Ever since I saw Here Be Sirens, the brainy, whimsical, extraordinary music-theater piece that Kate Soper mounted with director Rick Burkhardt and other artists at Dixon Place in 2014, I’ve been waiting in eager anticipation for another opportunity to catch one of her singular creations. (You can read my New York Times rave for that show here.)
Now, the wait is over. Soper, a composer, vocalist, and core member of the Wet Ink collective, has announced the New York City debut of her newest piece, IPSA DIXIT, coming to Dixon Place February 3 and 4.
The venue’s website describes the piece like so:
IPSA DIXIT (“she has said it”) is an evening-length work of theatrical chamber music that explores the intersections of music, language, and meaning through blistering ensemble virtuosity and extended vocal technique. Drawing on texts by Lydia Davis, Freud, Plato, and Aristotle, and developed over six years of intense collaboration by the members of the Wet Ink Ensemble, IPSA DIXIT blends elements of monodrama, Greek theatre, and screwball comedy to skewer the treachery of language and the questionable authenticity of artistic expression.
That description is in keeping with the quirky allure of Sirens, but where that show featured three onstage characters, here Soper performs alongside three Wet Ink instrumentalists – flutist Erin Lesser, violinist Josh Modney, and percussionist Ian Antonio. The director is Ashley Tata, who recently conceived directed the Prototype Festival’s pop-up series, Out of Bounds. Tickets for IPSA DIXIT are available now on the Dixon Place website.
And! For steadfast devotees of Here Be Sirens, more welcome news: Fresh Squeezed Opera Company will present what’s being described as a “Suite Version” of that work on March 3 at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in Greenwich Village. Part of an evening devoted to “nano-operas” by women composers, the new suite shares a bill with The Kamikaze Mind by Nicole Murphy. – Steve Smith