Jecca Barry joined Beth Morrison Projects as General Manager in February 2013 and has served as Executive Director since 2017. In addition, she was recently named a Co-Director of the PROTOTYPE Festival. Jecca began her career as a performer of avant-garde flute music, before transitioning into finance and arts administration. Prior to joining BMP, she was a Business Manager at Spielman Koenigsberg & Parker where she handled the daily financial needs of high net worth clients, and Financial Administrator for the women’s rights non-profits Huairou Commission/ GROOTS International. Jecca worked with several arts organizations while living in Paris, France (2002 – 2003, 2006 – 2008), including touring multidisciplinary performance works to London, Amsterdam, and New York. Jecca has served as producer for the physical-theatre work The Object Lesson since 2014, touring it domestically and internationally to venues in Edinburgh, New York, Los Angeles, and Australia among others, and developed the work HOME, by artist Geoff Sobelle, which will premiere in September 2017. Jecca received a B.A.(Mus) in Flute Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and an M.M. in Flute Performance from New York University.
Scott Burnham is Scheide Professor of Music History Emeritus at Princeton University, where he taught from 1989 to 2016. His best-known book is Beethoven Hero (1995), a study of the values and reception of Beethoven’s heroic-style music. His most recent book, Mozart’s Grace (2013), explores aspects of beauty in Mozart’s music. In 2013, Burnham was awarded Princeton University’s Howard T. Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities. He has also been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Humanities Center. Burnham currently holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Music at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.
David Cote (librettist) Opera: Three Way with Robert Paterson (American Opera Projects/Brooklyn Academy of Music & Nashville Opera); The Scarlet Ibis (Prototype festival) and Fade with Stefan Weisman. The original cast album of Three Way was recently released on American Modern Recordings. His song cycle with Paterson, In Real Life, will be performed by soprano Marnie Breckenridge and American Modern Ensemble at Weill Hall next April. David wrote the text for Nkeiru Okoye’s story for baritone and orchestra, Invitation to a Die-In (2017), dedicated to the memory of Trayvon Martin. He is currently developing the new opera Blind Justince for a Cincinnati Opera premier in 20189, based on real-life stories of wrongful conviction and exoneration. Plays include Otherland and Fear of Art. As an actor and director, David worked with avant-garde icon Richard Foreman, Iranian exile Assurbanipal Babilla, and writer-director Richard Maxwell. David lives in Manhattan with his wife, audiobook narrator Katherine Kellgren. davidcote.com
Christopher Cooley (pianist) has concertized with various instrumental and vocal soloists in five continents, as well as Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. He has served on the staff of numerous summer opera festivals in Italy, Germany, and Austria, as well as the U.S. Since 2006, Mr. Cooley has collaborated regularly with soprano Lauren Flanigan, and they have performed together at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Café Sabarsky at the Neue Gallerie, the McCarter Theater in Princeton, and the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C. Chris holds degrees from Florida State University, the University of Texas-Austin, and a doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music. He is also a composer, arranger, orchestrator, and music director.
Jane Cox is a lighting designer for theater, dance and music. 2016 – 2017 theater season designs include August Wilson’s Jitney , the new musical Amelie on Broadway and the national tour of the musical Color Purple. Other music theater and opera designs include Lucia di Lammermoor at Houston Grand and Sydney Opera House, The Ambassador, a song cycle by Gabriel Kahane which premiered at the BAM Next Wave Festival, Don Giovanni at New York City Opera and several productions with Gotham Chamber Opera, Glimmerglass Opera Company and Juilliard. Jane is a twenty year company member of the Monica Bill Barnes Dance Company.
Jane has been nominated for several Drama Desk awards and for two Tony Awards, and was awarded the Ruth Morley Design Award by the League of Professional Theater Women in 2016. In 2016, Jane also became the director of the theater program at Princeton University, where she has focused on engaging more diverse communities in telling stories; on relationships between the arts and the sciences; and on deepening the program’s relationship with new American playwriting and with music theater, including opera.
Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade is a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University, supported by the William Alexander Fleet Fellowship. As a composer of music for the concert hall, her collaborators include Sō Percussion, Mobius Percussion, the Escher String Quartet, the JACK Quartet, the early music ensembles Gallicantus and Sonnambula, Orchestra 2001, Rinde Eckert and Iarla Ó Lionáird. As a sound artist, she has worked with damaged instruments and frequently explores the nature of recording as a medium.
Ninfea is a recipient of a Tanglewood Composition Fellowship (2017) and the UK’s Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize (2015). Trained in both academia and performance, she holds an undergraduate degree in Music from the University of Oxford and an MMus in cello performance from the Royal Academy of Music, London. She is currently working on a chamber opera based on the life of the 1890s British art nouveau illustrator, Aubrey Beardsley.
Mark DeChiazza is a director, filmmaker, designer, and choreographer. Many of his projects explore interactions between music performance and media to discover new expressive possibilities. His work can bring together composers, ensemble and musicians with visual artists, dancers, music ensembles, and makers of all types. Investigating the body and its relationships to space, time, and experience remain vital to his process across all disciplines.
Mark DeChiazza conceived and directed Orpheus Unsung, an evening-length music-dance-theater collaboration with composer Steven Mackey, which premiered at Guthrie Theater and was presented this fall at Princeton University. His large-scale music-theater production Quixote premiered this spring at Peak Performances continuing a creative partnership with composer Amy Beth Kirsten begun with their Columbine’s Paradise Theater, produced and performed by eighth blackbird. DeChiazza’s ongoing creative partnership with this multiple-Grammy winning ensemble began in 2009 with his Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, and continues with Dan Trueman’s Olagón, now in development.
Recent projects include: co-direction, video projection, and set design for My Lai, an opera monodrama by Jonathan Berger featuring Kronos Quartet, traditional Vietnamese instrumentalist Van-Ahn Voh, and actor/tenor Rinde Eckert; Waveguide Model I, a four screen interactive installation for Prism Quartet made in collaboration with Dan Trueman; direction and editing of the film Hireath, which partners with performance of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s 35-minute orchestral work commissioned by North Carolina Symphony and Princeton Symphony Orchestra; staging and design for composer John Luther Adams’ Sila, a massive site-determined piece for 80 musicians commissioned by Lincoln Center. (more at markdechiazza.com)
Born in Dublin in 1970, Donnacha Dennehy has had work featured in festivals and venues around the world, such as the Edinburgh International Festival, Royal Opera House London, Carnegie Hall New York, The Barbican London, The Wigmore Hall London, BAM New York, Tanglewood Festival, Holland Festival, Kennedy Center, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the UK (which opened its 2012 Festival with a portrait concert devoted to Dennehy’s music), Dublin Theatre Festival, Prototype Festival (New York), ISCM World Music Days, Bang On A Can, Ultima Festival in Oslo, Musica Viva Lisbon, the Saarbrucken Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival.
Dennehy has received commissions from Dawn Upshaw, the Kronos Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, Third Coast Percussion, Icebreaker (London), the Doric String Quartet (London), Contact (Toronto), Lucilin (Luxembourg), Bang On A Can, Orkest de Ereprijs (Netherlands), Fidelio Trio, Percussion Group of the Hague, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, BBC Ulster Orchestra and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players among others. Collaborations include pieces with the writers Colm Tóibín (The Dark Places) and Enda Walsh (including the opera The Last Hotel, and a forthcoming opera The Second Violinist), the choreographers Yoshiko Chuma and Shobana Jeyasingh, and the visual artist John Gerrard. In 2010 his single-movement orchestral piece Crane was ‘recommended’ by the International Rostrum of Composers.
Returning to Ireland after studies abroad in the USA, France and Holland, Dennehy founded Crash Ensemble, Ireland’s now-renowned new music group, in 1997. Alongside the singers Dawn Upshaw and Iarla O’Lionáird, Crash Ensemble features on the 2011 Nonesuch release of Dennehy’s music, entitled Grá agus Bás. NPR named it one of its “50 favorite albums” (in any genre) of 2011. In October 2014, RTE Lyric FM released a portrait CD of Dennehy’s orchestral music. Other releases include a number by NMC Records in London, and Cantaloupe in New York. Previously a tenured lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, Donnacha was appointed a Global Scholarat Princeton University in the Autumn of 2012. He was also appointed composer-in-residence for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in Texas (2013 – 2014). He joined the music faculty at Princeton University in 2014.
Dennehy’s recent opera The Last Hotel (2015), with a libretto by Enda Walsh, was met with critical acclaim in the UK when it premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2015. Other recent pieces include Surface Tension premiered by Third Coast Percussion in February 2016, and The Weather of it for the Doric Quartet co-commissioned from the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall, premiered at the Wigmore Hall in July 2016. Forthcoming projects include a new opera, The Second Violinist, again to a libretto by Enda Walsh, and a piece for So Percussion, co-commissioned by the Cork Opera House and Carnegie Hall. A recording of his new piece for Nadia Sirota and viol consort led by Liam Byrne, Tessellatum, will be released by Bedroom Community in the summer of 2017. His music is published by G. Schirmer in New York, part of the Music Sales Group.
Jeffrey Edelstein has been involved with the visual and performing arts since his early years in Chicago, where he worked for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Richard Gray Gallery. Now residing in Princeton, where he is an affiliate of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, he is especially interested in the philanthropic institutions that contribute to the vitality of the arts. Out of this expertise and his keen interest in new (classical) music he founded and directs New Music at Crane Arts, Philadelphia. He also writes classical music criticism for the London-based Seen and Heard International (MusicWeb International) and has published in such magazines as The Art Newspaper, House and Garden (HG), Images and Issues, and The New Art Examiner. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Princeton University.
Acclaimed soprano Lauren Flanigan is the Founder/Director of Music and Mentoring House, a New York State not-for-profit that provides affordable programs for opera singers, hands-on mentoring and an upscale residency program to students studying in the arts in NYC. She has enjoyed a thirty-year career that included performances at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Glyndebourne, the New York City Opera, ten world premieres, one movie, eleven CDs, five Live From Lincoln Center telecasts and fifteen awards for musical and humanitarian work. This year she has worked on several new operas including Words on the Street by Anna Rabinowitz and Matt Marks, The Wonderlusting of Joseph C by Joan La Barbara and American Atheist by Stefan Weisman and David Cote.
Stephanie Fleischmann is a playwright and librettist whose texts serve as blueprints for intricate three-dimensional sonic and visual worlds. Her “lyrical monologues” (The New York Times), “smart” opera libretti (Opera News), plays, and music-theater works and have been performed internationally and across the U.S.
Opera libretti include: The Long Walk, music by Jeremy Howard Beck, commissioned by American Lyric Theater (Opera Saratoga, Utah Opera, Pittsburgh Opera); In a Grove, music by Chris Cerrone (Mahogany Opera Group London); After the Storm, music by David Hanlon, commissioned by Houston Grand Opera; and The Property, music by Wlad Marhulets, commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is currently working on new operas with composers Avner Dorman (a video opera for HGOco, premiering in 2018), Peter Knell (Jacaranda), Julia Adolphe (Boston Court), and Jeremy Howard Beck (TBA). She has contributed texts to works by Olga Neuwirth – “The Cartographer’s Song” and “ecstaloop” (Basel, Vienna, Berlin, Stockholm, Aldeburgh) – and has collaborated with composers Elspeth Brooke and Sxip Shirey.
Selected music-theater works: Niagara, (composer: Bobby Previte, director: Daniel Fish; Hudson Opera House); Red Fly/Blue Bottle (HERE Arts Center, NYC; EMPAC, Troy, NY; Noorderzon Festival, Groningen, NL); Tinder (Exit Festival, France); and The Secret Lives of Coats (Red Eye; Playwrights Center/Playlabs, Minneapolis; the Kilroys List, best TK), with composer Christina Campanella; and The Sweetest Life, music by Saskia Lane, developed in collaboration with Julian Crouch (New Victory Residency, 2018; BRIClab; Vineyard Theater). Lyrics/dramaturgy: The Greeks and The Americans with director Brian Mertes and composers Phil Roebuck and Jim White (Juilliard); Chekhov at Lake Lucille.
Works for theater include: Sound House, which will premiere in New York at the Flea Theater in February of 2018 (produced by New Georges); Eloise & Ray; Tally Ho; The Street of Useful Things; What the Moon Saw; The World Speed Carnival; My Name Is Lucy Compass; and Viper. These have been performed or developed at venues including: Roundhouse Studio (London), Synchronicity (Atlanta), Son of Semele (LA), Crowded Fire (San Francisco), Act II (Philadelphia), Asolo Rep (Sarasota); Roadworks (Chicago); Integrity (Portland); and in NYC c/o Theater for One, Soho Rep, Mabou Mines/Suite, the Knitting Factory, Prelude, and the Public. The Russian Doctor, her collaboration with British performer Andy Dawson, was developed at Mass MoCA and has been seen at Theater Royal, Winchester, and Birmingham Rep, in the UK.
Grants and awards: Venturous Capital Production Grant (the Venturous Foundation) and Howard Foundation Fellowship in Playwriting (Sound House); Arts Council England (Tally Ho); 2 NYSCA Individual Artist Commissions (The Long Walk & Red Fly/Blue Bottle; NEA (Far Sea Pharisee); 2 NYFA Fellowships; Tennessee Williams Fellowship (Sewanee); Frederick Loewe and Whitfield Cook Awards (New Dramatists). Her work has been supported by: MAP Fund, Opera America (The Long Walk); New Music USA, Greenwall Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Arts Fund, Tobin Fund, Pew Charitable Trust, LMCC and NY State Music Fund (Red Fly/Blue Bottle); Anna Sosenko Assist Trust (Secret Lives). Residencies: Macdowell, Hedgebrook, HARP, New Georges (Audrey Residency). Former American Lyric Theater resident artist and Playwrights Center Core Writer; alumna of New Dramatists.
MFA: Brooklyn College. Published by: PLAY, A JOURNAL OF PLAYS; Playscripts.com; Smith and Krauss. stephaniefleischmann.com
Julian Grant is a composer, writer, educator, music journalist and broadcaster. He has composed 20 operas of various lengths and sizes which have been performed by English National Opera, The Royal Opera, Almeida Opera, Mecklenburgh Opera and Tétè-a-Tétè, and has won the National Opera Association of America’s New Opera prize and been nominated for an Olivier Award.
From 2002 – 2007 he was Director of Music at St. Paul’s Girls’ School, London, a post previous occupied by Gustav Holst and Vaughan-Williams. In Hong Kong, he hosted a classical music radio show on RTHK and has also lived in Tokyo. From 2007 – 2010 he lived in Beijing, where he worked with the Beijing New Music Ensemble, and attempted to master the Yang Qin (Butterfly Harp).
In 2012, his Cultural Olympiad commission Hot House, devised by Gareth Malone, was premiered at the Royal Opera House. Since 2010 he has lived in the USA. He currently lives in Princeton and New York where he has an ongoing relationship with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra. Recent premieres include a work for Buskaid Soweto Strings based on dances by the 18th century British-African Ignatius Sancho, and a new collaboration with pianist Melvyn Tan. His chamber opera, with librettist Mark Campbell The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr Burke & Mr Hare, a co-commission with Music Theatre Group and Boston Lyric Opera, was premiered in Boston November 2017.
Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek is a former member of the acclaimed vocal quartet Anonymous 4 and currently is Artistic Director of ModernMedieval, a trio of women devoted to developing projects that combine early and new music. She was a featured soloist on the Grammy Award-winning album Calling All Dawns, and has been a guest soloist with many ensembles, including the Washington Bach Consort, Carmel Bach Festival, Parthenia, Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), Ensemble InterContemporain (Paris), Locrian Contemporary Music Ensemble, Dogs of Desire, Ekmeles, Hesperion XXI and Distinguished Concerts International NY. Jacqueline has sung with English National Opera, The Royal Opera, Center for Contemporary Opera, and American Opera Projects, and has premiered roles in many operas both in the UK and the US, most recently The Overseer in Sweat at National Sawdust, and Gertrude Stein in Six. Twenty. Outrageous. for AOP which will premeire at Symphony Space in February 2018. She was featured as the first avatar in a live opera, singing the role of Alcina in Cracked Orlando at Juilliard Center for Innovation in the Arts. Jacqueline holds degrees from Queens University Belfast and Columbia University, and is currently a D.M.A candidate and Teaching Fellow at The Juilliard School. In addition, Jacqueline teaches voice at Fordham University and Columbia University Teachers College, is the director of the newly-formed Fordham University Collegium, and maintains a private studio in New York. Her websites are JacquelineHorner.com and ModernMedieval.org.
Tess James is a freelance Lighting Designer and Associate based in New York. Her recent projects include Roe; the Tony Award Winning production of The Color Purple; Roundabout Theatre Company’s productions of Machinal, Violet, The Real Thing and Noises Off; BAM’s RadioLoveFest; and Monica Bill Barnes & Company’s national touring production of 3 Acts, 2 Dancers, 1 Radio Host. Throughout her career she has working with a wide range of amazing institutions including New York City Opera, BAM, Glimmerglass Opera, St. Ann’s Warehouse, New York City Center and the Sydney Opera House. She is an adjunct faculty member at Princeton University and Brooklyn College and a Master Teaching Artist with The Roundabout Theatre Company. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband, a dog and a cat.
Charles Jarden, General Director at AOP since 2002 has also been affiliated with The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Hong Kong May Festival and Drottningholms Slottsteater. Charles has guided AOP’s innovative collaborations with presenting institutions such as Lincoln Center Festival, BAM, The Spoleto Festival USA, and companies in Germany, Austria, Poland and the UK. AOP’s commissioned and developed chamber piece, As One, by Kaminsky/Campbell/Reed, is an audience favorite nationwide and one of the most performed new American operas with over a two dozen new productions since its 2014 AOP premiere. Charles and AOP have received awards from OPERA America for “dynamic leadership,” and The New York City Arts and Business Council’s Encore! Award, recognizing collaborations that bridge for-profit and not-for-profit worlds. Charles lives in historic Fort Greene, Brooklyn, serving as Chairman of The Fort Greene Park Conservancy and leading a thirty-four million dollar campaign to restore Fort Greene Park, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Margaret Kampmeier, pianist, enjoys a varied career as soloist, collaborative artist and educator. Equally fluent in classical and contemporary repertoire, she has concertized and recorded extensively. In addition to her many appearances with the Saratoga Chamber Players, Ms. Kampmeier has performed with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, Kronos Quartet, Sherman Chamber Ensemble, Richardson Chamber Players, and Peter Schickele. As orchestral keyboardist, she performs regularly with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and is a frequent guest of the American Composers Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. As a recording artist, Ms. Kampmeier can be heard on the Albany, Centaur, CRI, Koch, Nonesuch, and Bridge labels.
Ms. Kampmeier teaches piano and chamber music at Princeton University, and is currently Chair and Artistic Director of the Contemporary Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music. She has given lecture recitals on a wide range of topics including Preludes and Fugues through the Ages, Contemporary Keyboard Techniques, and Piano Music of Women Composers. Ms. Kampmeier holds a doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook, where she studied with esteemed pianist Gilbert Kalish. A native of Rochester, NY, she resides in New York City with her husband Ed Harsh, and their son Andrew.
Noah Kaplan is a composer and saxophonist from Topanga, CA. His music blends the dark energy of free jazz with Romantic lyricism in new realms of tonality. Kaplan has composed for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, JACK quartet, PRISM quartet, So Percussion, and the American Modern Ensemble, among others. He co-leads the indie pop band Dollshot and is currently collaborating with writer Hampton Fancher on Salvation, an opera trilogy. As an improviser, Kaplan has performed and/or recorded with Joe Morris, Anthony Coleman, David Tronzo, Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua, Rinde Eckert, Mat Maneri and Joe Maneri, among others. The Noah Kaplan Quartet has recorded two albums for HatHut Records, Descendants (2011) and Cluster Swerve (2017).
Noah is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition at Princeton University where he is a Naumburg and Mark Nelson doctoral fellow. He graduated from the New England Conservatory in 2006 with a B.M. in Jazz Performance, and received an M.F.A. in Music Composition from Princeton in 2015. He was the William and Mary Greve Foundation-John J. Tommaney Memorial Fellow in Composition at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2016. In 2017, his work Forest Through Forest was premiered by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra through the Edward T. Cone Institute.
In addition to composing and improvising, he produces new classical and experimental music for Underwolf Records. He recently edited a new English edition of Ivan Wyschnegradsky’s Manual of Quarter-Tone Harmony, which was published by Underwolf Editions in 2017. He lives in Brooklyn.
Rosalie Kaplan is a vocalist and composer from Virginia. She co-leads the band Dollshot, whose second album Lalande will be out in 2018. Recent recordings include an EP reimagining Benjamin Britten’s Songs from the Chinese with electric guitarist Marco Cappelli, and a collaboration with sound artists Desmond Knight. She has performed and recorded with Rinde Eckert, Federico Ughi, Quinn Collins, Caroline Park, Jeff Snyder, Christopher Douthitt, Marco Kappelli, Kevin McFarland, and Sarah Bernstein, among others, at venues throughout New York City including (le) Poisson Rouge, WNYC’s The Greene Space, The Stone, Galapagos Art Space, and Littlefield. Her translation of Ivan Wyschnegradsky’s Manual of Quarter-Tone Harmony was published by Underwolf Editions this fall. She lives in Brooklyn.
David T. Little is “one of the most imaginative young composers” on the scene, a “young radical” (The New Yorker), with “a knack for overturning musical conventions” (The New York Times). His operas JFK (Royce Vavrek, librettist; Fort Worth Opera / Opéra de Montréal / American Lyric Theater), Dog Days (Royce Vavrek, librettist; Peak Performances / Beth Morrison Projects), and Soldier Songs (Prototype Festival) have been widely acclaimed, “prov[ing] beyond any doubt that opera has both a relevant present and a bright future” (The New York Times).
Recent works include The Conjured Life (Cabrillo Festival Orchestra / Cristian Măcelaru), Ghostlight –ritual for six players (eighth blackbird / The Kennedy Center), AGENCY (Kronos Quartet), dress in magic amulets, dark, from My feet (The Crossing / ICE), CHARM (Baltimore Symphony / Marin Alsop), Hellhound (Maya Beiser), Haunt of Last Nightfall (Third Coast Percussion). Little is currently working on a new opera commissioned by the MET Opera / Lincoln Center Theater new works program with Royce Vavrek, and the music-theatre work Artaud in the Black Lodge with Outrider legend Anne Waldman (Beth Morrison Projects). His music has been heard at LA Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, LA Opera, the Park Avenue Armory, Holland Festival, the Bang On A Can Marathon, BAM Next Wave and elsewhere. Educated at University of Michigan and Princeton, Little is co-founder of the annual New Music Bake Sale, has served as Executive Director of MATA, and serves on the Composition Faculty at Mannes-The New School. From 2014 – 2017, he served as Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia and Music-Theatre Group. The founding artistic director of the ensemble Newspeak, his music can be heard on New Amsterdam, Innova, and VIA Records labels. In fall 2016, VIA Records released the world-premiere recording of Dog Days, starring the original cast and Newspeak led by conductor Alan Pierson; the CD was listed as one of NPR’s Best Recordings of 2016. He received a 2017 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
Andrew Lovett moved from the UK to live in Princeton in 2009 (joining the department of music at Princeton University as a Professional Specialist). He composes small-scale operas, chamber music and electroacoustic works. He was recently a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, working on a new comic opera called The Analysing Engine. This was performed in a workshop production in the Wallace Theater, Princeton in November 2017.
Before moving to the US, he enjoyed a particularly close and rewarding collaboration with London-based ensemble The Electric Voice Theatre (artistic director, Frances Lynch). They premiered two large-scale operas: Abraham On Trial (2005) and Lonely Sits the City (2009). A third was developed with them, and subsequently completed in the US: Don’t Breathe A Word (2015).
He has a long-standing interest in silent movies, occasionally performing as a pianist to accompany screenings. Recently, this has included performances within Princeton University and at the Garden Theater.
John Rockwell is a writer and arts critic. Raised in San Francisco, he attended Andover, Harvard and the University of Munich and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. After stints as a classical music and dance critic at the Oakland Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, he moved to New York in 1972. At The New York Times he served as a classical music critic, reporter and editor; chief rock critic; European cultural correspondent; editor of the Sunday Arts & Leisure section; arts columnist; and chief dance critic. He also directed the Lincoln Center Festival for its first four years, and taught opera seminars at Princeton in Carl Schorske’s program 1979 – 1981.
A prolific freelancer, he is currently a New York correspondent for the London-based Opera magazine and Financial Times, as well as a regular contributor to Classical Voice North America and Musical America. He has written books on American contemporary composition in all genres, Frank Sinatra and Lars von Trier, and edited a compilation of his journalism and a Times coffee-table book on the 1960’s. He is a former board member at Berkeley, Harvard and the Curtis Institute and former board chairman of the National Arts Journalism Program.
Pianist Lynda Saponara has performed internationally with the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. In the U.S., she has collaborated with Princeton Festival, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Opera Festival of NJ, Opera at Florham, Boheme Opera NJ, and the American Handel Festival. Most recently, she premiered Andrew Lovett’s chamber opera The Analysing Engine at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts. Master class credits include John Corigliano, Evelyn Glennie, Joan Dornemann, Dalton Baldwin, Paul Plishka, Sharon Sweet, Patricia Craig, and Gabriela Lechner. Dr. Saponara has been a faculty member at The College of New Jersey, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Jersey City University, and Wagner College. She maintains piano and vocal coaching studios in Princeton and Pennington, NJ.
Artist and Opera Director R. B. Schlather is recognized for his innovations in the presentation of opera performance. His work is increasingly located in fine art spaces in dialogue with larger themes about opera production, process, and access. Schlather is “widely recognized as one of the most ambitious, creative, strong, and edgy opera directors working today” (WAMC Radio), “having a gift for drawing our vivid performances” (New York Times), and an “ability to demolish the barriers of propriety and politeness that seem to plague much of traditional operatic experience (Opera Today). Recent performances include an exhibition of Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein’s opera ‘The Mother of Us All’ at the historic Hudson Opera House in Hudson, NY, ‘Doctor Atomic’ for Curtis Opera Theater, a double bill for Wolf Trap Opera, an artist’s residency at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, and an installation of the world premiere of David Hertzberg’s opera ‘The Wake World,’ commissioned by Opera Philadelphia for the Barnes Foundation as part of their inaugural O17 Festival.
Composer Gregory Spears’s music work has been called “astonishingly beautiful” (The New York Times), “coolly entrancing” (The New Yorker), and “some of the most beautifully unsettling music to appear in recent memory” (The Boston Globe). Recently, he has been commissioned by The Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Cincinnati Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seraphic Fire, The New York International Piano Competition, The Crossing, and the JACK Quartet among others. Spears’ most recent evening length opera, Fellow Travelers, written in collaboration with Greg Pierce, has been hailed as “one of the most accomplished new operas I have seen in recent years” (Chicago Tribune) and was also included in The New York Times’ Best in Classical Music for 2016. Spears’ children’s opera Jason and the Argonauts, written with Kathryn Walat, premiered in 2016 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and was subsequently performed on tour. His opera about space exploration, O Columbia, was written in collaboration with Royce Vavrek and premiered in 2015 at Houston Grand Opera. Spears and Walat’s first opera, Paul’s Case, was described as a “masterpiece” (New York Observer) and was developed by American Opera Projects. It was premiered by Urban Arias in 2013, restaged at the PROTOTYPE Festival in 2014, and presented in a new production by Pittsburgh Opera. Spears has won prizes from BMI and ASCAP as well as awards and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Vagn Holmboe Competition. His music is published by Schott Music and Schott PSNY.
Heidi Waleson is the opera critic of the Wall Street Journal. Her book, “Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future of Opera in America,” will be published by Metropolitan Books in Fall 2018.
As a music critic and arts journalist, she has reviewed hundreds of productions in New York, across the US and internationally. In her work for the Journal and numerous other publications, including Opera News, Musical America, Symphony Magazine, and Early Music Magazine, she has explored a wide range of issues in the arts, tackling such subjects as artistic innovation and institutional sustainability. She is a faculty member of the biennial Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, teaching and mentoring young music writers. She co-chairs committee that selects the annual MCANA (Music Critics of North America) Award for Best New Opera in North America.
She is the author of several publications about foundations and philanthropy, including “Giving While Living “ (Atlantic Philanthropies) and “A Trust Fulfilled: Four Decades of Grantmaking by the Mary Flagler Charitable Trust.”
Ms. Waleson is a graduate of Yale College and lives in New York City.
Stefan Weisman (composer) is a composer living in New York City. Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times described his music as “personal, moody and skillfully wrought.” When his song “Twinkie” was featured on the nationally syndicated program The Wendy Williams Show, the host said, “Very unique…You’re not going to hear opera like this anywhere else…Fabulous!” His compositions include chamber, orchestral, theater, dance and choral pieces, and he has specialized in vocal works that explore edgy and compelling topics. His opera Darkling, commissioned by American Opera Projects, was included in the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, premiered to great acclaim at the East 13th Street Theater and toured Europe in 2007. It was released by Albany Records in November 2011. His one-act opera Fade, commissioned by the British opera company Second Movement, premiered in London in 2008 and also had successful performances in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Brooklyn. His evening length opera, The Scarlet Ibis, was premiered in the 2015 PROTOTYPE opera festival, produced by HERE and Beth Morrison Projects. The Wall Street Journal said it was “subtly subversive, and its production groundbreaking.” Among his other commissions are works for Bang on a Can, Sequitur, and the Empire City Men’s Choir. He is a graduate of Bard College (BA), Yale University (MA), and Princeton University (PhD). His music is available on New Amsterdam Records and Albany Records. stefanweisman.com
Benjamin Werley (tenor) praised as having a “gleaming, flexible tenor” (Opera News) returns this year to Florida Grand Opera, singing Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and both Narraboth and Second Jew in Salome. In March 2013, Werley was one of twenty singers nationwide selected to sing in the semi-finals of the 2012 – 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York City. He has since been a member of the young artist programs in St. Louis, the Merola Program, Virginia Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Colorado, and FGO. Last summer, he made his role debut singing Don José in Carmen with the Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance program.