Tom Cipullo's contemporary opera After Life explores the role of art in a troubled world and poses weighty questions about the artist's duty in confronting inhumanity. David Mason's libretto imagines an encounter between the ghosts of Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein, who reveal both their brilliance and their human flaws. Lori Laitman's song cycle In Sleep The World Is Yours sets three beautiful poems by Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger, who was to perish in a Nazi labor camp in Ukraine at the age of 18.
"Cipullo weaves David Mason's ingenious, rhapsodic libretto into an absorbing, often lively, occasionally desultory narrative told in words and music that is translucently scored and makes full use of the five-member ensemble's colours, astonishingly vocal at times in their effect."
- Gramophone Magazine
"Cipullo’s musical language is perfect for this, cogent harmonically and melodically." "The two pieces are excellently matched. Both exude a sense of questioning what was and what might have been. Performances and recording are of the highest standard. Recommended."
- Fanfare Magazine
"Cipullo cycles nimbly through the full spectrum of emotions Stein and Picasso provoke in each other, unfailingly setting Mason’s illuminating and provocative libretto so it can be declaimed with great clarity."
- Opera News