Saturday, December 17, 2011

Composer Paola Prestini Collaborates With Artist Ali Hossaini

"It takes a lot of dough—and probably, even, a village—to get an opera off the ground. That's why composer Paola Prestini held a small get together slash fund-raiser at the Ethan Cohen Fine Arts space in TriBeCa in support of her in-progress composition, Oceanic Verses. Performances of the multimedia opera, which is based in Italy and explores the lives of a sailor, a mother, a scholar and a soldier, are slated to begin in Massachusetts in May, with a stop in Manhattan in June. Ms. Prestini, a 36-year-old Italian composer who splits her time between the Upper West Side and San Francisco, said she needed $60,000 to pay for the production, and was hoping to raise $25,000 of that from the evening at Mr. Cohen's gallery. The event included a performance by Phillip Glass, a friend and mentor of Ms. Prestini, as well as an excerpt from Oceanic Verses by Helga Davis. The crowd included composers, musicians and artists, including Heidi Rodewald, Mickey Strauss, Diane Volk and the Klezmer clarinetist David Kracauer. Hanging at the gallery were works by the American artist Ali Hossaini, including video segments and 3-D photographs. Mr. Hossaini and Mr. Cohen said that 3-D glasses weren't imperative to enjoying the show, but they helped. Mr. Hossaini is also contributing visuals to Ms. Prestini's opera though he hadn't decided yet if they should be in 3-D. Should he decide that they are, Ms. Prestini believed that hers would be the first opera that incorporated said technology."
"Prestini received a commission from the Carnegie Foundation, and it has been performed as a work-in-progress at the New York City Opera and The Kitchen. It premieres at the Kennedy Center in 2012 before moving to New York City and the Barbican Theater in London." [Source, Source]

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