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PASSIONATE PILGRIM

PERFORMANCES:

Recorded at the Bunker Studio 2016

ABOUT:

"Passionate Pilgrim" is a song cycle co-written by composer collective Oracle Hysterical (Elliot Cole, Brad & Doug Balliett, and Majel Connery). As a collaboration with the period ensemble, New Vintage Baroque, "The Passionate Pilgrim" brings an all-but-forgotten poem cycle back to life. Once believed to have been penned by Shakespeare, the poems were stripped of this stature when their Shakespearean parentage was revealed as a fake. Here, finally, the orphaned cycle enjoys new pride of place, reimagined as tuneful Baroque pop.

Passionate Pilgrim the album is a co-production of Opera Cabal and New Vintage Baroque. 

Watch the videos here.

COLLABORATORS:

http://www.oraclehysterical.com/
http://www.newvintagebaroque.org/

AEOLUS

PERFORMANCES:

April 25, 2015
High Concept Labs
2233 S. Throop St.
Chicago, IL 60608
6:00-8:00p

ABOUT:

Opera Cabal returned to High Concept Labs this past April to present a work in progress and public discussion of Hong Kong Graft (HKGraft). HKGraft is the next stage in an ongoing collaboration between composer/performer Ken Ueno and architect Thomas Tsang (DEHOWPROJECTS) with vocalist/performer, Majel Connery.


Both an installation and an opera, HKGraft expands Ueno and Tsang's work rethinking the relationship between space and sound, and embracing architecture as a fundamentally sonic and theatrical experience. 
The 20-minute preview on Saturday, April 25 premiered two scenes from the forthcoming opera, and represents the first phase in the project's development. Following the preview, Seth Brodsky (Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Chicago), will led a discussion and talkback with Ueno, Tsang and Connery. 


This event was presented by Opera Cabal, sponsored by High Concept Laboratories, and hosted by Mana Contemporary.


Videos from the event can be found here.
 

COLLABORATORS:

High Concept Laboratories
Mana Contemporary
Ken Ueno
Thomas Tsang (DEHOWPROJECTS)
Seth Brodsky

Opera Cabal and Oracle Hysterical at Constellation

PERFORMANCES:

Thursday, Nov 6, 2014
Constellation, Chicago
3111 N. Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

ABOUT:

Together with our collaborative partner in crime, Oracle Hysterical (a.k.a. Elliot Cole, Brad Balliet, Doug Balliett, and Majel Connery), we premiered a new song cycle, and forthcoming album, "Hecuba." At Constellation in Chicago with the Chicago Composers Orchestra.

COLLABORATORS:

Oracle Hysterical
Chicago Composers Orchestra
Constellation Chicago

Opera Cabal and ACME at The Kitchen

PERFORMANCES:

June 12 and 13, 2014
@ The Kitchen
512 W. 19th St.
NYC

ABOUT:

Opera Cabal presented the American Contemporary Music Ensemble in the World Premiere staging of Georg Friedrich Haas’s haunting monodrama, “ATTHIS,” conducted by Peyman Farzinpour, former director of new music at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and stage directed by two-time Emmy Award-winning director, Habib Azar. Azar and Farzinpour conjured a musical mise-en-scene of subtle but shimmering otherworldliness. Haas shared the stage with Guggenheim Fellow and composer, Marcos Balter, in three never-before staged works featuring Nadia Sirota, Andrew Rehrig, and ACME Executive Director, Clarice Jensen. Featuring soprano, Ariadne Greif, and actor and Opera Cabal Executive Director, Majel Connery.
 

Opera Cabal presents ACME at the Kitchen from Opera Cabal on Vimeo.

COLLABORATORS:

American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Habib Azar, stage direction
Ariadne Greif, soprano
Peyman Farzinpour, conductor
Clarice Jensen, cello
Joe Levasseur, lighting design
Michael V. Moore, scenic design
Nadia Sirota, violist
 

operaSHOP III November 2012

PERFORMANCES:

November 1
@ High Concept Laboratories
November 2
@ Logan Center Performance Penthouse 
November 3
@Fulton Hall, University of Chicago Dept. of Music

ABOUT:

In our third operaSHOP, we featured two extraordinary artists, Phyllis Chen and Robert Dietz. Guided by Columbia University dramaturg, Joseph Cermatori, "The Slumber Thief" conjures a minutely expressive dreamscape using toy pianos, music boxes, and an array of sonic and visual oddities. Praised by the New York Times for her "delightful quirkiness," Chen's collaborations with Dietz evoke the minutely expressive fabric of a child's unconscious, both fabulous and slightly terrifying.

Watch the video here.

COLLABORATORS:

http://www.phyllischen.net/
http://cerumenspoon.com/
Joseph Cermatori
 

operaSHOP II January 2012

PERFORMANCES:

Friday, January 27
@ High Concept Laboratories 
&
Saturday, January 28
@ Fulton Recital Hall, University of Chicago

ABOUT:

In January 2012 we turned the spotlight on two exceptional young Princeton University composers, Elliot Cole and Caroline Shaw. Under the guidance of Opera Cabal, the duo has embarked on an intense collaborative residency that wil culminate in an evening of duelling operas. Cole appeared as Spotlight Artist at the 2011 Lucerne Festival, where he and his collaborators presented the hip hop string quartet, Fisherman and His Wife, and songs based on Grimm's Fairy Tales. Shaw performs at a furious pace across the Eastern seaboard with the highly-acclaimed ACME string quartet and vocal ensembe, Roomful of Teeth.

Watch the video here.

COLLABORATORS:

elliotcole.com
carolineshaw.com

operaSHOP September 2011

PERFORMANCES:

Friday, September 30 & Saturday, October 1
@ High Concept Laboratories (Chicago)

ABOUT:

For the launch of our first operaSHOP, Opera Cabal invited video designer, producer, composer and all-around technical whiz Alexander Overington to work with virtuoso cellist and singer, Teddy Rankin-Parker. Overington and Rankin-Parker first established a reputation when they toured as the opening act for Grammy Award-winning ensemble, eighth blackbird. Both artists, recent graduates of Oberlin Conservatory, have been recognized for their incredible musical prowess. The differing interests and talents of these two artists is a confrontation of operatic proportions. Opera is the meeting of two complementary but completely different art forms: Overington and Rankin-Parker come together like worlds colliding to a spectacular soundtrack. 

Check out the operaSHOP 2011 trailer video

COLLABORATORS:

Alexander Overington
Teddy Rankin-Parker
Amy Stebbins (dramaturg)

VESALII ICONES by Peter Maxwell Davies (1969)

PERFORMANCES:

September 2009
@ High Concept Laboratories (Chicago)
+
May 2010
@ University of Chicago

ABOUT:

"[this production] was, to me, absolutely of our time — which is, to me, the highest achievement for any contemporary work."
- Matthew Jesse Jackson, co-founder of the Open Practice Committee and Assistant Professor of Art History and the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago
Peter Maxwell Davies' Vesalii icones grows out of the seemingly random juxtaposition of two unrelated sets of images. The first set, De fabrica corporis humani, is a series of fourteen engravings that constituted an anatomical revolution in 1543. The pathos-laden nudes in De fabrica are iconic not only for their instructive value but because they comport themselves so hauntingly—ignoring the fact of their own putrefaction, the figures appear to be dancing. The inspiration for Vesalii icones came from Davies’ decision to superimpose Vesalius' images onto the fourteen Stations of the Cross. Originally for a single dancer, our version is for three.

COLLABORATORS:

David J. Levin
Movement Pants Dance
Jonathan Dummar, Joffrey Ballet
Sam Goodman
University of Chicago Music Department 
University of Chicago Germanic Studies Department

USW by Lewis Nielson, 2009

PERFORMANCES:

August 2009
@ High Concept Laboratories (Chicago)
+
February 2010
@ Oberlin College (Ohio), The Fine Arts Building (Chicago) & Galapagos Art Space (Brooklyn, NY)

ABOUT:

Commissioned by Opera Cabal in 2008, USW is a one-act, multi-media chamber opera based on the life, social conditions and writing of the Polish/German socialist Rosa Luxemburg. The score & text, assembled Lewis Nielson (Chair of Composition, Oberlin Conservatory), consists of fragmentary passages in multiple languages from works by Luxemburg, prominent socialists in the 19th century (including Marx, Engels and Jaures), and poets from around the turn of the 20th century (including Trakl, Freiligrath and F. Scott Fitzgerald). Emmy Award-winning soap opera director, Habib Azar, and video artist Alexander Overington weave together a stage action that is at times complimentary to and at times alienated from Nielson's austerely beautiful score. With Majel Connery as the voiceless Rosa.

COLLABORATORS:

Alexander Overington
Habib Azar
Lewis Nielson 

URSULARIA

PERFORMANCES:

April 2007 & October 2007
@ Zhou B Art Center (Chicago)
+
December 2008
@ AV-aerie (Chicago)

ABOUT:

The story of St. Ursula attracted our attention principally because of the plot's extremes—11, 000 virgins on an anti-marital crusade set sail in a giant ark only to confront a gruesome death (some accounts say by decapitation) at the hands of those warring creeps of the pre-Christian age, the Huns. The malfunction of Ursula's mission is so catastrophic as to be risible. It seemed important to us, given these extremes, that an opera about St. Ursula inhabit both the comic and high tragic registers simultaneously. Like the title, meant to evoke a multiplicity of personalities (a different Ursula for each story), Ursularia lives uneasily between versions and between genres. Sandwiched between spoken-dramatic and sung-operatic scenes, Ursula must navigate both: an earthly (spoken) world built around absurd premises and arbitrary rules and, on the other hand, a mystical but equally idiosyncratic and delusional (musical) world of her own.

COLLABORATORS:

Dal Niente
Michael Scott McBride
The Nonsense Company

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