Soldier Songs @ Poisson Rouge

This looks neat:
On September 6 & 7, Le Poisson Rouge, will present the Beth Morrison Projects’ premiere of David T. Little’s Soldier Songs.

Soldier Songs is an evening-length multimedia performance piece from composer David T. Little. Comprised of 11 songs with an original Libretto by the composer, the work combines elements of theater, opera, concert music, rock and animation to explore the dichotomy between war and modern society through the abstract character, the Soldier.

Soldier Songs was first presented in 2006 as a song cycle by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (the Pittsburgh Post Gazette says about that performance: “Soldier Songs packs [a] heartrending wallop”) and had its orchestral premiere as part of New York City Opera’s VOX Festival in 2008. Feast of Music says the VOX Festival performance “packed the most dramatic punch of any of the works on the bill: it was both thoroughly relevant and profoundly disturbing.”

The upcoming Beth Morrison Projects production is the first fully staged presentation of this dramatic work and features an acclaimed creative team: singer David Adam Moore, members of the ensemble Newspeak, conductor Todd Reynolds, director Yuval Sharon, set/costume designer Chisato Uno, lighting designer Lucas Krech, and animator/video designer Corey Michael Smithson.


Performance Details:

When: Saturday, September 6, 7:00pm (doors open at 6:00)

Sunday, September 7, 7:00pm (doors open at 6:00)

Where: Le Poisson Rouge 158 Bleecker Street

Tickets:           212.796.0741 or www.lepoissonrouge.com

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Soldier Songs Bios

Composer/Librettist David T. Little is a multi award-winning composer. In 2004, he was awarded the Harvey Gaul Prize from the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble which resulted in “Soldier Songs.” Alex Ross of The New Yorker says: “every bad-ass new-music ensemble in the city will want to play him;” the Pittsburgh Post Gazette says “Little’s compositional language is eclectic and diverse….;” Time Out New York says: “David T. Little pursues musical activism through superior firepower…to say that [he] is having a banner season is something of an understatement.” Little has won the BMI Student Composer Award twice, the 2004 Jacob Druckman Award for Orchestral Composition from the Aspen Music Festival, the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the ASCAP Morton Gould Award, a 2008 New Jersey State Council Artist Grant, and served as the ASCAP Leonard Bernstein Fellow in Composition at Tanglewood. Little is founder and director of Newspeak and is currently a doctoral candidate at Princeton University.

“Soldier Songs” conductor, Todd Reynolds, is a contemporary music mainstay, having collaborated as a performer, composer, and conductor with some of the most highly regarded modern artists and groups including Steve Reich, Bang on a Can, Meredith Monk, Ridge Theater, filmmaker Bill Morrison, Luke Dubois, and as a founding member of the string quartet Ethel. He has conducted the music of Steve Reich both in performance and on the Nonesuch recording of “The Hindenburg” and was music director and conductor of Giovanni Sollima’s “Ellis Island,” which received its premiere at Palermo, Sicily’s Teatro Massimo in 2003. Current collaborations include Meredith Monk’s new work, “Songs of Ascension;” composition for Stephen Koplowitz’s “TaskForce” touring in Los Angeles; collaborations with Ridge Theater; and continuing development of his own work “Still Life with Microphone” which will feature films of Bill Morrison and video of Luke DuBois.

“Soldier Songs” director, Yuval Sharon has worked with the San Francisco Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, New York City Opera, Berkeley Opera, the Asia Society of New York, the Deitch Projects, the New York Hip Hop Theater Festival, and is co-founder of the New York-based group Theater Faction. Sharon has worked with directors Graham Vick and Hans Neuenfels, and is currently assisting Achim Freyer on a new production of Wagner’s “Ring” at Los Angeles Opera. A passionate advocate for new music, Sharon is Project Director for New York City Opera’s VOX, an annual showcase of new American opera.

Set designer Chisato Uno has designed a variety of dance , opera, and theater productions, including “Aida” at the Berkeley Opera, “Inter” at the Ulua Theater in Hawaii, “The Golem” at Columbia Stages, and “Arcadia” at NYU. She has been assistant designer to George Tsypin on the “Little Mermaid” on Broadway, to Thomas Lynch on “See What I Wanna See” at the Public Theater, and to Robert Pyzocha on “Live from Lincoln Center” television broadcasts. She also worked in the art department on the film “My Blueberry Nights.”

Lighting Designer Lucas Benjamin Krech designs for theater, dance, opera, installations, and performance. He’s worked on Off-Broadway shows including “Fate’s Imagination,” “Becoming Adele,” “Sake with the Haiku Geisha,” and “The Last Word.” Krech has designed for theater and opera productions across the world including in Romania, Puerto Rico, and across the U.S. He has designed for dance productions of the works of Nicolo Fonte, Sean Curran, Matthew Neenan, Johannes Weiland, Gemze De Lappe, Donald Mahler, Sallie Wilson, Paul Sutherland, Trebien Pollard, Keith Michael, and others.

Video designer and animator, Corey Michael Smithson, is a multi-media artist who works in several disciplines including painting, photography, film, video, computer design, animation, printmaking, drag, drawing, installation, sculpture, and writing. His film work includes “Humoresque” (1993-2004), “The Fight Trilogy” (2004-2006), and “Showbloat” (2005). Additionally, Smithson’s work has been featured in the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Boston Underground Film Festival, and in private art collections across the U.S.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says David Adam Moore possesses “subtle musicality and a big, handsome voice” in his role as Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte for the Seattle Opera. He has appeared in over forty principal roles with major opera companies and symphony orchestras. Future engagements include returns to Teatro alla Scala for Demetrius in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Cascada in “Die lustige Witwe;” Seattle Opera for Figaro in “Il barbiere di Siviglia” and Zurga in “Les Pêcheurs de Perles;” Pittsburgh Opera for Marcello in “La Bohème;” and performances of Mercutio with San Diego Opera. A staunch advocate of contemporary music, Moore has premiered a number of works by the American composers Martin Hennessy and Stephen Louis Bayne, most notably, “9/11/01″ at Guggenheim Art Museum. Also an accomplished composer, his recent work, “Kronos,” was featured in a performance by the Oxymoros Dance Ensemble.

Actor Brandon Alexander Rakowski has toured nationally on “Whistle Down the Wind” and performed regionally in productions of “A Christmas Carol” at Westport Country Playhouse and in “Ragtime,” “Music Man,” and “Suessical.”

Production Company, Beth Morrison Projects (BMP), commissions, develops, and produces new music theater works for opera, musicals, song-cycles, dance, theater, film, and multimedia. Founded in 2005, BMP has produced three new operas, a new musical, a theatrical chamber music piece, and a street spectacle piece in Orvieto, Italy as well as commissioned four new works. The production work of BMP has been seen at Brooklyn Academy of Music in the opera Don Juan in Prague; at PS 122 in the world premiere of Michael Webster’s opera “Hell;” at the New York Musical Theater Festival with Hilliard and Boresi’s original comic opera “Don Imbroglio” and with their musical adaptation of Don Giovanni, “Going Down Swingin.” BMP has been awarded grants from the Puffin Foundation, the Goldman Foundation, the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Newspeak is an eight-piece amplified ensemble dedicate to performing socially engaging music and to the fusion of rock and classical traditions. Founded by composer David T. Little in 2004, Newspeak has performed in New York, New Haven, Philadelphia and Boston. They were featured as pat of ZOOM: Composers up Close at Merkin Hall and on the inaugural Full Force New Rock Complexity series curated by John Zorn. Most recently, they have performed at Cornelia Street Café, Symphony Space, Princeton University, Hiro Ballroom, the MATA Festival, and the Brooklyn Lyceum. Their provocative concert, “Which Side Are You On? Music By, For and Against Frederic Rzewski at 70″ was hosted by WNYC-FM and called “innovative” by New York Magazine.

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  1. [...] Soldier Songs opens next week. I have not written much about it, but it is a very exciting project that I have been looking forward to for some time. [...]



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