NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF SONG presents “WOMEN” starring Sasha Cooke, Corinne Winters, Andrew Garland
“One of the longstanding delights of New York’s music scene.” — The New York Times
NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF SONG (NYFOS)
Steven Blier, Artistic Director • Michael Barrett, Associate Artistic Director
An evening of songs exploring the lives of women
Featuring world premieres by
Additional songs by
CORINNE WINTERS, soprano
SASHA COOKE, mezzo-soprano
ANDREW GARLAND, baritone
NYFOS Artistic Director STEVEN BLIER, piano
NYFOS Associate Artistic Director MICHAEL BARRETT, piano
JAY CAMPBELL, cello
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4 at 8:00PM
Merkin Concert Hall at Kauffman Center, 129 West 67th St.
Single Tickets: $40-$55; Student Tickets: $10
Real Deal Tickets: $20, Advance Purchase, Limited Availability and Seating
Include post-concert wine reception with cast
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FROM ARTISTIC DIRECTOR STEVEN BLIER:
“After the pleasure of working on Manning the Canon, our show about gay men, I felt we needed to balance the account with an evening celebrating women. After much discussion and much dissent, we settled on the simplest possible title for the show—Women—and announced it in the late spring. Within a few weeks, we got not one but three messages from composers with offers of world premieres. All of them came from men: Mark Adamo, Mohammed Fairouz, and Harold Meltzer. Michael Barrett and I accepted their generosity with open arms; it was a bonanza to receive three new pieces, and a beautiful way to celebrate NYFOS’s Silver Anniversary. Grateful as we were, we knew we also wanted a new song written by a woman. Carla Kihlstedt had made a deep impression on all of us last April when she performed her music at Russell Platt’s NYFOS Next evening, and she quickly accepted our invitation to compose the fourth premiere for Women.”
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The NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF SONG presents a new program entitled WOMEN on Tuesday, December 4 at 8:00PM at Merkin Concert Hall. One of the highlights of its 2012-2013 season, this will be an evening exploring the lives of women, narrated both in their own words, and also observed through the eyes of men.
The program, hosted by NYFOS artistic directors and pianists Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, will feature world premieres by composers Mark Adamo, Harold Meltzer, Carla Kihlstedt, and Mohammed Fairouz. Rounding out the program will be songs by John Musto, Ned Rorem, Benjamin Britten, Arnold Schoenberg, Thea Musgrave and Judy Collins.
Three rapidly rising singers return to NYFOS: soprano Corinne Winters, who made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2011 and has been acclaimed by Opera News for her “passionate lyricism and deep burgundy coloring”; mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, whom Alex Ross of The New Yorker commended for her “luminous tone, a generously supported musical line, a keen sense of verbal nuance, and a flair for seduction”; and baritone Andrew Garland, whose previous NYFOS appearances have been praised for their “commanding intensity” (The New York Times) and “beautifully tragic overtones” (The Washington Post).
The “brilliant theatre composer” (The New Yorker) Mark Adamo, who first came to prominence with his opera Little Women, contributes a new song cycle: The Racer’s Widow. The cycle, to be sung by Sasha Cooke, combines contemporary humor and timeless sentiment through five poems by Linda Pastan, Louise Gluck, Marge Piercy, Sara Teasdale, and the only male poet of the group, Tennessee Williams. Blier says “Mark writes modern music that is tonal, and he’s not afraid of opulence, melody and emotions other than anger. He is also deeply sensitive to the relationship of words and music, a natural gift for a composer who also writes his own libretti. His next big premiere will take place in June of 2013 at San Francisco Opera: The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, written for Sasha Cooke.”
Violinist, vocalist, composer, and “the sexiest woman in the avant-garde” (San Francisco Weekly) Carla Kihlstedt contributes a new piece titled A Woman’s Body. Inspired by Susan Sontag’s matter-of-fact list of observations about her own body, Kihlstedt asked some favorite women for their own lists, which make up the lyrics to the piece. The song finds universal resonance in the unique one-gender-level-removed storytelling of baritone Andrew Garland.
NYFOS presents its first-ever work in Arabic with Mohammed Fairouz’s A Prayer to the New Year. The four-movement piece sets the hopeful words of Fadwa Tuqan, a 20th Century Arabic woman, as a duet for soprano and mezzo. Fairouz, just 25, has already been recognized as an “expert in vocal writing” by The New Yorker and a “post millennial Schubert” by Gramophone Magazine. Straddling Eastern and Western idioms, Fairouz has emerged as a leading musical force of his generation; his work has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
The fourth and final premiere is by the “quirky and continually inventive” (The New York Times) Harold Meltzer, who presents a setting of a Sharon Olds poem Topography as a duet for soprano and mezzo. NYFOS premiered Meltzer’s elegant song cycle Beautiful Ohio in 2010, to great acclaim.
Single tickets are available for $40-$55, with discount tickets available for students at $10, and a limited number of advanced purchase Real Deal tickets at $20. Every concert is accompanied by a post-show wine reception with the cast.
Good and Bad Relationships
I Stop Writing the Poem (Musto)
Rome: In the Café (Musto)
A Birthday (Rorem)
We Never Said Farewell (Rorem)
Sacred and Profane Love
Cantique à l’épouse (Chausson)
The Racer’s Widow (Adamo)
An Intimate Look
Woman’s Body (Kihlstedt)
Fathers and Mothers
I Love My Jean (Musgrave)
My Father (Collins)
Sephestia’s Lullaby (Britten)
The Middle East
A Prayer to the New Year (Fairouz)
Corinne Winters, soprano
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Andrew Garland, baritone
Steven Blier, piano
Michael Barrett, piano
Jay Campbell, cello