Featuring Blarvuster and Mantra Percussion
May 6, 2018
8:00 PM

National Sawdust
80 N 6th St
Brooklyn, NY

On May 6 2018, Experiments in Opera will premiere And Here We Are, the new shadow puppet opera from co-founder Matthew Welch with libretto by Daniel Neer.  This 75-minute work for 4 vocal soloists and mixed ensemble will be staged using an updated take on traditional Javanese shadow puppetry and will feature Welch’s long-time ensemble Blarvuster with Mantra Percussion.  And Here We Are is based on the memoirs of Matthew’s great uncle Edgar, and is being developed with director and designer Jeannette Oi-Suk Yew.

Kate Maroneymezzo-soprano
Daniel Neerbaritone
Ben Holmestrumpet
Joe Bergenvibraphone
Al Ceruloglockenspiel
Emily Manzopiano
Ian Riggsbass guitar
Brian Chasedrums 
Matthew Welchconductor


Matthew Welch is a composer of innovative opera and genre-resisting concert music. Named one of “14 artists changing the future of opera,” by Huffington Post, and regarded as “a composer possessed of both rich imagination and the skill to bring his fancies to life” (Time Out NYC), Matthew’s musical adventures and collaborative spirit have brought him to work with some of today’s most noted musical personalities: Anthony Braxton, Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Lang, Alvin Lucier, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins, Julia Wolfe, and John Zorn. Mixing his backgrounds in bagpipes, gamelan, experimental, classical, rock and improvised music, Welch’s compositional sound is worldly and eclectic in material, yet personal and seamless in style.

Praised by the New York Times as “exquisitely ethereal” and “border-busting; catchy,” Matthew’s music has been performed in the US, Canada, South America, Europe and Asia. Matthew holds degrees in Music Composition from Yale, Wesleyan and Simon Fraser Universities, and as a bagpiper, he has won three World Pipe Band Championship titles. His ensemble, Blarvuster, has been based in New York City since 2002. Welch co-founded Experiments in Opera in 2011.

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew is a theatre designer for theatre, opera, dance, music performances and installation. As a designer she aims to create a visual environment that is organically integrated into the landscape and language of the production.  Her designs were described as “clever” and “inventive” (NY Times) and that it “contains the vibrant richness of a Caravaggio painted in neon”.

Her designs have been seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Rose Theater Jazz at Lincoln Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), HERE Arts Center, St. Ann’s Warehouse, La Mama ETC, The Kitchen, ArtsEmerson, Manhattan School of Music, Joyce SOHO, Bard Music Festival, REDCAT, Highways Performance Space, and internationally at Havana, Prague, Lima, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Graz Austria and Bloemfontein South Africa.  Jeanette received the Bel Geddes Design Enhancement award for her lighting and projection design for Ludic Proxy.  She was the recipient of the 2009-2011 NEA/TCG Career Development Program and was the 2006 Gilbert Hemsley Jr. lighting internship.

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