Opera Cabal & ACME in Haas’ ATTHIS North America Stage Premiere & music by Marcos Balter
New York, NY – ACME, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble and Opera Cabal will perform the North American stage premiere of ATTHIS, a haunting monodrama by Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas with lyrics by the ancient Greek poet Sappho, on June 12 and 13, 2014 at 8pm at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street). The production is directed by Habib Azar, an Emmy Award-winning stage director, and conducted by Peyman Farzinpour, former director of new music at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and conductor in residence with Opera Cabal. SopranoAriadne Grief takes the stage as Sappho with Opera Cabal Artistic Director Majel Connery embodying her elusive lover. Haas shares the evening’s program with Brazilian composer and former Guggenheim Fellow Marcos Balter in three never-before staged works: Ut and Live Water, written for and performed by ACME violist Nadia Sirota; and delete/control/option, featuring ACME founder and Artistic Director Clarice Jensen (cello) and Andrew Rehrig (alto flute).
Opera Cabal is reshaping how opera is imagined, produced and performed in the United States. Composed of a versatile collective of accomplished young artists, Opera Cabal propels the opera of today by presenting unpredictable new work and modeling new forms of audience involvement. Opera Cabal reaches into to neighboring visual, theatrical and technological communities to broaden the audience for and the definition of opera in a new century, reviving the integrity of a revered art form with an infusion of new energy and eclectic design.
Since its founding in 2006, Opera Cabal has identified and recruited artistic teams working at the highest level in fields traditionally unrelated to opera in order to bring new blood and fresh ideas to the art form. Opera Cabal’s commitment to building a diverse, engaged audience for opera in the 21st century is exemplified behind the scenes by the Hyde Park Salons, a monthly performance series established in 2006 on Chicago’s South Side. Opera Cabal is also the commissioning force behind the project series Opera Shop, which brings together exceptional artists to explore cutting-edge approaches to recombining music and theater.
ACME is dedicated to the outstanding performance of masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries, primarily the work of American composers. The ensemble presents cutting-edge music by living composers alongside the classics of the contemporary. ACME’s dedication to new music extends across genres, and has earned them a reputation among both classical and rock crowds. NPR calls them “contemporary new music dynamos,” and The New York Times describes ACME’s performances as “vital,” “brilliant,” and “electrifying.” Time Out New York reports, “[Artistic Director Clarice] Jensen has earned a sterling reputation for her fresh, inclusive mix of minimalists, maximalists, eclectics and newcomers.”
Since its founding in 2004, ACME has performed at leading venues across the country including (Le) Poisson Rouge, Carnegie Hall, BAM, Joyce Theater, Noguchi Museum, Whitney Museum, Guggenheim Museum, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, Stanford Live, Flynn Center, Montclair’s Peak Performances, UCLA, and All Tomorrow’s Parties in the UK, among others. ACME can be heard on the New World Records and New Amsterdam Records labels. ACME’s instrumentation is flexible, and includes some of New York’s most sought-after, engaging musicians. Core ACME members include violinists Caleb Burhans, Ben Russell, Caroline Shaw (winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music), and Laura Lutzke; violists Nadia Sirota and Caitlin Lynch; cellist and artistic director Clarice Jensen; flutists Alex Sopp and Andrew Rehrig; pianist Timo Andres; and percussionist Chris Thompson.
About The Artists:
Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas currently serves as Professor of Composition at Columbia University. Most recently, his work has been awarded the Music Award Salzburg (2013), the Music Award of the City of Vienna (2012), and the SWR Symphony Orchestra Composition Prize (2010). Since the late 1990s, Haas has been represented at numerous festivals of new music such as the Salzburger Festspielen, Munich’s musica viva, the Lucerne Festival, and Norway’s Borealis Festival. One of Europe’s leading artists, Haas’s works have been commissioned and premiered by groups such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Opéra National de Paris, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and Wien Modern.www.universaledition.com/
The music of composer Marcos Balter has been featured worldwide in venues including the Köln Philharmonie, the French Academy, New World Symphony Center, Park Avenue Armory, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Le Poisson Rouge, and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Recent festival appearances include Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Ecstatic Music Festival, Aspen and Darmstadt Ferienkurse. Past honors include commissions from Meet the Composer, The MacArthur Foundation, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Leonard Bernstein Foundation. www.marcosbalter.com
Composer and conductor Peyman Farzinpour has appeared with numerous orchestras and contemporary music ensembles throughout North America and Europe, most recently leading the MDI Ensemble of Milan in concerts in Italy. He has served as Music Director and Conductor of Erato Philharmonia in Los Angeles and the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra in Massachusetts. A former director of new music at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Farzinpour’s music programming has been awarded first place by ASCAP/Chamber Music America for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. He is currently a Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.www.peymanfarzinpour.com
Brooklyn-based cellist and ACME Artistic Director Clarice Jensen brings the same genuine excitement and commitment to performing music of any genre or style, from the solo cello suites of J.S. Bach, to new music by Elliott Carter or Steve Reich, to her many rock and experimental collaborations. In addition to leading ACME, Clarice performs regularly with indie rock band Ra Ra Riot. She has also performed and recorded with Paul McCartney, Sean Lennon, Nick Cave, The National, Tyondai Braxton, Jónsi, Grizzly Bear, !!!, Owen Pallett, My Brightest Diamond (Shara Worden), Dustin O’Halloran, Shudder to Think, and Jóhann Jóhannsson, Nico Muhly, and many more. www.claricejensen.com
“A one-woman contemporary-classical commissioning machine,” (Pitchfork) violist Nadia Sirota is known for her singular sound and expressive execution, coaxing solo works from the likes of Nico Muhly, Daníel Bjarnason, Judd Greenstein, Marcos Balter, and Missy Mazzoli. Her debut album First Things First was released in 2009 on New Amsterdam Records and named a record of the year by the New York Times. Nadia is a member of yMusic, ACME and Alarm Will Sound, and has lent her sound to recording and concert projects by such artists and songwriters as Grizzly Bear, Jónsi and Arcade Fire. www.nadiasirota.com
Majel Connery (Executive and Artistic Director, Opera Cabal) co-founded Opera Cabal in 2006 with a generous grant from the University of Chicago. Connery apprenticed with opera director Christopher Alden at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Den Norske Oper (Oslo) and at Chicago Opera Theater. She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and attained her M.A. and Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Chicago. Majel is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Fellow at Berkeley’s Townsend Center for the Humanities. www.operacabal.com
Habib Azar is an Emmy Award-winning director whose first feature film, Armless, was an official selection of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. For the stage he has directed musicals, plays, and operas such as Kyle Jarrow’s Gorilla Man at PS122 and Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone with the International Contemporary Ensemble. For television, Habib has directed “As The World Turns,” “The Young and the Restless,” “All My Children”, and numerous multi-camera live performing arts programs including Yo Yo Ma and the NY Philharmonic for Live from Lincoln Center and the final performance of Merce Cunningham Dance Company. www.twitter.com/raziniNYC