This week on The New Canon, we look forward to the U.S. premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's opera Kommilitonen! with featured soprano Deanna Breiwick and conductor Anne Manson. With an opera based around three revolutions and a trailblazing female conductor at the helm, we ask these two music-makers: Is new music bridging the gender gap found among conductors and repertoire? And are we approaching a truly equal-opportunity era for classical music?
Women in classical music always seem to be kind of a big deal. It makes sense: The genre has long been a boys' club and was slow on the uptake. Long after Ms. hit newsstands and glass ceilings began to get shattered. But could the new-music scene be bridging that gap?
In the midst of this, we have the US premiere of a new opera (yay!) based on three interlaced cultural revolutions, written by the politically zealous and the musically incisive Peter Maxwell Davies, running at Juilliard this month. Worlds collide when Anne Manson, the first female conductor at the Salzburg Festival and one of three women to have been appointed Music Director of a leading American symphony, takes the podium for this premiere. In conjunction with rising soprano Deanna Breiwick, who sings the role of Sophie in Kommilitonen!, we'll talk about the opera's genesis, revolutionary spirit, and greater implications for gender in the concert hall.
Join the conversation in the window below or via Twitter with the hashtag #q2new. Want to get a head start? Leave your questions in the comments below and we'll address them at the top of the chat.