Anna Rabinowitz, Wonder Poet

December 17, 2010

“A storm careens from the east
and acid rains make vegetation cower.
Asphodel, rose, columbine
Lie down among dandelions…”

Violence, desire, and destruction.  And so writes AOP favorite Anna Rabinowitz, whose latest poetry book “Present Tense”, published by Omnidawn, was named by Anis Shivani in The Huffington Post as one of The 17 Most Important Poetry Books of Fall 2010. Stating that “Rabinowitz does apocalypse so well I can’t get enough of it,” Shivani goes on to point out themes of barbarism vs. civilization that emerge in Rabinowitz’s latest work, explaining that she has “the audacity to recognize how battered we have become by the inextricable link between desire and destruction.”

In addition to her literary fame, Rabinowitz is no stranger to American Opera Projects, after having her second book Darkling made into an AOP opera, with her third book The Wanton Sublime currently in development as a monodrama with music by Tarik O’Regan.

Anna, your high school English teacher would be proud.

(“Notes: Coercive Counterintelligence Interrogation of Resistant Sources”)

You Will Meet A Tall, Dark Librettist…

December 2, 2010

…named Tom Phillips, and you will buy his new iPad app.

Not convinced?  Well, look no further than A Humument, one of the latest additions to the iPad collection based on Phillips’ infamous fine art book of the same name.

(More on the librettist part later.)

Considered to be a “seminal classic of postmodern art,” the multi-talented British artist created the hard copy of A Humument in 1966 when he decided to find a second-hand book for exactly three pence and physically alter each page through collage techniques in order to create an entirely new version.  The lucky original (which was found in a South London junk shop) was an 1892 obscurity by W. H. Mallock entitled A Human Document, and the first edition of the transformed version was published in 1973 as A Humument.  A Human Document = A Hum(an Doc)ument = A Humument.

Developed by Phillips and John Bowring, the iPad version features 367 full color pages and a new interactive feature, The Oracle (cue spooky music).  Similar to I Ching, the ancient Chinese Book of Changes, The Oracle randomly selects two pages of A Humument to act as a guide for life, luck, and…love?  Only The Oracle knows.

Oh, and by the way, in addition to being a well-known artist, Mr. Phillips also wrote the libretto for AOP’s First Chance opera-in-development Heart of Darkness, a new opera composed by Tarik O’Regan and based on the novella by Joseph Conrad.  Which will have its world premiere at the Linbury Studio Theater in 2011.  Talk about multi-tasking.  And multi-talented.

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