Love by List: More on MODEL LOVE

September 23, 2011

This week, another round of changes on Facebook set that site’s social media community on edge. As FB members scramble to sort out how to turn off the ticker, the Model Lovelies have been forging ahead and I’m happy to say: we just keep getting better!

Sunday’s orchestra read-through went well. Up until now, we’ve had nothing but midi files from David to listen to in preparing these songs. While those files were helpful in getting an outline of the piece, they can’t capture the range of colors and textures that emerge when the full ensemble comes together: smoky, dirty, dreamy, tender, edgy, and just a bit quirky, MODEL LOVE has it all. I left the rehearsal room feeling much like you might after a good date: a smile on my face, my interest piqued, and my appetite whetted to know more.

Jeremy and Rose at staging rehearsal

Staging rehearsals continue to satisfy. As we map-out blocking and refine our gestures, themes begin to emerge: of frustrated desires and missed opportunities, of longing and the inability to connect. With this week’s infamous FB changes fresh in everyone’s minds, I can’t help but think how right MODEL LOVE is for this moment. Take these lines from Greg Gerbrandt‘s fantastic number “Love by List,” for example:

You’re new to my list of acquaintances

let us list the things we have in common.

I like your lists – here is a list of good points I’ve spotted

here is a list of things for us to say, and a list of other lists that

will come in handy.

I love you, see under list no. 14

for response. 

You are not responding correctly

have you read your lists? Here is a

list of things you are doing wrong.

To which I say: do something right.  Get off Facebook for an evening and come on out to MODEL LOVE on October 2nd!  I promise you won’t regret it…

more soon,

Rose


Behind the scenes photos from Model Love – Sep 21, 2011

September 22, 2011

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The Enticement of Hollows & Shadows: MODEL LOVE Gets Up on Its Feet

September 17, 2011
Rosalie Sullivan

"wildirishrose99"

Greetings from the front lines! The premiere of David Jackson‘s song-cycle MODEL LOVE is a mere two weeks away. As you can imagine, we Model Lovers have been hard at work for some time preparing this piece for its debut at the Kaplan Penthouse on October 2nd. Much of that preparation was done in isolation: days and nights spent learning vocal lines, pulling apart texts, counting complex rhythms (insert this mezzo’s gratitude for the creators of the visual metronome who helped restore my ability to learn polyrhythms), and (in one instance earlier this week) memorizing a trio while on the elliptical machine at the gym! Last night was therefore a particularly gratifying moment, as the cast gathered for our first staging rehearsal.

“There is miracle in personality” sings our tenor, Jeremy Little, in the cycle’s opening number. It is a song about the mystery of attraction, an attempt to explain that unmistakable spark that arises in a moment and draws us inexorably to another person. Getting these songs up on their feet last night, I felt something of that magic: how satisfying it was to finally begin physicalizing together what had previously only existed as a collection of notes and words in my mind! Questions I’ve had for weeks began to be answered, as we three fumbled and found our way, putting flesh on Henry Normal’s heady texts and creating emotional connections for ourselves under the expert guidance of our director, Crystal Manich.

There was something of this sensation when we came together for our first musical run-through a few weeks ago: we all remarked how much easier the music became when we could hear and play off of each other. What pleasure there was in feeling the sound gel and savoring those delicious moments of dissonance that pepper David’s vocal writing! With each successive rehearsal, we add a new layer, the piece makes more sense, and I am increasingly excited to see where we will wind up.

Tomorrow we’re in for another treat as we sit in on the first orchestra rehearsal: so many new colors and textures to enjoy!  “The enticement of hollows and shadows” indeed … how lucky we are to go exploring in their depths!

More to come soon…

Rose


Funny, sexy MODEL LOVE to premiere at Lincoln Center w NORA by its side

September 16, 2011

J. David Jackson's MODEL LOVE premieres October 2. IMAGE: Erik and Julie, NYC, 2006, Photograph by Skye Parrott

On Sunday, October 2, 4pm and 7:30pm, American Opera Projects will present the world premiere of Model Love, a humorous staged song-cycle about contemporary relationships with jazz and rock elements by composer J. David Jackson based on texts by British comedian Henry Normal, and the one-act opera monodrama Nora, In the Great Outdoors, music by Daniel Felsenfeld and libretto by Will Eno, that continues the final scene of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House moments after Nora abandons her family. The event will be held at Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. Tickets are $25, $50 for VIP reserve seating, available at www.operaprojects.org.

“Fun, energetic and curious song cycle interested in M-M-W threesome. R U what I M looking 4?” Model Love is a 30-minute song cycle fusing contemporary art song with blues, jazz ,and rock set for three singers (mezzo-soprano Rosalie Sullivan, baritone Gregory Gerbrandt, and tenor Jeremy Little) chamber orchestra and rock band. Based on texts from Nude Modelling for the Afterlife by BAFTA award winning poet/comedian Henry Normal with music by J. David Jackson, Model Love mixes musical styles and genres in a way that humorously (and accurately) represents the variegated emotions and situations of contemporary love affairs. J. David Jackson conducts.

Nora, In the Great Outdoors

Kirsten Chambers will sing the title role in the Felsenfeld/Eno monodrama

Using an icy climate crossed with a fragile-yet-eruptive emotional state of mind as musical grist, Nora, In the Great Outdoors is a take on the ending of Ibsen’s seminal “A Doll’s House,” especially its famous final stage direction, the first collaboration between composer Daniel Felsenfeld and playwright Will Eno. The monodrama takes over immediately where Ibsen leaves off, when the heroine abandons her family, her marriage her security, and perhaps the most famous slammed door in the history of drama. Commissioned by American Opera Projects, Nora, In the Great Outdoors, is a monodrama for soprano and piano trio and will star Kirsten Chambers in the title role. Keith Chambers conducts.


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.


AOP Brings the Music to OPERA America Dinner

February 26, 2010

J. David Jackson (far left) conducts (l. to r.) Richard Bernstein, Nicole Mitchell, Matt Morgan, Sarah Moulton, Heather Meyers, and Sarah Nelson Craft in scenes from Kamrain Ince's JUDGMENT OF MIDAS

On February 20, AOP had the exclusive honor of providing a selection of its works as the musical entertainment for OPERA America‘s annual National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards Dinner. The notables from the opera world were regaled by a performance of Songs from the F Train and excerpts from Kamran Ince’s opera-in-progress Judgment of Midas. The event was held at the University Club in Midtown Manhattan.

Mezzo-soprano Nicole Mitchell sang Gilda Lyons‘ trio of “Songs From the F Train” at the top of the evening with Thomas Bagwell accompanying on piano. A co-commission from AOP, Fort Greene Park Conservancy and The Walt Whitman Project, “Songs from the F Train” is a setting of poems by three Brooklyn students between the ages of 9 and 12. Since its premiere last summer at the Make Music NY festival, it has been programmed on numerous occasions throughout the city.

Kamran Ince

To finish the evening, Turkish-American composer Kamran Ince was on hand to debut new music from his developing opera Judgment of Midas with authentic Turkish instruments providing the gateway into the setting of this ancient Greek myth set in the composer’s ancestral homeland.  Met Opera Maestro J. David Jackson, accompanied by fellow music director Jonathan Khuner, conducted Met baritone Richard Bernstein as Apollo in his musical duel with NYCO tenor Matt Morgan‘s forest god Pan.  Nicole Mitchell, Sarah Nelson Craft, Sarah Moulton, and Heather Meyer also sang the evening to a close.


Classics Today and Thirteen/WNET discuss Pärt / O’Regan at the Guggenheim

January 20, 2009
PÄRT AND O'REGAN

PÄRT AND O'REGAN

Music critics were in the house at AOP’s two sold-out performances of Pärt / O’Regan at the Guggenheim Museum. Read their comments below.

Robert Levine, Classics Today:

WORKS-IN-PROCESS BY PÄRT AND O’REGAN
Guggenheim Museum, New York; Jan 11, 2008

“The Guggenheim Museum’s Peter B. Lewis Theater was host to American Opera Projects’ and Works & Process’ presentation of four works: three by the Estonian minimalist Arvo Pärt and one by the British-born, New York based Tarik O’Regan (who named Pärt as one of his inspirations). The 75 minute show was sometimes puzzling, sometimes riveting and always interesting. As always, AOP’s experiments require attention….”

Read full article…

Susan Yung, Sunday Arts Blog at Thirteen/WNET:

Tarik O’Regan, a British composer born in 1978, presented The Woven Child, with libretto by Anna Rabinowitz. It might be daunting for a young composer to be juxtaposed with a master like Pärt (born in 1935 in Estonia), but his composition definitely felt aurally akin – the notes arranged spaciously for miles, and then pooling into a dense symphonic chord. Soprano Caroline Worra’s vocal line paralleled the cello’s, wavering, blending, teasing; violin notes darted rapidly. Then came a hymn-like section, imbued with hope, patience, yearning.

Read full article…


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