Good morning to all of us.
Note to self
Friday morning soundtrack.
Pianist and composer Jason Moran talks at length about teaching at New
England Conservatory, and what makes NEC a unique place to study music.
Noting how open the Conservatory is, he speaks about tradition, how to
create new ones, the value of having opinions, and recognizing the
impact of cultural heritage on a musician’s voice, he illustrates the
challenges that face creators, as well as the joys of being a part of
the greater arts community.
Our morning soundtrack.
This has been on repeat in this office for the past hour.
Members of the Ouroboros Trilogy Production Discuss Their Workshops at NEC - Creative Producer, Beth Morrison
New England Conservatory is proud to present two student piano/vocal workshops featuring operas in the newly developed Ouroboros Trilogy. Led by NEC Chair of Opera Studies Joshua Major as well as members of the Trilogy’s creative team: creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs (in photo); world-renowned composers Paola Prestini (Gilgamesh) and Scott Wheeler (Naga); and dramaturg Cori Ellison, the workshops will conclude in two free public piano/vocal presentations of each opera: Naga on October 30 at 8:30 PM and November 1 at 3 PM, and Gilgamesh on November 22 at 3 PM and November 23 at 7 PM, all in NEC’s Brown Hall. The workshops will help to develop the works for their September 2016 premiere, as part of the complete Ouroboros Trilogy at Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theatre.
Conceived by Charles M. Jacobs and Cerise Lim Jacobs with composers Scott Wheeler (Naga), Zhou Long (Madame White Snake), and Paola Prestini (Gilgamesh), the Ouroboros Trilogy is a three-part exploration of life, death and rebirth, as symbolized by the ancient Greek icon of a serpent eating its own tail. The Ouroboros Trilogy is co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects and the Friends of Madame White Snake. Michael Counts is the director and production designer for the 2016 Trilogy premiere.
How does a student workshop add to the development of a production of this level?
The workshop is meant exclusively for the composers to be able to hear the work live. You can imagine it in your mind and hear a MIDI recording, but nothing is a substitute for real singers and players. Working with an academic institution provides a fiscally responsible way to provide this feedback and also helps to connect in to a younger generation of musicians, for whom contemporary work should be a part of their studies.
How does a student benefit from working with a score that is evolving with their help?
Mozart, Beethoven, and the other great composers of the canon are not alive to ask questions to. Having the opportunity to work with a composer in real time is invaluable to understanding the music in a fundamental way.
What about NEC is interesting to you for this project?
NEC offers musicians at a very high level and also a director of opera—Josh Major—who is forward-thinking and interested in exposing his students to interesting opera projects with living composers.
Would you like to add anything else?
I am very grateful to NEC and Josh Major for embarking on this journey with us.