May 4, 2010
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.
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.
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.