On the Eve of Ivan Kupalo

I am very happy to announce that my chamber opera, which has been gestating on and off for almost three and a half years, is finally complete! The score is almost two inches thick. And even more exciting is the fact that it will be premiered in concert form at Calgary’s Happening Festival on January 24 at the Rozsa Centre. You can hear a very short excerpt from an earlier workshop session in the Listen section. 

On the Eve of Ivan Kupalo, a one-act chamber opera steeped in Ukrainian folklore, tells the story of three young women who find themselves involved with one man. With emotions raised to a feverish pitch, the women take their revenge on the devious Taras, thereby enacting the ancient rites of the pagan god Ivan Kupalo. The music draws heavily on folk singing styles with the singers stomping, yelling and gliding their way through a chromatic and modal soundworld.

The opera will be sung in English and will feature vocalists Michelle Minke, Edith Pritchard, Jennifer Sproule, Dana Sharp, Stephanie Plummer, Bethany Routledge and Irina Popescu, as well as the German accordionist Olivia Steimel, percussionist Kyle Eustace and pianist Michael Coburn. The ensemble will be directed by Tim Korthuis.

The rehearsals are sounding amazing already and I am super excited about hearing it next week. The singers will be wearing various items of traditional Ukrainian garb,  including some very old hand-made embroidered shirts, that I picked up during my travels in Ukraine last fall.

This performance is funded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary 2012 and the University of Calgary Music Department.

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