Saturday, July 28, 2012

2012 Happenings!

Hello?  Anyone there?

Sorry, everyone.  It's been just over a year since my last post, but quite a bit has happened since then.

First, Dipukų Rauda (DPs' Lament), the choral excerpt from Julius that was premiered back in 2009 by Jauna Muzika, is seeing a lot of action in 2012.  In May, Boston Metro Opera gave the U.S. premiere of the work at its annual Boston Contempo Festival (formerly Contemporary Americana Festival) as a result of the piece being named one of the winners of BMO's annual International Composers' Competition.  And on the heels of that award came the news that Dipukų Rauda was selected for performance at the ISCM World Music Days festival in Belgium.  Remember my post about the festival when it was in Vilnius?  I was totally blown away by the variety of programming and the huge crowds in attendance, and I remember thinking how cool it would be if something of mine were performed at the festival some day.  Well, here's to achieving one's major personal goals every once in a while.

Performing the work on the festival's final concert on November 4 at deSingel in Antwerp will be Belgium's own Aquarius Chamber Choir, (formerly the Goeyvaerts Consort) and I've been corresponding with the choir's director, Marc Michael De Smet, about the meaning of the text.  Marc's goal is to deliver a performance that most clearly delivers a text's message, and after hearing the singers' own testimonies and philosophies on this video (check out the comment at around 9:43), I know the performance will be incredible.

But that's not all!  In early December (12/2, 12/7, and 12/8), Dipukų Rauda will get three performances in the San Francisco area by the multi-award-winning chamber choir Volti.  Volti (just like Aquarius) is consistently recognized for its firm commitment to contemporary music, including its annual Choral Arts Lab, a program for composers in which new pieces are commissioned and workshopped. Needless to say, I'm especially happy they'll sing my music.

What else?

On August 5, the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton, PA will host its 5th Lithuanian Heritage Day.  The event is dedicated to the three waves of twentieth-century Lithuanian immigrants to the U.S., but Julius will play a central role.  Not only will the filmed live premiere be shown, but soprano Maryte Bizinkauskas and pianist Michael McAndrew will perform live "O Viešpatie!," Adelina's aria from Act II of the opera, along with several other Lithuanian songs and arias.  This will be a special event for many people, and the organizers have worked hard to put everything together.

So what are the details of all these events?  Check out the events calendar on my recently developed website.  Everything is listed there.

I'm so happy that Julius is getting such a boost in publicity, and everyone involved in the opera is still hoping for a live U.S. premiere someday soon.  Last summer, preliminary work began on a project to adapt the work for a film-opera.  Such an ambitious goal will likely take time to achieve (and fund), but imagine how accessible that would make Julius to new audiences around the world!  In the meantime, I hope some of you will be able to attend one of these great performances.

Let's hope my next update will be sooner than later!

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