Voices of Ascension presents: Astronautica
Featuring Trio Triumphatrix
3pm doors • 4pm show
How does your perspective change when you see Earth set against the endless blackness of space? Drawn from the words of the select few women who have travelled to outer space, Astronautica is a new work for voices and video by women composers that imagines our small planet without the artificial boundaries that divide — and could well destroy — humankind.
Commissioned by Grammy-nominated choral ensemble Voices of Ascension, Astronautica is the first presentation from their Voices of The New initiative, dedicated to exploring new horizons of chamber and vocal ensemble music.
Featuring Trio Triumphatrix: Lindsay Kesselman (soprano), Hai-Ting Chinn (mezzo-soprano), and Kirsten Sollek (contralto)
Created by Trio Triumphatrix: Lindsay Kesselman, Hai-Ting Chinn, Kirsten Sollek
Concept & Direction: Hai-Ting Chinn
Creative Development: Lindsay Kesselman, Hai-Ting Chinn, Kirsten Sollek
Composers: Renée Favand-See, Jennifer Jolley, Elaine Lachica, Libby Larsen, Gilda Lyons, Nkeiru Okoye, Rashonda Reeves, Kamala Sankaram, Jane Sheldon, Bora Yoon
Creative Team: Lindsay Kesselman, Hai-Ting Chinn, Kirsten Sollek, Elena Mannes, James Tunick
American Mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn performs in a wide range of styles and venues, from Purcell to Pierrot Lunaire, Cherubino to The King and I, JS Bach to PDQ Bach. She has performed with New York City Opera, The Wooster Group, Philip Glass/Robert Wilson, OperaOmnia, American Symphony Orchestra; on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Mann Center in Philadelphia, and London’s West End; and at Festivals including the Edinburgh, Verbier, Grimeborn, Tête-à-Tête, and Festival d’Autumne. As an Artist in Residence at HERE Arts Center, Hai-Ting created and performed Science Fair: An Opera With Experiments, a staged solo show of science set to music.
Hai-Ting was featured in the revival and tour of Phillip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach, performed at venues around the world from 2011 to 2014, and sang the role of Belle in Glass’s La Belle et la Bête, also on tour. Operatic roles include Didone in The Wooster Group’s wildly experimental production of La Didone, Poppea in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, and Medea in Cavalli’s Giasone with Opera Omnia, as well as Nicklausse and the Muse in Offenbach’s Les Contes D’Hoffman, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, and in Peter Maxwell Davies’s unaccompanied monodrama, The Medium. An ardent advocate of new vocal repertoire, she has premiered new works by Conrad Cummings, Yoav Gal, Renée Favand-See, Amy Beth Kirsten, Tarik O’Regan, Ellen Reid, Matthew Schickele, Stefan Weisman, and Du Yun, and she was featured in the 2017 Resonant Bodies Festival, a singer-centered celebration of new music in New York.
Of mixed Chinese and Jewish ancestry, Hai-Ting is a native of Northern California and currently resides in New York City. She holds degrees from the Eastman and Yale Schools of Music.
Hailed by Fanfare magazine as an “artist of growing reputation for her artistry and intelligence…with a voice of goddess-like splendor,” Lindsay Kesselman is a soprano who passionately advocates for contemporary music, actively commissioning and collaborating with a diverse array of composers to create unique, groundbreaking, and dramatically-inspired works for the voice.
This season, Kesselman will be featured on several new recording releases: Chris Cerrone’s The Pieces That Fall to Earth with LA-based ensemble wild Up (New Amsterdam Records), Mathew Rosenblum’s Falling with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (New Focus Recordings), and Jon Magnussen’s Twinge with HAVEN (Blue Griffin).
Recent and upcoming highlights include a leading role in a new opera by Chris Cerrone, a world premiere performance at the national CBDNA convention in 2019 (John Mackey), a world premiere with the UNCG Wind Symphony in 2019 (D.J. Sparr), Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra, the John Corigliano 80th birthday celebration at National Sawdust (2018), Quixote (Amy Beth Kirsten and Mark DeChiazza) with Peak Performances at Montclair State University (2017), the release of Antique Violences on Blue Griffin in 2017 featuring Songs from the End of the World (John Mackey), a leading role in Louis Andriessen’s opera Theatre of the World with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Dutch National Opera (live recording released on Nonesuch Records, 2017), and an international tour of Einstein on the Beach with the Philip Glass Ensemble (2012-2015). This production won the prestigious Laurence Olivier award for Best New Opera Production in 2013.
Kesselman holds degrees in voice performance from Rice University and Michigan State University.
Called “an appealingly rich alto” by the New York Times and “an ideal Bach alto” with “elemental tone quality” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, contralto Kirsten Sollek is sought out for her unique sound and compelling performance style.
Ms Sollek has been featured with the Kansas City Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Bach Collegium Japan, Tafelmusik, Seattle Baroque, Pacific Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Musica Sacra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Dallas Bach Society. Opera credits include the role of Rosmira in Handel’s Partenope with Boston Baroque, Bradamante in Handel’s Alcina with Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile, and covering the title role in Handel’s Rinaldo for the Glyndebourne Festival. She has performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Lufthansa Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, the Ojai Festival, and June in Buffalo.
In new music, she has collaborated regularly with Ensemble Signal and Alarm Will Sound, performing much of the vocal music of Steve Reich. Ms Sollek can be heard on recordings of Reich’s The Desert Music and Tehillim with Alarm Will Sound, and Music for 18 Musicians with Ensemble Signal. Sollek is featured in the role of the Dying Cow in Lisa Bielawa’s serial made-for-TV opera, Vireo. Over the past decade, she has worked extensively with composer John Zorn, premiering his music in New York, Milan, and Paris. 2017 performances include Zorn’s music at the Louvre (in front of the Mona Lisa), as well as at Jazz Fest Sarajevo, and at November Music in Den Bosch. Other season highlights: Reich’s Desert Music for the Wall to Wall Reich celebration at Symphony Space, David Lang’s Just for the Bang on a Can marathon at the Brooklyn Museum, and, with the Emery LeCrone Dance company, Reich’s Tehillim and Lang’s I want to live at the Bang on a Can festival marathon at Mass MoCA.