Nick Hallett’s newest opera project, To Music, is a dark comedy which positions the Artist as antagonist. In three previous acts, its story has followed a fictional composer’s misadventures on social media, which lead to an ex-lover’s sworn revenge. The opera’s finale sees this revenge taken: subplots about copyright law come to a head; the origin of Music is revealed. In collaboration with video artist Joshua Thorson, Hallett is writing a musical score and libretto that interlaces with language of the internet and mass media. To Music has been reviewed as “gorgeous..genius” (Opera News) and “the most elaborate collage.” (Pitchfork). Act One of To Musicwas presented by Experiments in Opera at Roulette.
Featuring vocalists Peter Alex Stewart, Amelia Watkins, Kamala Sankaram, and Nick Hallett
Conducted by Mila Henry
Instrumentalists include Sarah Bernstein, Brian Chase, David Friend
Video by Joshua Thorson
Emily Manzo: How To Rescue
Composer and pianist Emily Manzo gives the world premiere of a new work, to an original libretto created in collaboration with composer Jason Cady, and including the poetry of novelist Rumaan Alam. The story is a conversation between two friends centering around the ideas of Octavia Butler, yoga, visions of god, and the choice to have a child.
Featuring soprano Kamala Sankaram and Emily Manzo
Video by Christine Edwards.
Nick Hallett is a composer, vocalist, and cultural producer. For the past five years, he has collaborated with choreographer Bill T. Jones, as composer, performer, and music director for his company’s Analogy Trilogy. He received a New York Dance & Performance “Bessie” Award for Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and other works by John Bernd (2016), made in collaboration with Ishmael Houston Jones and Miguel Gutierrez. With artist Shana Moulton, he shaped Whispering Pines 10(2010), an opera adaptation of Moulton’s cult video art series. The opera has been redeveloped for the internet and as media sculpture. Acting as Music Director to the multimedia artist Joshua White, Hallett helped produce a decade-long revival of the iconic Joshua Light Show. He continues to present new music concerts with Zach Layton, as part of the long-running Darmstadt series.
Emily Manzo is a composer, pianist and vocalist that TimeOut New York considers “a uniquely protean artist who makes several scenes move.” The Washington Postcalled her “a fine pianist,” and The New York Timesdescribed her “attention to detail exceptional.” Emily has been commissioned by the Bayerische Rundfunk, Experiments in Opera and Daniel Neer’s American Songbook. She has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe in concerts and festivals of chamber music, experimental music and rock music. She is a member of the Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner and has toured with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. With funding from the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Foundation she developed an interdisciplinary curriculum surrounding the Chopin Preludes.