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Posts tagged 'Kate Soper'

Kate Soper's "Here Be Sirens" Performed in Massachusetts and New York

Kate Soper'sHere Be Sirens has been hailed as "audacious, genre-bending music theatre", and is described by the composer as "an opera/theatre work that blends beautiful music, terrifying noise, screwball comedy, and Aristotelian tragedy." After two widely acclaimed stagings in 2014, Fresh Squeezed Opera will mount a new production directed by Amber Treadway, featuring sopranos Victoria Benson, Claire Myers McCormick, and Devony Smith. Before its performance at National Sawdust on January 28th, Fresh Squeezed Opera will also perform the work on January 12th at the I/O Fest at Williams College, where Soper will also herself perform George Lewis' 2011 work, Anthem, for ensemble. 

Fresh Squeezed Opera has previously performed a suite from Here Be Sirens at New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center on a program of "nano-operas" in 2017. 

PSNY Composers in Alex Ross' 2017 Top Ten Lists

As the year ends, critics are busy preparing their annual accountings of the very best music of 2017. Alex Ross, the classical music critic of The New Yorker, has deftly diversified his year-end top ten lists, counting his favorite notable performances and recordings from the year. At the top of these lists is Kate Soper'sIpsa Dixit, performed at Dixon Place on February 4th. Ross describes Soper as "one of the great originals of her generation—a maker of erudite entertainments that inhabit a self-invented realm halfway between opera and philosophy."

Next on Ross' list is Chaya Czernowin's opera, Infinite Now, which premiered on April 23rd at the Flemish Opera. Check out an interview with Czernowin about this work below. 

Annie Gosfield's new adaptation of War of the Worlds, presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and narrated by Sigourney Weaver, also made it to Ross' list of notable performances. Check back soon for the full score of Gosfield's War of the Worlds on PSNY. 

Ross has been a vocal proponent of the music of Scott Wollschleger, so it is no surprise that Wollschleger's recent album on New Focus Recordings, "Soft Aberration", made it to his top ten records of 2017. That album features many of Wollschleger's recent works, including Brontal Symmetry, Soft Aberration, Bring Something Incomprehensible Into This World, and String Quartet No. 2 "White Wall". Check out Brontal Symmetry below.

Last but not least on Ross' list of notable recordings is Gregory Spears'  "Fellow Travelers", the very first recording produced and performed by the Cincinnati Opera. Three pieces from this opera—"I worry, that's all"; "Last Night"; and "Our Very Own Home"—are available from PSNY. See a concert performance of this last piece below.

Kate Soper's "IPSA DIXIT" Now Available on PSNY

Kate Soper's ambitious and multi-faceted project, IPSA DIXIT ["She, Herself, Said It"] is now available on PSNY. A finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer PrizeIPSA DIXIT is a six-movement chamber music theater work for soprano, flute, violin, and percussion that explores the intersections of music, language, and meaning. In addition to being performed as a full work, each of the movments may be performed as a standalone piece, or in any combination with each other. 

The work was developed by Soper with musicians from the Wet Ink Ensemble during a residency at EMPAC, and later premiered in a fully staged version at Dixon Place. Writing in the New Yorker, Alex Ross calls IPSA DIXIT a "twenty-first century masterpiece", and an example of Soper's unique genre of "philosophy-opera."

Steve Smith reviewed the work's premiere at Dixon Place as "a dazzlingly varied six-part sequence of quartets and duets spanning a stylistic range best described as broad and eclectic, but never unapproachable, employing texts concerning matters of intellect and sentiment, cognition and persuasion, perception and awareness."

Now, in addition to the full score and performance materials, each individual movement of IPSA DIXIT is also available on PSNY: Poetics, Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say, Rhetoric, The Crito, Metaphysics, and Cipher

A complete studio recording of the six movements of IPSA DIXIT is forthcoming, so stay tuned for more news!

Check out video excertps of each movement below. 

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