Arts and Music
Featured This Month
The opera "Lilith" by librettist Allan Havis and composer Anthony Davis, which premiered in 2009, is given a fresh interpretation by designer Peter Torpey and director Keturah Stickann in this workshop production of five scenes. "Lilith" explores and celebrates the ageless erotic myth of Lilith, the woman who preceded Eve in the Garden of Eden. The opera, which blends a variety of musical tropes from jazz to classical, reenacts the tale from a twin timeframe of contemporary America and the beginning of Paradise. The opera's directing and design concepts rely on windows, mirrors, screens and shadows to reflect the myriad contours of female identity split into two halves. Video and visual projection are essential tools for probing the paradoxes of Lilith's role in contemporary life, and the experimental overtones add to the opera's seductive and eerie impact.
The key theme of A LINE BROKEN is the recognition that eventually all lines break, and that this is certainly true of human lives. While acknowledging the darkness implicit in that statement and reflected in several of the concert selections - for example, Courtney Bryan's remarkable "As Yet Unheard" and Ornette Coleman's discomfiting jazz tone poem "Lonely Woman" - there are also offerings of light. Rand Steiger's "Template for Improvising Trumpeter & Orchestra" and Gabriel Fauré's "Requiem" (so uncharacteristically gentle an example of that form) both celebrate music as an expression of the life-force and a means to transcend the darkness. Recorded on 06/10/2018.
Two things mark Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 in F Major, his shortest symphony and one of the least-performed. The first is its energy; contrary to classical sonata form there is no slow movement. The second is its unflagging good humor. The Eighth is full of high spirits, unexpected twists, unusual colors, and musical jests. In the symphony's lightness some listeners detect traces of the influence of Haydn and Mozart, but as with all of Beethoven's work the language is uniquely his own. Recorded on 03/17/2019.