Some more exciting news…
What a joy to make music again with Cantor David Goldstein!
Cantor Goldstein has been such a huge influence on my musical life since I became bar mitzvah at Temple Beth Zion in Buffalo, New York almost 20 years ago (!) and it was an honor to be there for the premiere of my “Three Poems of Yehuda Amichai” at North Shore Congregation Israel last month. Please enjoy the video of this wonderful performance:
Friends: the fabulous Aurea Silva Trio is playing my piece again tonight at the White Lake Chamber Music Festival! This great group has performed all over the Midwest and at IDRS 2013 and are great champions of new music. Wish them break a leg with me!
Thanks to Thompson Street Opera Company for a great performance of “Ile” this weekend!
“The score is Italian verismo, updated and made American through language, O’Neill’s inescapably stark New England and composer Donner’s own gift at establishing mood and tone. The music strongly hints of Puccini and his disciples. It draws one in, being melodic, lushly orchestrated and dramatic, eminently suited to O’Neill’s tragic material.”
from a review by Peter Jacobi, HeraldTimesOnline.com, May 7, 2014 –
“2 New Operas Provide Food for Thought, Fun”
“Ile,” pronounced with a broad “I,” sets to music a play by Eugene O’Neill. “Ile” is the way the central character, the captain of a whaling ship in the 1890s, pronounces “oil.” He is fanatic when it comes to filling the ship with whale oil; there can be no return to home, he decrees, without the oil, no matter what the circumstances. It so happens, on this particular journey, the ship gets caught in ice for an extended period, causing the trip to become endless enough for the crew to consider mutiny and the captain’s wife, who had begged to come along rather than once again be left alone for a matter of months, to lose her mind, literally.
The score is Italian verismo, updated and made American through language, O’Neill’s inescapably stark New England and composer Donner’s own gift at establishing mood and tone. The music strongly hints of Puccini and his disciples. It draws one in, being melodic, lushly orchestrated and dramatic, eminently suited to O’Neill’s tragic material.
A chamber ensemble of 12 instrumentalists complemented the vocals, thanks to the score itself and to conductor Carlos Andres Botero. He and stage director David Kote gave the cast sufficient underpinning to make O’Neill’s six troubled characters once again come to life. Baritone Reuben Walker and soprano Natalie Weinberg as Captain Keeney and his wife entered totally into that unhappy world. So did bass-baritone Andrew Richardson as a grumpy, griping seaman and baritone Ryan Kieran as Keeney’s supportive Second Mate. Baritone Bruno Sandes and tenor Jake Gadomski added their portrayals of other seamen caught on the gloomy vessel.
Tune in today at noon to hear Ben Smith, Eric Lindsay, and me on WFIU talk about our upcoming premieres with the New Voices Opera!
On Saturday, March 29, the fabulous Akropolis Quintet will premiere a new composition of mine at Heidelberg University in Tifflin, Ohio.
The composition is entitled Street Beat and was composed as part of the Quintet’s Project Sonata commissioning project.
The quintet’s latest release, Unraveled, is available now on CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.
The Aurea Silva Trio is an innovative chamber ensemble consisting of flute, bassoon and piano. The trio is committed to popularizing the existing pieces for this instrumentation, and are excited to commission collaborative projects with modern composers in their efforts to expand the repertoire for this ensemble.
Hope you’ll tune in with me at 10 AM Eastern!