Trouble in Tahiti/Quattro Liriche
Two works are related by their forays into exoticism: Persia in one case; Tahiti in the other.
Trouble in Tahiti, with both libretto and music by Bernstein, employs humor and a light touch to unmask the emptiness haunting a seemingly dream-lifestyle couple. The work will be presented in piano/vocal format with Kelli Butler as Dinah, Mario Diaz-Moresco, baritone, as Sam, and with Michelle Seipel, Miran Robarts, and Radoslav Lesay as the Trio. Saffron Chung will be at the piano for this 45-minute work.
The evening's curtain-raiser is Elsa Respighi's Quattro Liriche, a cycle of four songs (Ogni giorno, Una sol cosa, V'era una porta, and Vieni, riempi il bicchier). The composer has set an Italian translation, probably made in 1895 by Vittorio Rugarli, of poetry by the Persian poet Omar Khayyam. UPO commissioned composer Henry Papale to orchestrate Quattro Liriche for this performance. His arrangement for piano, flute, oboe and cello is full of atmospheric colorations. The 6-minute cycle will be performed by Kelli Butler, soprano.
The two works depict the illusory and disillusioning nature of human relations. At the center of the Respighi is this text: "There was a door for which I could not find the key. There was a veil through which I could not see." And at the center of the Bernstein we find these words: "Through it all his voice was calling...'There is a garden. Come with me.'"
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This program is also made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Additional funding has been provided by Deutsche Bank and Venable Foundation. UPO thanks Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU!
Additional performances of Trouble in Tahiti, with orchestra, take place on May 17, 18, and 19. http://symphonyspace.org/event/8347/Music/troublefuturesongs-trouble-in-tahiti-+-two-shorts
Photo: Kelli Butler, by Jonathan Slaff, taken at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo at NYU.
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU (View)
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