Approximately one year ago, I submitted an application for the Kennedy Center’s America Opera Initiative annual commission. I was 100% shocked to be one of the artists chosen and then spent this past year learning to write a mini libretto while talking about it to anyone who’d listen and working with this amazing composer and this amazing mentor. I am deeply grateful to have had this to work on particularly during the Year of Our What 2020. This weekend I’m heading down to DC in person(!) to watch the filming of our 20-minute piecethatisdefinitely24minutes with singers from the Cafritz Young Artists Program and a freakin’ orchestra. Come May 1, you will be able to watch it (along with Las Autenticas by Ben Morris & Laura Fuentes and American Apollo by Damian Geter & Lila Palmer) on the KC’s Digital Stage. For free! I’ll remind you.
Music by Amber Vistein
Libretto by Rebecca Hart
Have you ever heard of the New Jersey Devil?
If you grew up anywhere in or around southern NJ, you have. The Garden State’s ‘official state demon’ is said to reside in the wide swath of forest known as the Pine ‘Barrens’… so named because the soil is inhospitable to farming. Every year, the Barrens draws 'dark tourists' eager to visit the Devil’s supposed birthplace in the town of Leeds Point. In 1735, legend has it, the Devil was born human, the 13th child of a woman named Mrs. Leeds. When she uttered a fateful curse, however, her baby transformed, killing her… and haunting the woods forever.
‘the barren(s)’ takes a closer look at the woman who supposedly started it all, asking who Deborah Leeds might have been… and how her story might echo in the lives of women today.
So… not doing a Chrysalis show this weekend but I will be back Sunday April 25 in my post-opera vibes for The Chrysalis 48:HIGH DRAMA, on YouTube and Facebook as always.
IN OTHER NEWS: For anyone who snagged a live seat for myself and Liam McEneany’s show May 8 @ the Kraine in NYC; I will (actually) see you there! and if you didn’t and/or are not vaccinated, livestream tix are available here. The Manhattan School of Music filming of myself & Jacinth Greywoode’s IRON JOHN: an american ghost story just wrapped!! so I’ll have details about that in May. If you’re in Brooklyn Saturday June 8 in the afternoon, there will be a (limited) RH& the Wrong Band gig on our bassist’s roof. More anon. First, opera.