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American Lyric Theater: 10 Years of Nurturing the Future of Opera

I’m not particularly interested in an opera written for three vacuum cleaners featuring a punk-singer with no discernable plot. I’m not saying that type of work is not a legitimate form of musical-theatrical expression, but that isn’t what excites me about the potential of opera. I don’t think we have to revolt against opera’s history to define its future. Quite the contrary – I’m excited to see how artists BUILD upon opera’s history to create a vibrant future.

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Vietnam Is A Lullaby Of Dissolution In “My Lai” at BAM

Composer Jonathan Berger has created an opera that is incredibly soothing, when played by Kronos Quartet and Vietnamese Musician Vân-Áhn Võ.  It’s a blissful and dreamy soundscape.  Kronos Quartet is David Harrington on violin, John Sherba on violin, Hank Dutt on viola, and Sunny Yang on cello.  In My Lai, they are precise, as they gesture toward Vân-Áhn Võ.  She plays several instruments, dan bau (single-string box zither), dan tranh (16-string board zither), and t’rung (a visually striking helix-shaped xylophone with bamboo rods).  The Vietnamese instruments look like chimes; a stringed instruments is played like a digital sampler. 

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