2015

March 16    8:00 p.m.   
Monday Evening Concerts, Zipper Hall, Colburn School of Music,  Los Angeles, California

Legendary French critic Andre Hodeir wrote that "in the works of Barraqué, music may well have attained the world of utter strangeness which was partly glimpsed by Beethoven in his late quartets, by Debussy in La Mer, and by Berg in Wozzeck". In this special concert curated by Paul Griffiths, Barraqué is placed in the context of his student Bill Hopkins and spiritual descendants, Paul Keenan and Patrick Ozzard-Low. Their works all share the same total integrity, focus and communicative power.

Susan joins the percussion ensemble, redfishbluefish, led by Steven Schick, and pianist Aleck Karis in a performance of Barraqué's masterwork Chant apres Chant, for soprano, piano and percussion ensemble. 

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March 19     7:00 p.m.  
Ephemeral Journeys: The Art of Song, San Diego Museum of Art

Susan Narucki and pianist Stephen Lewis present a recital of works by Ravel, Ives, Kurtág, Cage and Juliana Hall on the San Diego Museum of Art's "The Art of Music" - a year long series exploring the synergy between visual art and music.

The spark of the voice sets the air vibrating. Songs are a journey through text and act, whether illuminating a single moment or the cry of a lifetime. Grammy Award-winning soprano Susan Narucki and San Diego pianist and composer Stephen Lewis explore the astonishing range of expression of the 20th century, in works for voice and piano and in songs that test the limits of the genre. Charles Ives and Maurice Ravel, two of the century's most remarkable composers, are represented on the program. Ravel's Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé (1913) are considered masterpieces of Impressionism with their exquisite sense of color and nuanced text setting. Ives' songs, however, transport us to place distinctly American in sensibility. Dating from 1905-1922, the songs delve into the collective memory; they are snapshots of a busy street in Manhattan, longing for home left long ago, a child watching her brother sail off to war.

The recital also includes two composers who explore the act of song in a different way. Hungarian Győrgy Kurtág, one of the greatest living composers, took passages from poet Áttila Jozséf's journals, prose, poems and lyric verse and transformed them into a cycle for unaccompanied soprano. Completed in 1986, the work is prescient, seeking to make sense of our experience through the juxtaposition of seemingly disjointed, but thoroughly beautiful fragments of text. John Cage's Songbooks (1970) dwell in a space where the imagination and intent of the performer and the interpretation of whimsical (and at times, contradictory) notation ask the listener to re-imagine the act of singing itself. 

Finally, the most recent song cycle returns to the simple song form. American composer Juliana Hall's Syllables of Velvet, Sentences of Plush (1989) are set to letters of the great American poet Emily Dickinson. Intimate and clear, the seven songs describe the intense personal life of Dickinson. Hall's songs reassert the connection that all artist share, no matter what the medium or form. Our inner life is where we dwell; it is here that we ask the fundamental questions that shake us to our core, and - if we are fortunate - where we find the wealth we seek.

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May 6, 8, 9  7:00 p.m. and May 10  2:00 p.m.
kallisti - The Threepenny Opera - at Black Box Theater, Conrad Prebys Music Center, UC San Diego

Music by Kurt Weill 
Text by Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann, after John Gay's The Beggar's Opera 

English adaptation by Marc Blitzstein (1954)  -  Ruff Yeager, Director  -  Kyle Adam Blair, Music Director
Alina Bokovikova, Costume Design  -  Michael Mizerany, Choreographer  -  Kristen Flores, Set Design

The U.S.A. has just elected its first female president. In early January of 2017 the inauguration is eminent and those on both sides of the law are looking to cash in on the festivities. A militarized D.C. police force has promised the new commander-in-chief to rid the city of its criminal element. Tea Party evangelists are rounding up the homeless to protest and picket the new administration. Prostitutes and drug dealers welcome the newly arrived lobbyists and politicos while Mac Heath hides in a dark alley somewhere on Pennsylvania Avenue waiting to slit the throat of his next victim. Since its premiere in 1929, The Threepenny Opera has challenged and captivated audiences worldwide. It has been performed over 10,000 times and translated into 18 languages. For kallisti's sixth opera project, we turn to this classic work of music theater, and view it through the prism of the future. Led by Grammy Award-winning soprano Susan Narucki, kallisti draws its singers from the graduate program in Contemporary Music Performance at UC San Diego and distinguished guest artists.  

Music Department Box Office: 858-534-3448
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May 15, 16 and 17,  2015
Cuatro Corridos at Teatro de las Artes, CENART, Mexico City, MEXICO

Cuatro Corridos, the critically acclaimed chamber opera, will be presented in the Teatro de las Artes, Mexico City for three performances - May 15, 16 & 17, 2015. One of Mexico City's premiere venues, the 600 seat theater is housed within the Centro Nacional de las Artes (CENART.) Cuatro Corridos premiered at UC San Diego in May, 2013 and the Mexico City performances will mark the project's second anniversary. Cuatro Corridos has since been performed in Los Angeles, Dallas, Albuquerque and Tijuana, B.C. and will travel to UMASS Amherst, Guadalajara and San Diego during 2015-16. 


October 4    4:00 p.m.
Cuatro Corridos, PERFORMANCE AND FORUM   Bowker Hall, UMASS Amherst, Amherst, MA

Cuatro Corridos, the critically acclaimed chamber opera, will be presented in Bowker Auditorium at UMASS Amherstfor one performance only on October 4, 2015 at 4 p.m.  The opera will be preceded by a panel discussion on human trafficking led by Lauren McCarthy, UMass Amherst Assistant Professor of Legal Studies. Cuatro Corridos premiered at UC San Diego in May, 2013, and has traveled to Los Angeles, Dallas, Albuquerque, Tijuana, B.C. and CENART, Mexico City.  The UMASS performance of Cuatro Corridos is supported, in part, from an ARTWORKS grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 


November 30   9:00 P.m.  CUATRO CORRIDOS,  FIL   Guadalajara, MEXICO

Cuatro Corridos will be performed at the Guadalajara International Book Fair/Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara on November 30, 2015 at 9 p.m.  in the Teatro Diana, one of Guadalajara's premiere cultural performing arts venues. 

The Guadalajara International Book Fair is the most important book fair in the Spanish speaking world and is second only to the Frankfurt International Book Fair in its size and scope. 

Internationally renowned writer Jorge Volpi will be presenting his newest work, a full length novel based on his libretto of Cuatro Corridos.  In addition, the conference will hold an International Symposium on Border Security and Human Rights as one of its activities.

Tickets may be purchased through the Teatro Diana.