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Posts tagged 'opera'

Keeril Makan's "Persona" Premieres at National Sawdust

Keeril Makan's ambitious opera project, Persona—based on the Ingmar Bergman film of the same name—will see its world premiere at National Sawdust, New York's newest venue for new music. Produced by Beth Morrison Projects, Persona is directed by Jay Scheib, and features musical direction by Evan Ziporyn conducting members of the Either/Or ensemble. 

Cited by Broadway World as "a provocative, highly cerebral, and artistically complex depiction of human frailty, cruelty and identity", Persona is described by Makan and Scheib as "at its core, a duet — but for one. A kind of monodrama with the briefest of interruptions, performed by a sole soprano who sings the role of Alma. Alma is a young nurse who has been assigned to care for actress, Elisabet Vogler, who in the middle of a performance, suddenly ceased to speak and remained sunken utterly in an apparently self-imposed silence.”

This world-premiere production will run for two nights, on October 23rd and 24th, 2015. Makan will also present a workshop performance of Persona on October 17th at MIT, where he is an Associate Professor of Music. After the October 23rd performance, National Sawdust will also present a concert of Makan's works performed by the AEOLUS Qartet, featuring The Noise Between Thoughts, Washed by Fire, and Returnall available from PSNY.  

Remembering Stephen Paulus: The Postman Always Rings Twice

Stephen Paulus, one of America's most prolific and celebrated contemporary composers of vocal music, has left us with a treasury of beautifully composed works, after his passing in late 2014. A Minnesotan originally from the East Coast, he found a home for his unique style of lushly tonal, romantic compositions in the mid-west, and beyond. This performance of his "Pilgrim's Hymn" at the Milwaukee Art Museum is a perfect example of Paulus' haunting compositional voice. Paulus has written about the composition of this work on his website; his son, Andrew Paulus, will be publishing these collected "work stories" every month. 

 One of his most widely-known pieces was his 1982 opera, "The Postman Always Rings Twice", based on the novel of the same name. A dark tale of forbidden love and conspiratorial murder, it has been performed throughout the United States. Now, for the first time, a full-sized study score for this powerful opera is available as a direct digital download. For a taste of this opera, check out this short documentary about a 2011 production at Boston University. 

 

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