The Thaw Comes, Every Body.
Writing from the air somewhere in the middle there with some things for now and some for later.
Bullets here. Details further on.
2/22-2/23 David Lang's the loser at LA Opera (LA, CA)
3/21-3/23 Found Sound Nation's Mosaic Interactive at The Big Ears Festival (Knoxville, TN)
4/6-4/7 David T. Little's Soldier Songs at Opera ATX (Austin Opera, Austin, TX)
4/13-4/18 Huang Ruo's Bound with Fresh Squeezed Opera (Baruch Performing Arts Center, NY, NY)
Will be on the road for a bit. If we miss, catch up in the drip drip thaw.
Stay warm. Stay dry. Unless now's not the time.
With Gratitude and Appreciation,
Returning from Associate Directing David Lang's the loser with LA Opera at the ridiculously gaudy, gilt, height-of-American-baroquery Theater at the Ace Hotel. Built in 1927. All downhill from there.
It's been a privilege to work with David again and be introduced to this piece. It's an elegant, impressionistic, funny, troubling work and an incredible act of virtuosity by Rod Gilfry who reveals 60 minutes of non-linear exposition floating 33 steps above the stage.
An honor to work with/around/adjacent to designers Jim Findlay, Jennifer Tipton, Suzanne Bocanegra, Eric Dyer, and the performers Conrad Tao, Owen Weaver, Isabel Hagen, Mariel Roberts, Pat Swoboda and Lesley Leighton. And a most welcome return to both the Bang on a Can and LA Opera fams.
Tonight's the last night. If The West is your coast, come on by.
Big Ears Festival, Knoxville, TN
Ali Tekbas, Vocalist
Eva Salina, Vocalist
Mehdi Nassouli, Guembri Player + Vocalist
Ben Townsend, Fiddle + Banjo Player
Peni Candra Rini, Vocalist
Zafer Tawil, Oud Player + Percussionist
Alexia Webster, Photographer + Videographer
Kyla-Rose Smith, Artist + Producer
Elena Moon Park, Violinist + Producer
Christopher Marianetti, Composer + Producer
Jeremy Thal, French Horn Player + Producer
Gideon Crevoshay, Vocalist
Hatim Belyamani, Producer
Asma Ghanem, Producer
Samah Boulmona, Accordion Player
Ezra Tenenbaum, Production Manager
Christopher Botta, Audio Engineer
Ashley Tata, Director
Eamonn Farrell, Visual Designer
Maxwell Bowman, Lighting Designer
Heading to Appalachia for four weeks with the good folk at Found Sound Nation to develop and build Mosaic Interactive -- a suite of interdisciplinary works that explore our collective dreams, memories and rituals through song and storytelling.
I'm thrilled and honored to be working with the incredible musicians, composers, producers and artists who are coming from all over the world to create this project and pretty stoked to be working again with Eamonn (rhymes with "demon") Farrell to design the thing.
We'll be making the work with residencies at Pine Mountain Settlement School and Appalshop in Kentucky and Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia leading to the premiere at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville. If you're in Tennessee the end of March, check it out.
Opera ATX, Austin Opera
Text and Music: David T. Little
Director: Ashley Tata
Video: Bill Morrison
Lighting: Chris Kuhl
Conductor: Todd Reynolds
Soldier: David Adam Moore
Performed by: Newspeak
Back on the road with David T. Little, Todd Reynolds, David Adam Moore, BMP and Newspeak to bring Soldier Songs to Austin, TX.
Very happy to return to this piece with these makers. Looking forward to the discussion that comes with bringing it to yet another community in the US.
Fresh Squeezed Opera
Arts Center, New York, NY
Music by Huang Ruo
Libretto by Bao-Long Chu
Directed by Ashley Tata
Scenic: Stephan Moravski
Video: David Bengali
Lighting: Abby Hoke-Brady
Costumes: Corina Louise Chase
Diane Tran: Fang Tao
Khan: Guang Yang
Looking forward to working with Fresh Squeezed Opera on the New York City premiere of Huang Ruo's opera. The work, based on a true story, deals with themes of immigration, questions of what it means to be a good citizen, familial responsibilities and the compromises we make to survive and make a living. I'm very grateful and humbled by the design team that has assembled and to the musicians who are joining us. I hope to see as many of you there as possible.
If you're in New York this spring, come on by.
It's been nice eating corned-dogs at the sideshow
block head hammering a spike into his nasal cavity
while she swallows swords that are as long as her torso
under the Friday night fireworks giving proof through the night that it's all burning down.
Spectation is over.
Relieved to be making.
Hope these provide an occasion to see any of you.
love, gratitude, and more making for all,
atJust The Bullets:
Fornes Marathon 8/27 @ The Public. NYC.
Oklahoma! 9/27-10/28 @ St. Ann's Warehouse. NYC.
Soldier Songs 10/13 @ LA Opera at the Ford Theater. LA.
Ipsa Dixit 10/27 @ The Miller Theater. NYC.
The Sins of Mahagonny 12/6-12/8 @ Harvard University.
Monday, August 27th
The Shiva @ The Public Theater
425 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10003
I'm thrilled to be a small part of this 12-hour celebration of the works of Maria Irene Fornes. It involves a humbling group of theater artists including David Greenspan who I have the great privilege of directing in a presentation of the extended monologue, Dr. Kheal. It's funny, David is fantastic and it launches the day. So see you at the Shiva at noon. Oh. And it's FREE! RSVP required. Info in the link above.
From the website:
Spearheaded by acclaimed director JoAnne Akalaitis, this 12-hour marathon of staged readings by notable performers including Kathleen Chalfant, David Greenspan, and Carmelita Tropicana celebrates the plays of Maria Irene Fornes. Showcasing her little known and rarely produced works alongside more recognized favorites, the marathon partners with THE REST I MAKE UP, Michelle Memran’s documentary on Fornes screening at MoMA (Aug 23-29) to bring awareness to one of America’s greatest and least known playwrights.
Pictured: Patrick Vaill - Photo: Brigitte Lacombe
Opening night: 10/7
Performances: 10/9-10/28 (at least)
St Ann’s Warehouse
45 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Currently in rehearsal as the Associate Director on Daniel Fish’s production of R & H’s musical Oklahoma! Working on material set in our frontier-pushing past through the lens of the post-World-War-II American Musical today is an unsettling, resonant and uncomfortable examination of American identity. Plus: it features a fantastic cast, it sounds great, there will be chili and corn bread and it’s an incredible room to be in. Ticket information in the link above. Worth making the effort to see. Holler when you do.
Pictured: David Adam Moore & Newspeak - Photo: Noah Stern Weber
Saturday, October 13th
LA Opera at the Ford Theaters
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East
Hollywood, CA 90068
Making my LA Opera directorial debut with David T. Little’s Soldier Songs sung by David Adam Moore, conducted by Alan Pierson with video by Bill Morrison. Last time we performed this was in Fargo, ND with Fargo-Moorehead Opera and it provided a forum for conversation with the community about our ongoing wars and the veterans who fight them. There was almost as much conversation surrounding new music and opera and the sounds that are being made these days. We won’t be sitting as long in this venue (#1nightonly) but I hope that the discussion continues. For better or worse the material continues to speak to the times in which we're living. Grateful to be making again.
Ticketing info in the link above. If you make it message me -- we happen to open on my birthday and would love to have cake and eat it with you. Because that actually is what cake is for and I'm tired of hearing otherwise.
Pictured: Kate Soper & Erin Lesser - Photo: Brad Peterson
Saturday, October 27th
Miller Theatre at Columbia University
New York, NY 10027
Coming home to the alma with Kate Soper’s Ipsa Dixit. This was a totally satisfying piece to make with an entire team of collaborators and performers who tzzt! the room. Stoked to remount it, even if it is #1nightonly. It’s a truly unique piece. If you can make it uptown and seear it you probably should. Though I am partial…
Ticketing info in the link above.
From the website:
Kate Soper is a multi-talented composer, singer, and writer whose theatrical chamber music masterpiece Ipsa Dixit (“She, herself, said it”) explores the integration of music, drama, and rhetoric. Called a “philosophy-opera” by The New Yorker, the work blends aspects of monodrama, Greek theater, and screwball comedy in a musical journey that examines the treachery of language and the questionable authenticity of artistic expression. The composer, herself, performs the virtuosic score alongside members of the ensemble Wet Ink in this evening-length tour de force.
THE SINS OF MAHAGONNY
Dance, Theatre and Media Department
12 Holyoke St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Setting: Moon on the Mississippi
Anna I and Anna II — one divided being, though you see two of them — are one heart, one savings account. A single past and a single future. Family send them to their future fortune in the Big Cities of U.S. They will send $ back to Louisiana to rebuild home. Stage is set for that most American of narrative devices: the road trip. Anna’s oneself is proud and artistic but the crowd isn't interested. Anna’s otherself sells herself. From city to sin to sin to city to city to sin to sincity. To homecoming. Right, Anna? Right, Anna.
Setting: Oh Moon of Alabama
Off to Mahagonny!
A dream somewhere in these U.S.
Booze and poker!
Horse- and whore-flesh!
As long as you have the dollars to pay!
Five bucks a day won’t get you satisfaction but you’ll feel satisfied.
Till we burn it to the ground.
The Seven Deadly Sins and Mahagonny are songspiel[en] made between 1927 and 1933 by Weill/Brecht at home in Berlin and in exile in Europe. They experiment with the function of theater as a space for ideas and civic discourse and confrontation and the function of music as popular form and tool for dissonance within the theatrical medium. Goalin' that The Sins of Mahagonny will be an expression through songs, protest, dance, video and electronics of a 21st century Amerikana-Expressionist club-kabaret nightmare. A hearth-and-home dream-in-flames.
Great team assembling.
More info to come.
If you're one of those who now live in Boston I'm coming atcha.