World Premiere Recording of Lei Liang's Chamber Opera, Inheritance
Jul. 15, 2020
Albany Records has released the world premiere recording of Lei Liang's arresting new chamber opera, Inheritance. Inheritance was premiered in October 2018, presented by ArtPower and the UC San Diego Department of Music. Learn more and purchase the disc here.
Inheritance revolves around the bizarre life of Sarah Winchester, the eccentric widow and heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune. According to popular belief, Winchester imprisoned herself in her labyrinth-like home to seek refuge from the spirits of those killed by the same weapons whose manufacture and sale gave her a life of indescribable wealth. With music by composer Lei Liang and libretto by poet Matt Donovan, Inheritance juxtaposes elements of Winchester’s biography with contemporary events in a work that explores America’s deeply complex relationship with guns. Produced by Susan Narucki, the world premiere performances of Inheritance were led by conductor Steven Schick with direction by Cara Consilvio and production design by visual artist Ligia Bouton. Acclaimed soprano Susan Narucki created the title role of Sarah Winchester.
Read more about the background and genesis of this important opera, as well as the intrepid collaborators who brought the work to life here.
Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of an interview with the team of Inheritance.
Listen to Lei Liang and Susan Narucki discuss Inheritance at the UC San Diego studio here.
(Highlights from Inheritance)
We are also delighted to report that Lei Liang has been appointed Chancellor's Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Established in 2018, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professorship chairs are a direct reflection of UC San Diego’s campus-wide commitment to the recruitment and retention of a top-quality and diverse body of faculty. Each chair is supported through an endowment of $1 million for continued teaching, research and service. Learn more about this prestigious endowment and explore Lei's music and research here.
Finally, A new book about Lei Liang’s work will be released this month. “CONFLUENCE OF A HUNDRED STREAMS: Narrating the Soundscapes of Lei Liang” includes a collection of Liang’s writings, essays by the late Chou Wen-chung, poet Wai-lim Yip, Liang’s colleagues at UCSD Aleck Karis, Seth Lerer, Steven Schick, Falko Kuester, ethnomusicologist Kay Kaufman Shelemay, composers Shulamit Ran, Paul Chihara and Jia Daqun, Liang’s publisher Norman Ryan (Schott Music), music critics James Chute, Ettore Garzia, Robert Kirzinger, musicologist Yayoi Uno Everett, Wulalji (Inner Mongolia), Ban Lixia (Beijing) and Chen Hongduo (Shanghai). Harvard librarian Qiu Lingwei wrote Liang’s biography. The 500-page volume includes a DVD and over 100 photographs. It is edited by musicologist Qin Luo and published by a leading music publisher in China – the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Press. The cover photo is courtesy of Alex Matthews. To learn more about this exciting publication, click here.
To learn more about Lei Liang, please visit schott-music.org.
a chamber opera in one act
Libretto by Matt Donovan (Eng)
based on the life of Sarah Winchester
for soprano, baritone, two female voices and chamber ensemble
2cl, tpt in C, 2perc, gtr, hpsd, cb