Miriam Gideon's "Fortunato" Premiered

Miriam Gideon's "Fortunato" Premiered

We were thrilled to hear the stream of Miriam Gideon’s 1958 chamber opera, Fortunato, last week. This was the world premiere of this work, which Gideon apparently wrote hoping that it would be performed by the NBC Opera Theatre.  She composed it in three acts, and orchestrated the first act.  While her hope was that it would be performed, there was no plan, so was a real labor of love, to write a major work with no expectation hearing it.  The story of how this premiere was brought about is worth discussing, but that will be one of the details…

Speaking Her Truth: A Discussion with Jessica Rudman and Kendra Preston Leonard

We are delighted to share this conversation between Jessica Rudman (JR) and Kendra Preston Leonard (KPL) as they discuss the upcoming Hartford Opera Theater and Hartford Independence Chamber Orchestra’s program “Speaking Her Truth,” which includes Rudman’s micro-opera Trigger, Rudman and Leonard’s song cycle Four Songs for Lady Macbeth, and their opera Marie Curie Learns to Swim. Trigger is Rudman’s response to an incident in which an abused woman overheard the policemen involved in her case speculating about what she had done to “deserve” being hit. In Four Songs for Lady Macbeth, various figures address the real and fictional life of…

Fanny Hensel at the Ballet

“Fanny for ballet!!” read the text message. I blinked and did a double-take at the accompanying photo. Indeed, selections of Fanny Hensel’s “Das Jahr” — The Year — a cycle of piano pieces composed in 1841, were the music for a new ballet, “Her Notes,” chorographed by Jessica Lang and being premiered by the American Ballet Theatre in New York City. How exciting to think of Hensel’s powerful piano music being used as the basis of an expressive dance work.  In a video about the making of “Her Notes,” Lang explains “when I hear music, I see movement, and when…

Celebrating New Music and Marin Alsop at Cabrillo

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music begins on July 31.  This annual event is always worth anticipating and hugely rewarding – but this year is particularly special as it is Marin Alsop’s last at the helm.  Alsop is stepping down after 25 years as artistic director and leading the festival to ever new and exciting heights. The 2016 Festival includes the work of two well-recognized and highly admired contemporary women: Jennifer Higdon and Anna Clyne. Higdon’s Violin Concerto will receive its West Cost premiere on August 12.  Justin Bruns will be soloist.  The concerto, which was written for Hilary Hahn,…