Experiments in Opera Announces 2013-14 Season

August 4th, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »

IMG_2485Experiments in Opera announces their 2013-14 Season and yearlong residency at Abrons Arts Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  The residency will feature three performance programs of new works of experimental opera including an evening of opera choruses in partnership with VisionIntoArt (Chorus of All Souls, November 2, 2013), a showcase of opera shorts for the radio (Radio Operas, February 28 – March 1, 2014), and the premiere of an evening length opera that has been in development with EiO for the past two seasons (Brother Brother, May 2-3, 2014). A $60 three event subscription (savings of $15) will be available starting August 12 at www.AbronsArtsCenter.org.These mainstage programs will be augmented throughout the year by supporting videos, photos and writings that will help to contextualize the works in progress and by three free public programs (Opera in Dialogue) aimed to build dialogue between the composers, writers, performers, directors and designers working in the hybrid space of experimental opera. Experiments in Opera will partner with online magazine CultureBot.org for these public programs,which will take place in in the Abrons Arts Center Experimental Theater. Opera in Dialogue #1 will take place Sunday October 27 from 7 – 9 PM. The second and third evenings of this series will be announced shortly. The Abrons Arts Center, located at 466 Grand Street, New York, NY, is the performing and visual arts program of Henry Street Settlement. The Abrons supports the presentation of innovative, multi-disciplinary work; cultivates artists in all stages of their creative development through educational programs, commissions, and residencies; and serves as an intersection of cultural engagement for local, national, and international audiences and arts-workers.  For more information, call (212) 598-0400 or visit www.AbronsArtsCenter.org.


Chorus of All Souls
Saturday November 2, 2013, 8pm
Abrons Art Center Playhouse. Tickets are $30.
In celebration of the Day of All Souls and the close of Hallowmas, EiO, in partnership with VisionIntoArt, presents a semi-staged production of John Zorn’s The Holy Visions, an exhilarating choral opera based on the writings and work of the medieval mystic and composer, Hildegard von Bingen.  “Chorus of All Souls” will also include the premiere of When No One Around You is There by Jessica Pavone which utilizes the chorus as an abstract metaphor for the human predicament and two semi-staged choral operas: Jason Cady’s Nostalgia Kills You, a comedy about a man and his zombie ex-girlfriend and Matthew Welch’s Reanimator Requiem which merges the mass for the dead with H.P. Lovecraft’s cult classic.

Radio Operas
February 28 – March 1, 2014, 8pm
Abrons Arts Center Underground Theater. Tickets are $20
This program of radio operas will feature works that include spoken texts, sound effects and music and draw on the audiences’ imagination to create vivid stage images. Commissioned artists will include Jonathan Mitchell of “The Truth” podcast, Jason Cady and Ann Heppermann, Aaron Siegel, John King, Paul Pinto and Matthew Welch.

Brother Brother
May 2-3, 2014, 8pm
Abrons Art Center Playhouse. Tickets are $25.
This program will feature a full production of EiO co-founder Aaron Siegel’s evening length opera, Brother Brother directed by Mallory Catlett, with design by Mimi Lien and performances by Mantra Percussion and Cadillac Moon Ensemble.  Brother Brother, which has been in development with Experiments in Opera for the last two seasons, explores the relationship between Orville and Wilbur Wright following their first flights in 1903.  This fascinating story of business, family and legal fights is layered over a secondary story of contemporary brotherhood and the complexities of growing up with an unusual idea of brotherly intimacy.EiO will commission four video ‘Opera Trailers’ from Matthew Welch, Dave Ruder, Daniel Kushner and Jason Cady to open each Brother Brother program.


Co-founded by composers Matthew Welch, Jason Cady, and Aaron Siegel, Experiments in Opera is a composer-driven initiative, featuring recent and new works with innovative answers to the traditional questions about how to connect words, story and music. Our activities respond to the pronounced need to nurture composers who are exploring musical work beyond a strictly concert setting, but furthermore into the hybrid genre of opera. Additionally Experiments in Opera builds supportive and informed audiences that are capable of contributing to its work.In its first two programming seasons, Experiments in Opera has presented the work of more than 12 composers in three large-scale presentations aimed at expanding the collective understanding of experimental opera. Venues have included Le Poisson Rouge, Roulette, and Issue Project Room, and have featured works by composers Jason Cady, Aaron Siegel, Matthew Welch, Georges Aperghis, John Zorn, Robert Ashley, Joe Diebes, Ruby Fulton, Gabrielle Herbst, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Justin Tierney, Leaha Maria Villarreal and the Cough Button collective. Also featured were performances by pianist Emily Manzo, singer Erin Flannery, drummer Brian Chase, Hotel Elefant, and the performance collective Why Lie?All of the work developed with Experiments in Opera is documented extensively in videos, images and writings that are available in an online catalogue at experimentsinopera.com.  These insightful looks into the origins of artists’ ideas and their working habits help to support EIO’s mission of building a more robust conversation about how and why opera works the way it does. www.ExperimentsInOpera.com.

VisionIntoArt, “always intriguing and frequently beguiling” is a multimedia production company that “facilitates flamboyant, confounding and enticing collaborations” (New York Times). With the belief that collaboration sustains artistic innovation, VIA creates and commissions works that involve various disciplines, presented around the world for the general audience, and forged from the most exciting emerging and established artists living today. Since Paola Prestini co-founded the company in 1999 at the Juilliard School, VIA has created and performed over fifty original works. VIA’s works have been seen at Lincoln Center, the Barbican Centre, the Atlas Theater, HIFA, in Zimbabwe, and the Kennedy Center. VIA’s works have toured to colleges and universities in the US, and to international festivals such as Apertif in Concerto at Teatro Manzoni, Etna Fest in Italy, and BEMUS in Belgrade, Serbia. Support for VIA comes from the National Endowment of the Arts, Cary Trust for New Music, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the New York State Council on the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, American Music Center, ASCAP, the BMI Fund, the Kenan Institute, Nathan Cummings Foundation, National Video Resources, the Council on Foundations, the Amphion Foundation and individual donors www.visionintoart.com

Lucky Plush Participates in “Summer Cubed” with Lookingglass and the Inconvenience

August 4th, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »
September 3, 2013
6:00 pm


On September 3 at 6:00 pm, Lucky Plush Productions will perform alongside Lookingglass Theatre, Manuel Cinema, The New Colony, and The Inconvenience as part of Summer Cubed, an exploration of arts and media at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts. The Logan Center is  located at 915 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL. Audiences will move from space to space in the Logan Center to experience three works-in-progress, and are invited to join the artists for food and drink in the courtyard immediately following. Tickets are free with a reservation. Free tickets are available at summercubed.eventbrite.com. Especially for Northsiders, a bus will be provided at Coopers, 1232 W Belmont, Chicago IL 60657 at 5:30pm (the bar opens at 4:30pm), returning to Coopers at 9:30pm from the Logan Center. This project is supported by a grant from the Arts Council and The Logan Center.

The Better Half 1_Cheryl Mann

Lucky Plush Productions is a Chicago-based ensemble dance theater company led by founder and Artistic Director Julia Rhoads. We are committed to provoking and supporting an immediacy of presence — a palpable liveness — shared by performers in real-time with our audiences. Since founding in 1999, Lucky Plush has premiered over 30 original works including performance installations, 2 dance films, and 10 evening-length productions. Recent and upcoming presentations of the company’s work include Spoleto Festival/USA (SC), Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (MA), DANCECleveland (OH), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (IL), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD), NPN Conference/Painted Bride (PA), Jacob’s Pillow (MA), Hancher Auditorium (IA), Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago (IL), Steppenwolf Garage (IL), Joyce SoHo (NYC), Grace Street Theater (VA), Spring to Dance (MO), Cusp Conference (IL), College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University (MN), the Chicago Humanities Festival, and an international exchange with the Dance and Physical Theatre Trust of New Zealand, among others. Lucky Plush has also collaborated with Lookingglass Theater, Redmoon Theater, Walkabout Theater, and the interdisciplinary collective M5.hat is richly and uncompromisingly complex while also being accessible to broad audiences. Our work is often recognized for its playful interactions, surprising humor and incisive commentary on contemporary culture. The Chicago Tribune referred to Lucky Plush’s work as “A terrific odyssey, full of amusing, varied and tireless dancing by a troupe of dancers who ably double as comics.”

Inna Faliks Plays Prokofiev at Peninsula

August 1st, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »
August 15, 2013
8:00 pm

XQyD6uZ8rCs8xD8CHlSund5XXmgC6Tyn1HEWY0dpuqMQSmo4oAtA90rME3d4iJ_AyYQF3XegEfxUUl0h62TTdA8JOzildaS3vXg_ex-bQ4ve_eFn1uXb0jRVm6JHMSvXE0K130HdnkljSk-uGOwEJJv_hz7j_AVeM6gUsFTl6W-cOn Thursday, August 15, Inna Faliks will make her Peninsula Music Festival debut. Fresh from her debut at the Newport Music Festival, Faliks looks forward to the all-Prokofiev program, which includes two “athletic and exhilarating” concerti by the Russian composer.

The concert will take place at 8:00 pm at the Door Community Auditorium, 3926 Wisonsin 42, Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Tickets are $10-60. A pre-concert talk will take place at 6:30 pm, available with the purchase of an additional $5 ticket.


Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 10, D-flat Major
Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 26, C Major
Prokofiev, Symphony No. 6, Op. 11, e-flat minor

Called “adventurous” and “passionate” by The New Yorker, Ukrainian-born, New York City based pianist Inna Faliks has established herself as one of the most passionately committed, exciting and poetic artists of her generation. After acclaimed her teenage debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra , she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Critics praise her “courage to take risks, expressive intensity and technical perfection” (General Anzeiger, Bonn), “Infusing every note with brilliance and personality,” (Hilton Head Competition Review), “poetry and panoramic vision” (Washington Post), “riveting passion, playfulness” (Baltimore Sun) and her “virtuosity, humor, lyricism and a way to make every note an important part of the texture of the music.” (Free Times, South Carolina). Her critically acclaimed CD on MSR Classics, Sound of Verse, was released in 2009, featuring music of Boris Pasternak, Rachmaninoff and Ravel. Her discography also includes a recital recording for the Yamaha Disklavier library. Her new Beethoven disc will be out this year. Future recording projects also include a Chopin solo and cello sonatas recording with cellist Wendy Warner, and a disc of commissioned piano works for her poetry-music series, Music/Words.

Ms. Faliks’s distinguished career has taken her to thousands of recitals and concerti in prestigious venues in the US as well as in France, Italy, Switzerland, Ukraine, Estonia, Japan, as well as Russia. She has been featured on WQXR, WNYC, WFMT and many international television broadcasts, and has performed in major venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Concert Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris’ Salle Cortot, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and in many important festivals such as Verbier, Brevard, Taos, IKIF at Mannes, Bargemusic, and Chautauqua. She recently co-starred with Downton Abbey star Lesley Nicol in “Admission – One Shilling” , a play for pianist and actor about the life of Dame Myra Hess, the great British pianist. Her performance was described by Chicago Classical Music as “subtle and powerful, poised, beautiful, graceful and effortless.” She has played concerti under the batons of many conductors including Leonard Slatkin, Keith Lockhart, Edward Polochick, Daniel Meyer, Victor Yampolsky, and many others. Her chamber music partnerships include work with Fred Sherry, Ilya Kaler, Colin Carr, Wendy Warner, Nathaniel Rosen, Nina Beilina and others. Ms. Faliks is a Yamaha Artist. Her 2012-13 season engagements include Newport Festival, Le Poisson Rouge, a tour of Canada, return engagements in Salle Cortot in Paris, with Minnesota Sinfonia, at the Peninsula Festival in Door County and at Baruch College in NYC. Next season, her performances include debuts in Israel and China.

Committed to innovative programming, rarely heard and new music, as well as audience communication and education, Faliks has premiered 13 Ways of Looking at the Goldberg, variations by acclaimed contemporary composers, on Bach’s Aria, at LACMA, Los Angeles; she gave the New York premiere of the work at Bargemusic and the Chicago premiere on WFMT radio. Ms. Faliks performed and recorded the unknown piano works of Russian poet Boris Pasternak, presenting his music at lecture recitals in conjunction with the University of Chicago. At the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies, she presented “Three Jewish Composers – Three Centuries”, giving the North American premiere of Ilya Levinson’s Shtetle Suite and the world premiere of Lev Ljova Zhurbin’s Sirota for piano and historical recording, written for her. She went on to create a one-woman show, including Jewish composers and her own essays, performing at Baruch Performance Center’s “Solo in the City – Jewish Women, Jewish Stars” Festival in NYC.

She was the winner of many prestigious competitions, including the Hilton Head International Competition and the coveted International Pro Musicis Award 2005. Ms. Faliks is the founder and curator of the LMCC award winning interdisciplinary series Music/Words – www.musicwordsnyc.com . This poetry-music series goes into its 5th NYC season, and has been described as “surreal, impactful, and relevant…she played with her signature blend of lithe grace and raw power” (Lucid Culture) Her long standing relationship with WFMT radio has led to yearly broadcasts of Music/Words, which she produces.

Faliks’s teachers included Ann Schein, Leon Fleisher, Gilbert Kalish and Boris Petrushansky. This year, Faliks joins the illustrious faculty of UCLA, Herb Albert School of Music, as tenured Associate Professor of Piano, and next year she will tour China.

Flutist/Dancer Zara Lawler in New Orleans

August 1st, 2013 by Peter McDowell No comments »
August 9, 2013
8:00 am
August 10, 2013
8:30 am

ZaraOn August 9, in a program entitled The Poetic Flute,  Zara Lawler performs her staged version of composer Edie Hill’s This Floating World, five solo flute pieces with haiku by Japanese master Basho in an inventive and fully choreographed setting. On August 10, she presents Memorization: Theory, Practice and Performance, her methodical and effective technique for memorization, empowering musicians to perform confidently from memory. Both events take place as part of the National Flute Association’s Annual Convention at the New Orleans Marriott, 555 Canal St. Both programs are open to the public.

Ground-breaking flutist Zara Lawler, “an engaging, fluent, mellifluous soloist,” (Houston Chronicle) made her concerto debut with the Houston Symphony and her recital debut at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall. A recognized leader in the emerging field of interdisciplinary performance, Lawler has collaborated with choreographers, composers and stage directors to create new and adventurous concert experiences. Recently, Lawler directed a site-specific performance for 104 flutists of Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino’s “Il Cerchio Tagliato Dei Suoni” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and appeared in family performances for the New York Philharmonic and for the Kennedy Center.

Lawler’s interdisciplinary performances, in which she plays, dances and acts, have been created in collaboration with choreographer C. Neil Parsons, stage director Gary Race, and composers Randall Woolf, Jerome Kitzke, and Alla Borzova among others. For many years, Lawler was the flutist and Co-Artistic Director of Tales & Scales, the innovative ensemble for children and family audiences. With T&S, she performed and co-created seven full-length works that integrated contemporary classical music with dance and theater, an experience described by New Music Connoisseur as “an enthrallingly visual and acoustic joy.” Lawler performed with T&S in some of the most prestigious venues in the country, including the Kennedy Center, the Kravis Center, TriBeca Performing Arts Center, and the Orange County Performing Arts Center and with the Atlanta, Utah, Indianapolis, and Oregon Symphonies, and the Buffalo Philharmonic.

Lawler has given solo recitals in New York, Santa Barbara, Hong Kong, and throughout the US, and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as the Houston Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Lawler spent two summers at the Marlboro School of Music, and has been a guest artist with eighth blackbird. Her critically acclaimed duo with marimbist Paul J. Fadoul (Lawler & Fadoul) is frequently heard in Washington, DC and New York City, and last year was in residence at Yellow Barn in Vermont.

Cellist Cabezas at Beethoven Festival

July 31st, 2013 by Sam Zelitch No comments »
September 8, 2013
12:00 pm
12:00 pm
September 9, 2013
6:00 pm
6:00 pm
September 13, 2013
8:30 pm
8:30 pm
September 14, 2013
7:30 pm
7:30 pm

130508_PCMS_season_cover_011On September 8 and 9, 2013, cellist Gabriel Cabezas will perform two separate concerts as part of the International Beethoven Project’s Beethoven Festival LOVE 2013, presented by the International Beethoven Project. A native Chicagoan, and recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Cabezas was the 2012 winner of the Sphinx Competition, Senior Division. On Sunday, September 8 at noon, Cabezas will give a recital alongside pianist Nicolas Roth, performing works by Janacek, Messiaen, Debussy, and Shostakovich. Then, on September 9 at 6:00 pm, he will perform in Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Schnittke’s String Trio, and Beethoven’s Piano Trio Opus 70, No. 2.

Both concerts will take place at Merit School of Music’s Joy Faith Knapp Music Center (38 S. Peoria Street, Chicago) dubbed “Ludwig’s Salon” during the course of this Festival, September 7-15. Ticket prices vary and students and children can receive free admission. For more information, please call (312)-772-5821 or email ibp@internationalbeethovenproject.com.



Gabriel Cabezas, cello, and Nicolas Roth, piano
Leos Janacek, Pohadka
Claude Debussy, Sonata in D Minor
Olivier Messiaen, Praise to the Eternity of Jesus (from Quartet for the End of Time)
Dmitri Shostakovich, Sonata in D Minor

George Lepauw, Piano / Nikki Chooi, Violin / Matthew Lipman, Viola / Gabriel Cabezas, Cello
Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Trio Opus 70 Number 2
Alfred Schnittke, String Trio
Robert Schumann, Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Opus 47

NOTE: Cabezas will also serve as principal cellist of the Beethoven Festival Orchestra under the baton of Matthias Pintscher on September 13th, 8:30pm and 14th, 7:30pm at the Chicago Temple, 77 W Washington St #2, Chicago, IL.

Cellist Gabriel Cabezas has appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, the National Symphony of Costa Rica, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the New World Symphony, and the Nashville Symphony, among others. Cabezas has been portrayed as “…an intense player who connects to the music naturally, without artifice, and brings a singing line to the cello” (David Stabler, The Oregonian) and his debut performance with the Cleveland Orchestra described as a “…remarkably poised and elegant account, with superb attention to phrasing, nuance and tonal coloration” (Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer).

A passion for chamber music and collaboration has taken him to Marlboro Music, Music@Menlo, Music from Angel Fire, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, Bargemusic, and Chicago’s Symphony Center Presents series. His television appearances include performances with Yo-Yo Ma at “The Tavis Smiley Show” and “Good Morning America”, and with Béla Fleck in “From The Top – Carnegie Hall.”

2013-14 season highlights include a subscription debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as a return to Chicago’s International Beethoven Festival and the annual Sphinx Virtuosi national tour. Cabezas’ 2012-13 engagements included concerts with the Detroit Symphony, the Nashville Symphony and the National Symphony of Costa Rica, as well as appearances with Musicians from Marlboro, at the International Beethoven Festival, and ChamberFest Cleveland.

Formerly a recipient of an Education Grant by the Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation, Cabezas has supported music outreach and education programs including Midori’s Partners in Performance, the Sphinx Organization, Costa Rica’s national SINEM music education program, and Chicago’s Citizen Musician movement. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Carter Brey. As a writer, Cabezas has been featured in Teen Strings Magazine and has been a contributing writer for Strings Magazine.

The International Beethoven Project, led by President and Artistic Director George Lepauw, will present over 100 events spanning classical and new music, visual art, fashion, literature and education for Beethoven Festival: LOVE 2013 — the organization’s third annual multidisciplinary festival inspired by the creativity and genius of Ludwig van Beethoven, Sept. 7­-15, 2013.