VISIBLE SPEECH: VISIBLE SPEECH is an exploration of communication, listening, and human connection told in English, American Sign Language (ASL), and classical music. Sign & Sing has commissioned this ASL-music piece as the unprecedented introduction of musical work written for, by, and with (D)eaf creators, further educating the public on accessibility as an elevation of storytelling.
SIGN & SING: Although simultaneous ASL performance with live music has become popular in rock music and in musical theatre, the combination of both languages – music and sign – is rarely witnessed in the operatic world. SIGN & SING is a newly created non-profit performance program that integrates American Sign Language (ASL) and classical music in order to emphasize and enhance storytelling in an operatic and recital environment. SIGN & SING will continue to interpret existing music to challenge the definitions of access, listening, and communication within opera today, but Visible Speech is the program’s first commission to intensify our commitment to accessibility and equity in our performance experiences, from inception through execution. Further information about our program can be found at http://www.signandsing.org/.
Composer Richard Einhorn’s “opera with silent film,” Voices of Light, has been hailed in reviews as “a great masterpiece of contemporary music” and “a work of meticulous genius.” Voices of Light has had over 150 performances, including sold-out performances at BAM’s Next Wave Festival, Avery Fisher Hall, Kennedy Center, Cabrillo Festival, Sydney Opera House, and Wolf Trap. Richard is deaf and uses hearing aids and assisted listening technology.
Katherine Dubbs is an opera director and producer in New York. She is the Founder and Executive Producer of SIGN & SING. Previously as Founder and Artistic Director of Princeton Opera Company, Katherine continues to focus on community-based theater and new approaches to musical performance. She is currently working at Chautauqua Opera Company as the Assistant Company Manager. For her development of SIGN & SING, she is the 2015 and 2016 Marin Alsop Award winner, the 2016 Emerging Leader of New York Arts Fellow, and the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing grant winner.