Paul’s Case

About the album:
In Willa Cather’s remarkable story “Paul’s Case” (1905), an enigmatic high school student, on the cusp of maturity with no productive outlet for his artistic energies, cultivates a dandy-esque demeanor in response to his Pittsburgh surroundings. Paul’s interaction with his teachers and his journey to New York culminate in a heartbreaking climax.

In our operatic adaptation, we tried to create an overarching mood that is reflective and expansive, as if the story were being retold in a memorial using Paul’s favorite art forms: music and theater.

About Gregory Spears:

Gregory Spears writes music that blends aspects of romanticism, minimalism, and early music. His work has been called “astonishingly beautiful” (New York Times), “coolly entrancing” (New Yorker), and “some of the most beautifully unsettling music to appear in recent memory” (Boston Globe). In recent seasons, he has been commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Cincinnati Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seraphic Fire, and the JACK Quartet, among others. He has won prizes from BMI and ASCAP as well as awards and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and he has also won the Vagn Holmboe Competition. He holds degrees in composition from the Eastman School of Music (BM), the Yale School of Music (MM), and Princeton University (PhD), and traveled to Denmark on a Fulbright Fellowship to study composition with Hans Abrahamsen. He has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Aaron Copland House, and the Rauschenberg Residency at Captiva Island, and he was a participant in American Opera Projects’ Composers and the Voice 2007–08 season. His music is published by Schott Music and Schott PSNY.