette Zirkuli CONTRABASSOON Jeff Marchand HORN Stewart Rose, Principal Richard Hagen Sharon Moe Ian Donald Chad Yarbrough Theo Primis
TRUMPET Donald Batchelder, Principal Jerry Bryant Thomas Hoyt TROMBONE Thomas Hutchinson, Principal Maciej Pietraszko Brian Mahany BASS TROMBONE David Titcomb TUBA Stephen Johns, Principal Jonathan Hill HARP Jacquiline Kerrod, Principal TIMPANI Michael Osrowitz, Principal PERCUSSION Montegomery Hatch, Principal James Thoma David Nyberg Jeffrey Irving DIDGERIDOO Art Baron ELECTRIC GUITAR Taylor Levine PIANO Susan Woodruff Versage Keith Chambers
New York City Opera Chorus SOPRANOS Lee Bellaver Bernadette Fiorella Bridget R. Hendrix Pamela Jones Amie Madden Beth Pensiero Verda Lee Tudor Deborah Williams ALTOS Marilyn Armstrong Katherine Benfer Jill Bosworth Shannon Carson Paula Hostetter Paula Liscio Olga Lomteva Lisa Remde TENORS Frank Burzio Christopher Carrico Daniel Egan Gregory Hostetler William Lagundino Roger Ohlsen Louis Perry Douglas Purcell BASSES Bert Boone Neil Eddinger Ron Hilley Juan José Ibarra Daniel James Jason Knight * Boyd Schlaefer Jaime Valles Edward Zimmerman *On leave of absence
New York City Opera salutes the generous supporters of VOX 2010: Leadership support provided by: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation The Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts The Helen F. Whitaker Fund
New York City Opera wishes to thank the following organizations for their assistance and support of VOX:
George Steel General Manager and Artistic Director George Manahan Music Director OPERA America, for offering each of the VOX composers one complimentary year of membership.
Special recognition is due to the members of the VOX Committee for their leadership and support of new work at City Opera: John E. Baumgardner, Jr., Chairman Carol M. and Timothy A. Cole Mary Sharp Cronson Mary Gould Cerise and Charles Jacobs Kenneth S. Kaiserman Younghee Kim-Wait Carol Ann Leibner Raymond Steckel Joan Ross Sorkin Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò Thank you to Joan and Larry Sorkin for sponsoring the VOX 2010 launch reception. Thank you to Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò for sponsoring the VOX 2010 celebration reception. New York City Opera thanks Linda and Stuart Nelson for their special gift to support composer copying costs. Public support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.
ARCHIVES Susan Woelzl Director of Archives ARTISTIC AND EDUCATION Edward C. Yim Director of Artistic Planning Steven Blier Casting Advisor Cori Ellison Dramaturg and Director of Supertitles David Titcomb Orchestra Manager
Major support is provided by: The Amphion Foundation, Inc. John E. Baumgardner, Jr. The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc. The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Virgil Thomson Foundation, Ltd. Younghee Kim-Wait And the many contributors to the VOX Special Appeal
New York City Opera Administrative Staff
The American Music Center, for providing financial support and memberships to the composers through the Composer Assistance Program.
VOX 2010 is funded, in part, through Meet The Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections Program.* *Leadership support for Meet The Composer’s MetLife Creative Connections program is generously provided by MetLife Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Amphion Foundation, Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, BMI Foundation, Inc., Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Jerome Foundation, mediaThe foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Virgil Thomson Foundation, Ltd.
October 1, 2010
For more info & guidelines visit nycopera.com/vox
Artistic Administration Cory Lippiello Artistic Administrator Vincent J. Madonna Company Manager & Artistic Coordinator Jeffrey Guimond Artistic Planning and Rehearsal Administrator Peter Ajemian John Sundling Rehearsal Assistants Music Staff Kevin Murphy Director of Music Administration John Beeson Senior Assistant Conductor Charles Frederic Prestinari Chorus Master Sharon Bjorndal Lavery Acting Children’s Chorus Director Supertitles Isabel Martin Associate Director Melissa Wegner Supertitle Associate Education Teresa McKinney Acting Director of Education Kimberly Goodis Manager of Audience Development Erika Rauer Education Associate Gerald A. Brown Music Director, Elementary DEVELOPMENT Robert K. Meya Director of Development Kristen Gelinas Assistant to the Director of Development Leadership Gifts Patrick Daughtry Senior Development Officer Individual Giving Amy Gross Director of Individual Giving Chantel Foretich Development Officer Dana Gluck Associate Manager of Stewardship and Board Relations Gabriella Barton Patron Services Associate Membership Mary M. MacFarlane Director of Membership Mark Roper Associate Manager of Membership
Institutional Giving Brooke-Augusta Owen Director of Institutional Gifts Naomi Weinstock Assistant Director of Institutional Gifts Sponsorship Aimee Calandria Director of Sponsorship Development Communications Mark Moorman Director of Development Communications Special Events Sabrina Martin Director of Special Events Meg Griffiths Manager of Special Events Donor Information Dale Aucoin Assistant Director of Donor Information EXECUTIVE OFFICE Jordana Kier Assistant to the General Manager and Artistic Director FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION Peter Gee CFO and Director of Administration Alexandra Winogora Assistant to the CFO and Director of Administration Lexi Robertson Budget Manager Leah Johnson Company Payroll Manager Edgar Donoso Accounts Payable Manager Geri Byers Accountant MARKETING Tom Trayer Director of Marketing Sharon Marmora Assistant Director of Marketing Mark Yachnin Marketing Systems Manager Jeff Covello Webmaster Kyle Fox Marketing Assistant Creative Services Victor-John Villanueva Art Director Sean Riley Production Designer Group and Event Sales Michelle Levengood Director of Group and Event Sales Maura Leahy Group and Event Sales Manager Dimitri Koutos Lead Account Executive Katie Lawton Administrator James Daly Alyssa Dreifus Matthew Macri Program Facilitators Retail Operations and Volunteer Services Eric Hagmueller Director of Retail Operations and Volunteer Services Jay Thompson Thrift Shop Manager Jordan Agusti Volunteer Services Assistant PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS Pascal Nadon Director of Media Relations and Strategic Partnerships
Shara Seigel Publicity Coordinator Carol Rosegg Staff Photographer PRODUCTION Barbara Wohlsen Director of Production Chuck Giles Technical Director Joseph S. Gasperec Scott Levine Assistant Technical Directors Dan Gallagher Assistant Lighting Director Karin M.White Properties Coordinator Scott Brodsky Assistant Properties Coordinator James Holder Wardrobe Director Bettina Bierly Wardrobe Master Ginger Blake Russ Vogler Costume Supervisors Maria I. Merino Workroom Supervisor Suzy Alvarez Director of Hair and Makeup Tom Molinelli Makeup Supervisor Isabel Martin Production Coordinator VOX Beth Morrison Producer Jordana Kier Project Coordinator John Beeson Casting Advisor Anne Dechêne Peggy Imbrie Stage Managers
JACK H. SKIRBALL CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY The Skirball Center is the premiere venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for NYU and lower Manhattan. The programs of the Skirball Center reflect NYU’s mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. Since 2003, the 860-seat center has provided a unique venue for enhancing a sense of community while continuing the Greenwich Village traditions of creativity and artistic discovery with a broad range of compelling performance events at affordable ticket prices. Led by Executive Producer Jay Oliva (president emeritus, NYU) and director Michael Harrington, a natural and vital aspect of the Center’s mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance. SKIRBALL CENTER STAFF L. Jay Oliva Executive Producer Michael Harrington Director Amy Coombs Operations Director Ian Tabatchnick Front of House Coordinator Kristin Svorinic Marketing and Development Manager Lori Moore Manager of Ticket Services Jason Stuart Assistant Box Office Manager
Patrice Fealy Executive Assistant to Dr. Oliva Jason Cohen Administrative Coordinator Ethan Bade Head Audio Technician Jeffrey Collier Head Lighting Technician Jason Adams Head Stage Technician David Fowler Associate Audio Technician Rachael Harris Associate Lighting Technician Nicholas Lazzaro Associate Stage Technician Kelly Strandemo, Christian Zaremba Assistant House Managers Mindy Baucicot*, Thomas DeMarcus, Amara Dieter*, Jon Herman*, Ashley Rose Horton*, Colleen Jasinski, Michelle Kuchuk*, Katelyn Manfre*, Yvonne Norat, Molly Roberson, Laura Williams Head Ushers Julia Bray*, Evelyn Cruzatte*, Jenny Donheiser*, Chelsea Garbell*, Elyse Gauthier*, Danielle Gimbal*, Kaitlon Goff*, Lucas Green*, Hannah Guruianu*, Allison Holcomb*, Daniel Johnson*, Jamie Kingston*, Rebecca Kostell*, Nick Luckenbaugh*, Jennie McGuinness*, David McTiernan*, Kaitlyn Meade*, Sophie Mittleman*, Addie Ogunfowora*, Stephanie Plachy*, Dayna Sanchez*, Paul Sanguino*, Ariana Schrier*, Daniel Seth*, Arielle Siegel*, Elivia Shaw*, Dustin Smith*, Pablo Tapia-Pla* House Staff Benjamin Corbett, Caryn Freitag*, Joseph Gerbino*, Kaitlin Goff*, Hannah Guruianu*, Adam Leposa*, Ashlyn Michalakis*, Sidney Mitchel*, Natalia Naman*, Amanda Pupo-Mayo*, Taylor Roberts*, Beth Sanders*, Sarah Walton*, Mallory Westfall*, Albert Yau* Box Office Staff Dianne de la Veaux*, Sarah Ferguson*, Michael Gross*, Kristen Hill*, Lauren Lawson*, Michelle Nicotera*, Nicole Schroeder*, Jessi Wasson* Administrative Interns * denotes NYU students NEW YORK UNIVERSITY John Sexton President David McLaughlin Provost Michael Alfano Executive Vice President Alison Leary Senior Vice President for Operations Robert Kivetz
A PROGRAM OF
Photos: Oceanic Verses © Ali Hossaini (eye); © Alberto Tiddia (mask); Production photos © Carol Rosegg; All other images courtesy of iStockphoto.com Design and photo collage: Victor-John Villanueva
subscriptions on sale now!
new production/ny premiere
a quiet place
october 27–November 21 Donizetti
The elixir of love March 22–april 9
intermezzo october 31–November 20 new production
new production/ny premiere
monodramas March 25–april 8
séance on a wet afternoon april 19–May 1
This stellar season of visionary works includes two operas that got their start at VOX: John Zorn’s La Machine de l’être (VOX 2007) presented as part of Monodramas and Stephen Schwartz’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon (VOX 2009).
subscriptions start at $36 (just $12 per ticket) Nycopera.com • 212.496.0600 single tickets on sale september 7, 2010 30
Photo: Courtesy © Kehinde Wiley Studio