Rhymes With Opera presents a live, virtual production of Red Giant on Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 7pm ET which will be available for streaming beginning June 22, 2021 at 7pm ET. Red Giant will feature three singers performing synchronously from three different cities: soprano Bonnie Lander in Baltimore, MD; soprano Elisabeth Halliday-Quan in Rochester, NY; and baritone Robert Maril in New York, NY. They will be accompanied by the Rhymes With Orchestra, Adam Matlock's new sci-fi opera Red Giant is a compelling chamber opera that tells the story of three people who are lost in space and struggling with the aftermath of humanity as their former home planet becomes uninhabitable. Tickets for the live performance are $20 and $10 for streaming and can be purchased online at http://www.rhymeswithopera.org/red-giant-2021. Ticket buyers for the live performance will also have access to stream the production.
"As a lifelong fan of Science Fiction and a composer enamored of opera as a medium, it only made sense to combine the two when given the opportunity to work on a piece," said Matlock. "Of course in the beginning the scenario - people trying to escape a planet's surface that has become uninhabitable due to their sun becoming the titular 'Red Giant' - was pure fantasy. But in the nearly decade since this piece was first written, we've seen governments and societies struggle to reach a consensus as to whether or not climate change is really happening in the face of readily observable evidence - and it's hard not to feel that this story has gained some resonance in the face of that. And of course, even in the face of a true existential crisis, humans will still find time to bicker."
Red Giant is Rhymes With Opera's first revival. The piece was originally performed in 2014 and was slated to be revived in May 2020. It is commissioned, produced and performed by Rhymes With Opera. Run time is approx. 40 minutes.
Opera in One Act (RWO Commission)
Adam Matlock, composer
Brian Slattery, librettist
Ashley Tata, director
Eamonn Farrell, video designer
Afsoon Pajoufar, set design
Aislinn Curry, stage management
Elisabeth Halliday-Quan, soprano
Bonnie Lander, soprano
Baritone Robert Maril
George Tsz-Kwan Lam, conductor
Tia Allen, viola
Zach Herchen, saxophone
Chris Wilson, piano
Thomas Lai, violin
Maiko Hosoda, percussion
Jenna Girone-Virgilio, cello
David Crandall, radio announcer
Adam Matlock is an accordionist, composer, and vocalist living and working in New Haven, CT. Matlock writes and performs songs under the name An Historic, building narratives accompanied by musical inspirations from Balkan music and Klezmer, Soul, and various strains of rock. An Historic exists as a solo project, but is reinforced live and on record with the members of Dr. Caterwauls Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps, a folk/jazz band with flexible instrumentation. Matlock also composes under his own name, most notably the opera Red Giant (2014) for 6 piece ensemble and three singers, commissioned by Rhymes With Opera; and Earthseed Songs (2012) for voice and two instrumentalists; he also composes and performs keyboard-based music under a variety of aliases. Matlock has performed original music and arrangements with Broadcloth, The Yale Klezmer Band, Orkestar BAM, and the Harris Brothers Balkan Band, in addition to the aforementioned projects. He has recorded, performed, or improvised with artists including Anthony Braxton, Mario Pavone, Ceschi, Vinny Golia, Sigh, and Clara Engel, and works as a music teacher in the New Haven area.
Rhymes With Opera is a New York-based ensemble of performers and composers that expands the repertory of contemporary opera by commissioning, developing and staging new chamber works. Founded in 2007, Rhymes With Opera includes founding company members Ruby Fulton (composer); Elisabeth Halliday-Quan (soprano); George Tsz-Kwan Lam (composer); Bonnie Lander (soprano); and Robert Maril (baritone). During the 2012-2013 season, Rhymes With Opera expanded to include a house band, the Rhymes With Orchestra, a chamber ensemble comprised of some of this generation's most exciting contemporary instrumentalists. With the addition of the RWOrchestra, RWO has become a self-contained contemporary opera machine, commissioning and producing works that can be performed whole-cloth by the company. Since 2007, RWO has commissioned more than 17 new operas, ranging from one-minute "signature" pieces to evening-length productions. In addition to premiering works by founders Fulton and Lam, new operas commissioned and produced by RWO include Vid Smooke's Criminal Element, Adam Matlock's Red Giant, Anna Meadors' Manifesto on the Ledge, Daniel Thomas Davis' The Impossible She, and Erik Spangler's Cantata For A Loop Trail, an outdoor hiking opera set in Gwynn Falls Leakin Park in Baltimore and Inwood Hill Park in New York City. For more information, visit http://www.rhymeswithopera.org.