“as one” with AOP and BAM

AsOne_Lane banner 2It’s been a lovely summer, and while I’ve had plenty of time to enjoy just that, I also began working on American Opera Projects’ latest chamber opera As One, created by composer Laura Kaminsky, librettist Mark Campbell, and librettist/filmmaker Kimberly Reed, and to be premiered at BAM Fisher in early September. This beautiful work “relates the experiences and inner life of a transgender person moving toward self-realization”, and features mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and baritone Kelly Markgraf in the role of the central protagonist, as well as the talents of The Fry Street Quartet. Ken Cazan directs, and Steven Osgood music directs.

We had two workshops this summer, one at SUNY Purchase in June, and one in Logan, Utah in July, where we were hosted by The Fry Street Quartet, who is based there and serves as the Quartet-in-Residence at Utah State University. Since summer always yields a variety of commitments for directors and performers alike, we had a second musical team that handled the two workshops, including our fearless cover cast mezzo-soprano Blythe Gaissert and baritone Christopher Herbert, and myself as Conductor and Vocal Coach (and Assistant Conductor for the BAM production). The New York-based Cassatt Quartet also served as our “cover quartet” for the June workshop. So, many of us have joined together to become As One!

As One premieres September 4-7, 2014 at BAM Fisher. Click here for tickets.


the world is round with Ripe Time and BAM

TWIR_Kristen Sieh

photo by Todd France

Coming up outside of my performance schedule is The World is Round with Ripe Time and BAM, conceived, written & directed by Rachel Dickstein (whom I recently worked with on Thumbprint during PROTOTYPE 2014).

I’ll be serving as Vocal Director/Rehearsal Pianist until Composer/Music Director Heather Christian arrives in early April, teaching the ensemble (Kristen Sieh, Grace McLean, Hannah Heller, and Blake DeLong) their vocal parts and playing for all rehearsals. I am already loving the mix of Christian’s indie-folk-gospel music using Gertrude Stein’s beloved text.

Don’t miss this “play with songs and mountains”, from April 17-30 at BAM Fisher. 

“Once upon a time the world was round and you could go on it around and around…

judgment of midas at OPERA America new works forum, january 2014

American Opera Projects’ Judgment of Midas (by composer Kamran Ince and librettist Miriam Seidel) returned this January, making an appearance on behalf of Schott Music at OPERA America’s New Works Forum on January 14th.

Conrad Chu conducted, with Abigail Fischer, David Gordon, Jennifer Goltz-Taylor, Philip Horst, David Schmidt and Jeffrey Tucker in the lead roles, supported by an eight-person chorus. It was almost three years to the day since the last time I played for Midas, at an early workshop in January 2011, and the orchestral reduction always provides plenty of opportunities to “color” the piano.

Check out the video here.

composers & the voice 2013-14

Excited to be back as a Music Director (as well as Project Administrator) for the 2013-14 season of AOP’s Composers & the Voice workshop series! Meet the new season here

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Under the artistic direction of Steven Osgood, Charity Wicks, Kelly Horsted and I will be preparing C&V’s Resident Ensemble of Singers each month as they each learn a newly-written piece catered to their specific voice type, written for them by our five composer fellows and one composer/librettist team. Public performances will follow in May 2014 and September 2014…stay tuned!

“the blind” at lincoln center festival

The Blind_LCF 2013 image

Currently serving as répétiteur for The Blind, an a cappella opera by Lera Auerbach and co-production between Lincoln Center Festival & American Opera Projects, directed by John La Bouchardière with music direction by Julian Wachner.

While the cast and crew fine-tuned the “unexpected, shifting, multisensory sound space” during our April workshop, I honed my skills in reading 12-part vocal scores!  Thankfully, I didn’t have to wear a blindfold, though I can’t say the same for our July audiences…

The Blind will be performed at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse from July 9-14th at 8pm; tickets are available here.

making connections: advice for accompanists, coaches, & conductors

I was extremely honored to host OPERA America’s most recent Making Connections event, Cultivating a Business: Advice for Accompanists, Coaches & Conductors on February 20th at the National Opera Center.

Featuring a panel of esteemed professionals Timothy Myers (artistic director & principal conductor of North Carolina Opera), Arlene Shrut (collaborative pianist & founder of New Triad for the Collaborative Arts), and Steven Osgood (assistant conductor at The Metropolitan Opera & prolific coach of new music), I served as moderator for the evening, asking everything from how they found their niche as a collaborator to how they do their taxes.  Finally, the great secrets revealed!

an evening with missy mazzoli

On February 5th, I was very excited to have had the opportunity to collaborate with friend and composer Missy Mazzoli at OPERA America’s latest installment in their Salon Series, An Evening with Missy Mazzoli.

The evening featured music from her opera Song From The Uproar as well as a new song originally written for Gabriel Kahane, all sung by talented mezzo Abigail Fischer.

See the video here.

heart of darkness at OPERA America new works forum

November brought a whirlwind of performances, including three that were involved with OPERA America’s New Works Forum from the 7th-10th.  The first of those three was with Gotham Chamber Opera as they presented an excerpt from Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness (libretto by Tom Phillips, based on the novella by Joseph Conrad), featuring tenor Alan Oke, mezzo Krysty Swann, and baritone Matt Treviño.  Conducted by Geoffrey McDonald.

View our performance here.

Heart of Darkness had its World Premiere at the Royal Opera House in November 2011, and was originally developed by American Opera Projects and Opera East Productions.

an evening with anthony davis

On October 16th, I was honored to be part of OPERA America’s Salon Series: Exploring American Voices (the first in OPERA America’s new National Opera Center), which featured the work of composer Anthony Davis followed by a discussion with the audience.

Soprano Cynthia Aaronson Davis, baritone Jorell Williams and I performed excerpts from Davis’s operas X: The Life and Times of Malcom X, Lilith, and most recently, Lear on the 2nd Floor.  Not to mention that Anthony also wowed the crowd when he performed “Street’s Aria” from X with tenor Thomas Young!

You can watch an excerpt here.

we got the BEAT (festival)

BEAT logo

Looking forward to the inaugural Brooklyn Emerging Artists in Theater Festival from September 12th-23rd!  I’ll be performing with American Opera Projects and Opera on Tap as they present the next installment of their OPERAtion Brooklyn series, which will feature two of AOP’s Six Scenes from early September, as well as three chamber works presented by OOT.

Get your tickets today and be sure to check out ALL of the amazing artists participating in BEAT!