Two World Premieres and many, many raves

May 2, 2013

April has been busy and gratifying for AOP and we are just about a third of the way through our 25th year (stay tuned for announcements about anniversary events). Just as we finished up workshops for our upcoming July premiere of The Blind at Lincoln Center Festival, two AOP-developed works received their world premieres at regional opera companies. Even better, they are resounding successes. AOP develops new work and partners with companies across the country because of leadership support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and many generous individuals.

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Present Music and Milwaukee Opera Theater co-produced Judgment of Midas on April 12 & 13. The extravagant, Turkish influenced music by composer Kamran Ince supplies “an orgiastic climax as crazed and hair-raising as anything I’ve heard in all of opera” (ThirdCoastDaily.com). It is a large scale comedy with six principles and a small chorus.

UrbanArias began two week premiere run of a chamber opera, Paul’s Case, at Artisphere in Arlington, VA (Washington, DC) on April 20. Based on a story by Willa Cather, Paul’s Case is

“…an arresting little piece that communicates its haunting story with clarity and a sense of inevitability.” (The Washington Post)

“Composer Gregory Spears combines minimalism, baroque gestures, and extended vocal techniques into a distinctive and pungent musical language . . . the overall pacing is taut, the nine-piece orchestration vivid and the denouement appropriately wrenching.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“The words ‘world premiere’ don’t always translate to ‘Must-See,’ but in the case of Paul’s Case… they’re synonymous.” (DC Metro Theater Arts)

“…the piece is nearly ready to claim a place in the chamber opera repertoire – thanks to a long-haul development process for which American Opera Projects deserves much credit.” (Arts Journal)

READ THE FULL REVIEWS FOR PAUL’S CASE

Visit AOP First Chance to follow the next round of operas on their way to premiere productions!


MIDAS composer strikes gold with Arts and Letters Award

March 7, 2013

Last Friday, The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced  AOP composer Kamran Ince  (pictured) as one of four composers who will receive a $7500 Arts and Letters Award in Music, which honors outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice.  Each will receive an additional $7500 toward the recording of one work.  The winners were selected by a committee of Academy members:  Ezra Laderman (chairman), Samuel Adler, David Del Tredici, John Harbison, Tania Leon, Fred Lerdahl, and Joan Tower.   The awards will be presented at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May.  Candidates for music awards are nominated by the 250 members of the Academy.

From the Academy’s press release:

The energy and rawness of Turkish and Balkan music, the spirituality of Byzantium and Ottoman music, the tradition of European art music and the extravert and popular qualities of the American psyche are the basis of Kamran Ince’s sound world. These ingredients happily breathe in cohesion as they spin the linear and vertical contrasts so essential to his works. Ince is Professor of Composition at University of Memphis and at MIAM, Istanbul Technical University. His prizes include the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Lili Boulanger Prize. Five recent Naxos CD’s are devoted to his music.

Present Music and Milwaukee Opera Theatre will premiere his opera, Judgment of Midas, in April, 2013.  Judgment of Midas was developed in American Opera Projects‘ First Chance program with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Gold Streak for “Judgment of Midas”

May 4, 2010

Midas and Apollo

King Midas listens to the music of the god Apollo

American Opera Projects’ opera-in-progress, Judgment of Midas, has just added Berkeley Opera as another development partner!  In addition to this new promising partnership, AOP has also been invited to Ankara, Turkey for the orchestra concert of  Judgment of Midas!  The invitation was extended to AOP by the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, who will be performing the opera’s orchestration  in January of 2011.  Judgment of Midas is the result of a successful collaboration between composer Kamran Ince and librettist Miriam Seidel.  The opera depicts the musical competition of rivals Apollo (the maker of the god’s music) and Pan (maker of “street” music) on Mount Tmolus in Sardis, Turkey.  The opera’s dramatic appeal and Mediterranean setting made it the perfect work to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Sardis/Lydia excavations, scheduled for production in 2010.  If that isn’t enough excitement for one show, Judgment of Midas has also attracted the interest of NAXOS, who would like to commission a recording of the work within the next few seasons!  J. David Jackson (conductor of Simon Boccanegra at the Met this year) and Jonathan Khuner (fresh from a run as prompter for “Lulu” at the Met) will make a great addition to the Midas team as music directors.

Judgment of Midas made its NYC debut at OPERA America’s Trustee Board dinner on February 20. To read more about this star-studded event, read our past news page here.


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