6:30pm doors • 7pm show
BMP: Next Generation
Featuring works by Michael Lanci and Emma O’Halloran
BMP: Next Generation is a new initiative to discover the next generation of music-theatre and opera-theatre compositional voices. The two finalists chosen in the 2018 concert, Michael Lanci and Emma O’Halloran, return to National Sawdust in February to showcase new and original 30-minute works commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects. Lanci’s satirical operetta will tackle a congresswoman’s revelation about climate change and the effects of money in politics. O’Halloran’s monodrama about the inner life of a murderess explores how our secret personal history gets misrepresented in the public eye. Following the performance, one of these two finalists will receive a commission for a full evening-length operatic work to be developed, premiered, and toured by BMP.
Music by Michael Lanci and Emma O’Halloran
Music Direction by David Bloom
Adam Thompson – projection designer
David Bloom is founding co-artistic director of Contemporaneous. A devoted advocate for new music, David has conducted over 200 world premieres at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. He has been a guest conductor for NOW Ensemble, Present Music, ensemble mise-en, JACK Quartet, and Mantra Percussion, among others and has worked with such composers and artists as David Byrne, Donnacha Dennehy, Lucy Dhegrae, Dylan Mattingly, Missy Mazzoli, Andrew Norman, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Dawn Upshaw, and Julia Wolfe. Especially active as a conductor of new opera, David serves as music director on projects with Experiments in Opera, Beth Morrison Projects, PROTOTYPE Festival, New Amsterdam Presents, and Pig Iron Theater Company, among others. He has recorded for the Innova, New Amsterdam, Mexican Summer, Mona, Roven, and Starkland labels. Also a passionate educator, David is the orchestra conductor for Special Music School High School and the nation’s only new music youth orchestra, Face the Music. Along with Contemporaneous, he has led residencies at such institutions as City University of New York, the University of New Orleans, Williams College, and his alma mater, Bard College. Read more at davidbloomconductor.com.
Contemporaneous is an ensemble of 21 musicians whose mission is to bring to life the music of now. Recently recognized for a “ferocious, focused performance” (The New York Times) and for its “passionate drive…setting an extremely high bar for other ensembles to live up to” (I Care If You Listen), Contemporaneous performs and promotes the most exciting work of living composers through innovative concerts, commissions, recordings, and educational programs. Based in New York City and active throughout the United States, Contemporaneous has performed for a wide range of presenters, including Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, PROTOTYPE Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, MATA Festival, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and Bang on a Can and is a 2017-2018 group-in-residence at National Sawdust. The ensemble has worked with artists as diverse as David Byrne, Donnacha Dennehy, Yotam Haber, Dawn Upshaw, and Julia Wolfe. Contemporaneous has premiered more than 100 works, many of them large-scale pieces by emerging composers. The ensemble has held educational residencies at such institutions as City University of New York, the University of New Orleans, Williams College, and Bard College, where the group was founded in 2010. Read more at contemporaneous.org.
Founded in 2006 to support the work of composers and their multi-media collaborators, Beth Morrison Projects (BMP) encourages risk-taking, creating a structure for new work that is unique to the artist and allows them to feel safe to experiment and push boundaries.
Noted as “the edge of innovation” (Opera News), Beth Morrison Projects is a “contemporary opera mastermind” (Los Angeles Times) and “its own genre” (Opera News). Projects have been performed in numerous premier venues around the world including Brooklyn Academy of Music, Disney Hall, The Barbican, Lincoln Center, The Walker Art Center, The Beijing Music Festival, The Holland Festival, and more. Current and upcoming projects include works by composers Mohammed Fairouz, Michael Gordon, Ted Hearne, Mikael Karlsson, David Lang, David T. Little, Keeril Makan, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Elvis Perkins, Paola Prestini, Ellen Reid, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Jeremy Schonfeld, Du Yun, and more, with directors Mallory Catlett, James Darrah, Rachel Dickstein, Lee Sunday Evans, Daniel Fish, Patricia McGregor, Kevin Newbury, Jay Scheib, and Ashley Tata. Projects have been performed in numerous premier venues around the world including Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kitchen, Lincoln Center, The Walker Arts Center, The Beijing Music Festival, The Holland Festival, and more.
BMP is generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, The Howard Gilman Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund for New Music, The Amphion Foundation, The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, The Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation, The Cheswatyr Foundation, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Emma A. Sheafer Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, The Jana Foundation, Jean & Louis Dreyfus Foundation, The Howard and Sarah D. Solomon Foundation, MAP Fund/Creative Capital Foundation, The Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The New England Foundation for the Arts, New Music USA, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, OPERA America, and The Seniel Ostrow Foundation.
Emma O’Halloran is an Irish composer and musician whose work moves freely between acoustic and electronic forces. Emma has written for folk musicians, chamber ensembles, turntables, laptop orchestra, and symphony orchestra, along with film and theatre. Her work has been performed at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, and MATA Festival, and she has collaborated with artists such as Crash Ensemble, Contemporaneous, the Refugee Orchestra Project, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. She is a winner of the inaugural National Sawdust Hildegard Competition.
An advocate for inclusivity in classical music, Emma is one of the founding members of the #HearAllComposers campaign, a social media campaign designed to bring attention to issues of gender, race and socio-economic discrimination in the music world by positively promoting an inclusive array of composers and their work. She is also a member of Kinds of Kings composer collective.
Emma is interested in exploring the human experience in her work, often trying to map real or imagined moments in time to capture complex and powerful emotions. Emma lives in New Jersey and is currently a doctoral candidate at Princeton University.
Michael Lanci is a composer and educator currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. His music is viscerally engaging and stylistically diverse, drawing from a wide range of influences. Recent projects include a collection of 5 protest songs dedicated to late nineteenth century singer-songwriter and labor rights activist Joe Hill, that was awarded the American Prize along with a commission for a new operatic work as part of the Beth Morrison Projects Next Generation Competition that will be premiered at National Sawdust in February of 2019.
Michael’s works have been performed at festivals such as the Cortona Sessions, Edmont Fringe Festival, Orford Festival, Detroit Bureau of Sound, Midwest Composers Symposium and Vox Novus Festival. He has received commissions from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Beyond Pluck, Unheard-of//Enesmble, Klangpar2 and the Vive! Ensemble. His works have been performed by the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra, Contemporaneous, Hypercube, All Of The Above, Buffalo Chamber Players, Duo d’Entre Deux and Decho Ensemble.
Michael holds a B.M. in piano performance from SUNY Albany, where he also studied composition with Max Lifchitz and a M.M. in composition from SUNY Fredonia, where he studied with Rob Deemer and Karl Boelter. Michael completed his D.M.A. in composition at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where he studied with Michael Fiday.
Acclaimed by The San Francisco Chronicle as an “imaginative” director of “particular ingenuity,” Jennifer Williams’ recent engagements include the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Komische Oper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, and Houston Grand Opera, where she was a staff director and Drama Coach for the Houston Grand Opera Studio. She recently directed acclaimed new productions of Mohammed Fairouz‘s Sumeida’s Song and Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek‘s 27 (Pittsburgh Opera); the world premiere of Backwards from Winter, a monodrama for soprano, electric cello and computer (Center for Contemporary Opera), “consistently imaginative” and “extraordinarily beautiful” new productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Les contes d’Hoffmann and La bohème (Miami Music Festival); an immersive, site-specific installation of The Turn of the Screw with an aerialist-soprano performing the role of Miss Jessel from a trapeze; and Ariadne auf Naxos (Austin Opera). A Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Williams was the San Francisco Opera Merola Opera Program’s Apprentice Stage Director. In 2018/19, she makes her Kennedy Center debut as Associate Director at Washington National Opera and directs new productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors (Michigan Opera Theatre), The Crucible (Berlin Opera Academy), Dark Sisters and Ainadamar (Miami Music Festival), and Sāvitri and Venus and Adonis (New Camerata Opera, NYC). Represented by Quarterline Artist Management. www.jenniferwilliamsdirector.com