A Night at the Opera

Celebrating the Composers of this Week's 21c Liederabend

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Once described by Aaron Copland as “la forme fatale,” opera has been getting a new lease on life as of late thanks to the ingenious and intrepid producer Beth Morrison. Dubbed by Zachary Woolfe of The New York Observer as “the opera lady who likes it crazy,” Morrison figures prominently into the new music scene this spring with a return to New York City Opera’s VOX Contemporary American Opera Lab in May.

More immediately, Morrison reprises her collaboration with Opera on Tap and VisionIntoArt, called the 21c Liederabend, for three nights April 7 through 9. The lieder-palooza features libretti by the likes of Jonathan Safran Foer and Susan Yankowitz plus performers including the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and WQXR’s Overnight Music host Helga Davis.

Oh yeah, there are 20 diverse yet equally-badass composers, too. Beguiling composer and performer Du Yun presents a 21c Liederabend commission that, in her words “tells a snapshot of memory-flashback… A desire withered.” Today, we hear her on home turf with the International Contemporary Ensemble and chat Du Yun up in a live conversation about her work in both the composing and performance realms, plus her upcoming premiere. Join in the chat below or on Twitter with the hash tag #q2new.

We also highlight Q2's Album of the Week, Julia Wolfe’s wordless yet no less operatic Cruel Sister, with a limited time free download from the piece’s new recording on Cantaloupe Music, available here starting Monday. Recently performed at Wolfe’s Composer Portrait series at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Wolfe’s spellbinding and dramatic piece tells the story of two sisters wooed by the same man and the resulting deathly consequences of passion and jealousy.

As icing on the cake, we’ll hear works by Liederabend vets Matt Marks and David T. Little. 

Hosted by:

Olivia Giovetti

Comments [3]

Christian Carey from Sequenza 21 (www.sequenza21.com)

I was very pleased to hear Olivia Giovetti's program 'The New Canon' on Q2 this AM. It's a vibrant and engaging addition to Q2's programming, and Giovetti is a marvelously entertaining and knowledgable personality to have on WQXR's broadcast team.


Christian Carey
Senior Editor
Sequenza 21 - the contemporary classical community

Apr. 04 2011 03:21 PM

Awesome show Olivia! Great interview, too. It's rare to see someone asking questions that result in such intricate answers. Learning about Du Yun's inspirational trip to Mount Everest and the deeper origins of her composition was unexpected, but it added so much to the music. Can't wait for next week!

Apr. 04 2011 12:14 PM

Hello, hello, you who are about to do a marvelous show, we salute you.

As History's Most Loyal Q2 Supporter, may I just make one gentle, loving, and irritating observation? Short of holding a block party at the Thomas Edison Rest Stop and Service Plaza on the Turnpike -- at rush hour -- I cannot think of a less felicitous hour in which to shoot our fair Olivia out of her Canon each week.

I mean Monday. 10a. Careers, work, traffic, the struggle for consciousness, the allure of oblivion, did I mention Monday?

OK, that's off my chest, I feel much better now, all good, totally looking forward, all flags flying, keep up the good work ... just maybe reconsider that programming decision, you can change it, you know we'll follow you anywhere. :-)

Apr. 04 2011 09:57 AM

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