Monday, January 17, 2011

Monodramas: Spring Innovation at New York City Opera

Homo Sapiens Sapiens, 2005 by Pipilotti Rist
"This triple bill of cutting-edge mini-opera features three virtuoso sopranos taking on tour-de-force roles that showcase the work of vital innovators of modern music. La Machine de l’être by New York composer John Zorn takes the soprano on a bravura collision course of elemental sound. Inspired by drawings of seminal theater artist Antonin Artaud, this textless piece receives its
world stage premiere. Arnold Schoenberg’s groundbreaking Erwartung or Expectation uses fragmented text and freely atonal language to explore perception and the subconscious. This modernist piece has been linked to Freud’s study of the famous hysteric Anna O., who was the sister of librettist Marie Pappenheim. Also included in the triptych is the U.S. stage premiere of Morton Feldman’s Neither, a poetic investigation of altered states of mind and awareness. Featuring a libretto by playwright Samuel Beckett, Feldman’s haunting, glacial composition challenges the highest extremes of the soprano range, evoking hypnotic visions and creating an unsettling sense of time and place." [Source]

PERFORMANCES:
March 25, 27, 29, 31 and April 2, 8
David H. Koch Theater

PRODUCTION:
La Machine de l'être
John Zorn (composer)
Anu Komsi (soprano)

Erwartung
Arnold Schoenberg (composer)
Marie Pappenheim (librettist)
Kara Shay Thomson (soprano)

Neither
Morton Feldman (composer)
Samuel Beckett (librettist)
Cyndia Sieden (soprano)

Conductor: George Manahan
Production Director: Michael Counts
Lighting Designer: Robert Wierzel
Video Artist: Jennifer Steinkamp

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