Listen: Experiments in Radio Operas Premieres

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Joan La Barbara performs John King's "Ping" at Experiments in Opera Radio Opera series at Abrons Art Center

Each evening from March 17-22 at 8 pm, Q2 Music presents Experiments in Opera: Radio Operas - 6 innovative opera miniatures crafted especially with an "ears only" audience in mind.

Following each premiere, the music will be made available for on-demand listening below. View the complete Radio Opera premiere schedule and hear a Mixtape from Experiments in Opera founders Jason Cady, Aaron Siegel and Matthew Welch.

Monday: Aaron SiegelThe Collector
In The Collector, a character delivers a wild and delusional monologue detailing his dangerous obsession with stamp collecting. The natural rhythms of the spoken text are mimicked in increasing accuracy by the instruments in the ensemble. Performed by Karl Larson, piano; Matt Evans, percussion; Jamie Jordan, soprano; Aaron Siegel, narrator.

Tuesday: Matthew WelchThe Mutt
The Mutt takes as its subject freestyle skateboarder Rodney Mullen, who invented the vocabulary of modern skateboarding, endured family abuse in his youth, led a double life as a burgeoning biomedical engineer, and now is an established inventor. Performed by James Moore and Taylor Levine, electric guitar; Matthew Welch, spoken word; Matt Otto, electro-acoustically sequenced “Foley” skateboarding sounds.

Wednesday: Paul PintoThomas Paine in Violence
A mad psychedelic depiction of the final days of the American founding father’s life. Paine – portrayed by a woman spurting speech, operatic vignettes and a number of extended vocal techniques – transports “herself” through space and time, including on “her” deathbed in 1809, the Stock Market of 2008, and the future. Scored for singer and electronics and featuring Joan La Barbara and Miguel Frasconi.

Thursday: John KingPing
Scored for soprano, percussion, viola and electronics, Ping is an adaptation of a Samuel Beckett short story written in a stream of abstract imagery and thoughts. This performance uses musical substitutions to punctuate the flow of the spoken text and features soprano Joan La Barbara and electronics by John King.

Friday: Jason Cady and Ann Heppermann I Need Space
I Need Space tells the story of a couple moving to a Martian colony but breaking up on the way there. It is set in an alternate present: 2014 as it had been imagined by science fiction writers in the 1950s. Performed by Vince B. Vincent, tenor; Erin Flannery, soprano; Mary Halvorson, guitar; Karl Larson, piano; Jason Cady, modular synthesizer; Matt Otto, Foley.

Saturday: Jonathan MitchellThe Extractor
The Extractor tells the story of a guy who has figured out a way to extract sounds from objects. By inserting a needle into a wall (for example), he can measure the microscopic effects of variations of air pressure over time, and hear conversations that took place in that room. Performed by Matt Evans, percussion; Shawn Lovato, double bass, Isabel Kim, clarinet; actors Ed Herbstman, Dennis Pacheco, Annemarie Cullen, Kevin Cragg and Rebecca Robles.