Author Archives: nball

Ellen West

Libretto by Frank Bidart

Commission: Commissioned by Opera Saratoga, Lawrence Edelson, Artistic & General Director; and Beth Morrison Projects
Premiere: June 30, July 6 and 12, 2019. Opera Saratoga; The Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs, NY.

About the Opera:
Ellen West brings us deep into the personal internal struggle of a young woman’s battle with a severe, chronic eating disorder, as well as the attempts by her doctor to diagnose and save her. The opera is inspired by one of the earliest cases of existential analysis.

Libretto by Barbara Zinn Krieger

Duration: 120′
Voices: Sop. 2Mezzo-sop. Ten. 2Bar. Bass-Bar.; Optional SATB Chorus
Premiere: April 14, 17, 21, 2019. Karajan-Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker e. V., Michael Hasel, director; Theater Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany.


Earl Kim: Now and Then


…spare, inspired text setting. Even without its horrific backstory, Kim’s trenchant work takes on significant power from texts from Chekhov (“The Seagull”), Beckett, and Yeats (“The Tower”).

Celebrating the 20th-Century Music “Traitor”

Throughout the 2018-2019 season, many ensembles and performers will be celebrating the centenary of GEORGE ROCHBERG: a composer who first embraced 12-tone music and serialism, then later rejected avant-garde styles as a form of “self-extinction.” The Tanglewood Music Center, which found storied “success” in championing Rochberg’s music, kicked off the season’s celebrations with performances of his Quintet for Two Violins, Viola, and Two Violoncellos and Octet (A Grand Fantasia) in August.
The University of Pennsylvania, where Rochberg taught on the music faculty until 1983, offered the first of its three all-Rochberg programs on September 26th with performances from the Daedalus String Quartet and the New Fromm Ensemble. The two upcoming performances (October 28th and November 28th) will feature renowned musical artists, Mimi Stillman, flute, Elliot Fisk, guitar, and Mark Livshits, piano.