The enterprising recording company Pentatone, which is firmly committed to new American music, commissioned from me this setting of Wendy Cope’s lovely poem for chorus and chamber orchestra; San Francisco’s chamber choir Volti sang the premiere, which was released on disk that winter.
Drawing on the Gnostic gospels, the canonical gospels, and fifty years of New Testament scholarship, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene reimagines the New Testament through the eyes of its lone substantial female character.
John Corigliano and Mark Adamo’s exciting new work is a juxtaposition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Bacchae by Euripides. The result is a searing account that points to the monster inside ourselves, not society. This world premiere production is led by director James Darrah who has created a dream-like realm that will frighten and excite.
For unaccompanied SATB or TTBB choir. Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke; translated by John L. Mood. Commissioned and introduced by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington in 1996: revised for performance (TTBB) in December 2009 by Empire City Men’s Chorus.
A set of five songs for voice, piano and cello, that consider jumper cables, sex, carbohydrates, love, loss, and remembrance; the poets are Linda Pastan, Tennessee Williams, Marge Piercy, Louise Gluck, and Sara Teasdale. The sovereign mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, who introduced my Mary Magdalene to San Francisco, sang the premiere with cellist Jay Campbell and pianist Steven Blier, whose New York Festival of Song introduced the cycle to New York in February 2013: we were all so energized by the experience that we recorded the cycle the next weekend.
The opera librettist (and dear friend) Mark Campbell and I were at the New York Festival of Song concert when our treasured colleague Steven Blier announced his engagement to James Russell; what could we do but write a song? Matthew Boehler sang the bass-clef premiere, but—because what’s an octave between friends?—a version for mezzo-soprano is available as well.