RAINBIRD  Tuesday February 12, 2019, 7:00pm

CHUNKY IN HEAT  Wednesday February 13, 2019, 7:00pm

WARKA VASE  Saturday February 16, 2019, 7:00pm

The Flea Theater
20 Thomas St
Tickets FREE (RSVP required)

Experiments in Opera presents workshop performances of three different operas.  Rainbird is a collaboration between director/librettist Mallory Catlett and composer Aaron Siegel.  Chunky in Heat is a multi-composer work based on a libretto by A.M. Homes and directed by Alison Moritz, produced in partnership with Contemporaneous.  Warka Vase is a new work by composer Rick Burkhardt and presented in collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).  All of these workshop performances are presented FREE, but RSVP’s are required.

RAINBIRD  Tuesday February 12, 2019, 7:00pm

Created by Mallory Catlett and Aaron Siegel based on the novel “Yellow Flowers in the Antipodean Room by Janet Frame.

Gelsey Bell, Tomas Cruz, Anaïs Maviel, and Dave Ruder – Voice
Andie Springer – Violin
Emily Manzo – Keyboards
Matt Evans – Percussion

CHUNKY IN HEAT  Wednesday February 13, 2019, 7:00pm

Music by Jason Cady, Paula Matthusen, Erin Rogers, Aaron Siegel, Shelley Washington, and Matthew Welch
Libretto by A. M. Homes

Featuring Sarah Daniels, Timothy Stoddard, Rachel Doehring, Joshua Jeremiah and Emily Geller

Contemporaneous
David Bloom, Music Director

WARKA VASE  Saturday February 16, 2019, 7:00pm

Created by Rick Burkhardt and International Contemporary Ensemble

Part of OpenIce.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Mallory Catlett is an Obie award winning director, dramaturg and creator of performance across disciplines; from CITY COUNCIL MEETING – a regional experiment in participatory democracy that the audience performs, to the internationally touring BEOWULF – Banana Bag & Bodice’s musical bar room brawl, to Dread Scott’s DECISION – a Supreme Court recitation and performance installation, to THIS WAS THE END—a remix of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Catlett also directs new opera – THE SCARLET IBIS (HERE/Beth Morrison), BROTHER, BROTHER (Experiments in Opera) and THE WANTON SUBLIME (AOP). She directs Mikael Karlsson’s new opera, The Echo Drift for the Protoype Festival this coming January 2018.  In NYC her work has premiered at HERE, Ontological-Hysteric, PS122, Abrons, Chocolate Factory, Roulette & the Collapsable Hole; featured at FIAF, the Ice Factory, COIL, Prelude, Prototype and BAM’s Next Wave; and been developed with residencies at Barishnykov Arts, MacDowell, Performing Garage, Abrons, HERE, Mabou Mines, LMCC and Yaddo; and toured internationally to Canada, France, UK, Ireland & Australia. She has received 2 NYSCA individual artist commissions, 3 MAP Fund grants and a NEFA grant among others.  She is a 2015 Foundation for the Contemporary Arts Grantee and 2016 Creative Capital  artist for her upcoming M/F Future which is a pair of works – Decoder 2017 her 3-part concert series based on William Burroughs’ Nova Trilogy and Dead Time of Plenty inspired Doris Lessing’s Memoirs of a Survivor. She is also an Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University.

Aaron Siegel’s inquisitive and playful work represents a personal vision of how we live with and respond to the sounds in our world. He is a composer of music for the concert stage, the theater, video, and public art.  His large body of work for mallet percussion instruments has been embraced by a wide range of ensembles and is performed on a regular basis throughout the United States.  Siegel is one of the co-founders of Experiments in Opera (EiO) with whom he has produced over 60 new operatic works since its founding in 2011.  He also runs LockStep Records, an independent label dedicated to musical work at the intersections of improvisation, composition and sound art.  During the 2016-2017 season Aaron completed a new large-scale piece for Mantra Percussion, commissioned by Chamber Music America.  Siegel’s record ‘The Book of Notions,’ was released in September 2016 on LockStep Records.  He premiered a short opera based on the story “The Wallet” by Andrew McCuaig at EiO’s spring 2017 program, Flash Operas. He collaborated with soprano Michele Kennedy on, ‘Stay in the Sun,’ a song cycle based on the poems of Tess Taylor which was premiered in June 2017 along with ‘Navajo Manner,’ a song cycle for baritone Dashon Burton. Highlights include the premiere Siegel’s evening length opera, Brother Brother, at the Abrons Arts Center in May 2014.  In 2015, EiO premiered Sisyphus, a co-composed opera with Matthew Welch and Jason Cady.  Siegel’s monodrama ‘Laughing’ which tells the story of Abraham and Isaac through the lens of a tortured performance artist was premiered at Roulette in Brooklyn in April 2015.  Young People’s Chorus of New York City commissioned Aaron to write a new work for young voices for its Radio Radiance Series.  The resulting piece, ‘The Mysteries of Nothing’ was premiered in April 2015 at SubCulture.  In Fall 2014, Siegel released his first recording as the solo artist ‘Call Us Your People,’ an hourlong meditation on death and absurdity for voice and synthesizer.

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performer, curator, and educator, ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. ice.org

A.M. Homes (librettist) is the author of the novels, This Book Will Save Your Life, Music For Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack, as well as the short story collections, Things You Should Know and The Safety of Objects, the best-selling memoir, The Mistress’s Daughter along with a travel memoir, Los Angeles: People, Places and The Castle on the Hill, and the artist’s book Appendix A:Her work has been translated into twenty-two languages and appears frequently in Art Forum, Harpers, Granta, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Zoetrope. Homes has been the recipient of numerous awards including Fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, NYFA, and The Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at The New York Public Library. 

Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 22 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. Recently recognized for a “ferocious, focused performance” (The New York Times) and for its “captivating and whole-hearted commitment” (I Care If You Listen), Contemporaneous performs and promotes the most exciting work of living composers through innovative concerts, commissions, recordings, and educational programs.

Based in New York City and active throughout the United States, Contemporaneous has performed for a wide range of presenters, including Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, PROTOTYPE Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, MATA Festival, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Bang on a Can. The ensemble has worked with a wide range of artists, including David Byrne, Donnacha Dennehy, Yotam Haber, Dawn Upshaw, and Julia Wolfe.

Contemporaneous has premiered more than 120 works, many of them large-scale pieces by emerging composers. Through its commissions and readiness to play challenging music, the ensemble encourages composers to take risks and defy constraints. Contemporaneous’ debut album, Stream of Stars — Music of Dylan Mattingly (Innova Recordings), has been featured on radio programs around the world, including WNYC’s “New Sounds” and WRTI’s “Now is the Time.”

Contemporaneous also leads participatory programs for public school students in the communities where the ensemble performs. These workshops are designed to instill a passion for new music and to convey the power of careful listening and meaningful expression through music. The ensemble has held residencies at such institutions as City University of New York, the University of New Orleans, Williams College, and Bard College, where the group was founded in 2010.

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