Mina Miller, Artistic Director
Ph: (206) 365-7770
SEATTLE, WA (April 2, 2015) –
At the final concert of its 17th season on Monday, May 11 at Seattle’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall at 7:30 p.m., Music of Remembrance (MOR) unveils its newest commission: After Life (2015), a bold new one-act opera by Tom Cipullo, with libretto by David Mason. The work reunites Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein in a dramatic posthumous encounter. Stein and Picasso were towering artistic figures of the 20th century and among its most influential. For decades they maintained an unusual friendship, but they held starkly opposed views and responded in strikingly different ways – in their lives and their art – to the Second World War and the Nazi occupation of Europe. When they meet again in After Life, they debate the responsibility of artists to address the evil they see in the world. They confront each other’s weaknesses, and their own, in succumbing to vanity and ego.
Guggenheim award-winning American composer Tom Cipullo has been drawn before to artistic themes that pose difficult moral questions. The recent recording of his opera Glory Denied, telling the story of America’s longest-held war prisoner in Vietnam, was named by Opera News as one of the top ten opera CDs of 2014. MOR’s premiere of After Life features an all-star cast. Baritone Robert Orth (Picasso) has been acclaimed for his vocal and dramatic mastery in performances at leading opera houses around the world. A daring artist, he has received the New York City Opera Christopher Keene Award for new and unusual repertoire. Brilliant mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook (San Francisco Opera) soars in the role of Stein. Soprano Ava Pine (Fort Worth Opera) has been heralded by Fort Worth Weekly as “a vision of energy, enthusiasm and skill.” MOR’s stellar instrumental ensemble is drawn primarily from the ranks of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and will be led by its associate conductor Stilian Kirov. The production will be directed by Erich Parce.
A whimsical work by Paul Bowles, an American expatriot who frequented the Paris salon of Stein and Alice B. Toklas, offers a whiff of the creative fervor that made 1920s Paris so alluring to artists and intellectuals from everywhere. The program also includes a suite by the often-irreverent Darius Milhaud, and introduces audiences to the music of Rosy Wertheim and Henriette Bosmans, two Dutch women composers whose lives and art were profoundly affected by the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
Founded in 1998 by Mina Miller, Music of Remembrance (MOR) is a Seattle-based musical organization dedicated to remembering the Holocaust through music. In addition to performing works by Holocaust-era composers, MOR has commissioned and premiered over twenty Holocaust-inspired works by some of today’s leading composers, telling freshly-discovered stories that the world needs to hear.
MONDAY, MAY 11, 7:30 P.M.
Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall
Tickets: $30 - $40
Phone Orders: (206) 365-7770
Online Orders: www.musicofremembrance.org
6:45 p.m. MEET THE COMPOSER & LIBRETTIST
TOM CIPULLO & DAVID MASON
Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 157b (1936)
Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mark Salman, piano
Le Tsigane Dans La Lune
Ava Pine, soprano; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Mina Miller, piano
Nuit Calme (1926)
Walter Gray, cello; Mina Miller, piano
Music for a Farce (1938)
Laura DeLuca, clarinet; David Gordon, trumpet; Matthew Kocmieroski, percussion; Mark Salman, piano
After Life (2015)
Libretto by David Mason
WORLD PREMIERE COMMISSIONED BY MUSIC OF REMEMBRANCE
Catherine Cook, mezzo-soprano; Robert Orth, baritone; Ava Pine, soprano
Zart Dombourian-Eby, flute; Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello; Craig Sheppard, piano
Stilian Kirov, conductor
Directed by Erich Parce
About Music of Remembrance
Founded in 1998, Music of Remembrance (MOR) fills a unique cultural role in Seattle and throughout the world by remembering the Holocaust through music with concert performances, educational programs, recordings and commissions of new works.
- Mainstage concerts and innovative programs at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall featuring leading musicians and world-acclaimed guest artists
- “Sparks of Glory,” a series of free concerts-with-commentary at the Seattle Art Museum and other community settings
- Educational outreach, live performances and multi-media presentations to schools and colleges
- Six CD recordings produced for Naxos, the world’s leading classical music label
- The Boys of Terezin, MOR’s 2011 documentary film, continues to be screened by film festivals around the globe
MOR also commissions and premieres new Holocaust-inspired works by today’s leading composers, building bridges across generations and sharing stories that underline the Holocaust’s urgent moral relevance for us now.