SOME LIGHT EMERGES artist talk and performance
Presented in partnership with HGOco

In collaboration with Houston Grand Opera (HGO), and in conjunction with the world premiere of SOME LIGHT EMERGES, the Rothko Chapel presented an artist talk and performance. Composer Laura Kaminsky, librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed, and others from the creative team talked with Rothko Chapel’s Executive Director, David Leslie, to discuss the inspiration and process behind the making of this new chamber opera. Hear never before performed excerpts from the opera by two of the cast members (and HGO Studio Artists), Yelena Dyachek and Zoie Reams.  

Karim Sulayman, cast member of Some Light Emerges, was present on the Plaza from 6-6:45pm to present the performance and social experiment “I trust you,” addressing the recent rise of division, fear, and hatred in our nation. View a past performance here: https://vimeo.com/193125533

About the Opera:
SOME LIGHT EMERGES is a chamber opera created by the acclaimed team of composer Laura Kaminsky and librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed and will be performed March 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., at the Ballroom at Bayou Place. This new opera was inspired by the Rothko Chapel SOME LIGHT EMERGES will be HGO’s 63rd world premiere and is presented under the auspices of HGOco, which connects the company’s creative resources with the diverse and vibrant Houston community.

Based on an original concept by Mark Campbell, SOME LIGHT EMERGES is set mostly within the Rothko Chapel and chronicles the direct and tangential intersections of five people across four decades who visit the chapel as well as the struggles and triumphs of Dominique de Menil in realizing her dream. Through the personal stories of its characters, both moving and humorous, SOME LIGHT EMERGES reveals how political and spiritual conflicts can be better understood and ultimately resolved through art while honoring the people who create and support such art.  

Featured Panelists:
Laura Kaminsky, Composer
Composer Laura Kaminsky’s opera As One (libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed) premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2014 to critical acclaim and was subsequently produced at Utah State University, Berkeley’s West Edge Opera, and D.C.’s Urban Arias. It recently made its European debut in Berlin, and other companies, including Opera Colorado, will produce the work in 2017. Upcoming works include a Piano Quintet for Ursula Oppens and the Cassatt Quartet (2017) and a third opera with collaborators Campbell and Reed called Today It Rains, commissioned by Opera Parallèle for a 2018–19 season premiere.  Kaminsky is currently composer-in-residence at American Opera Projects and on the faculty at Purchase College Conservatory of Music/SUNY.

Mark Campbell, Co-Librettist
Librettist Mark Campbell has written 15 operas and five musicals including Silent Night, which premiered at Minnesota Opera, received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music and has been produced by many other American opera companies. Other operas include Later the Same Evening, The Manchurian Candidate, As One, Volpone, and Bastianello/Lucrezia. Campbell has eight new works premiering in the next two years including major commissions for Minnesota Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and Santa Fe Opera. 

Kimberly Reed, Co-Librettist
Filmmaker/librettist Kimberly Reed’s Prodigal Sons, a “whiplash doc that heralds an exciting talent” (SF Weekly), which premiered at Telluride Film Festival, has been shown at 100+ festivals and broadcast worldwide and garnered 14 awards including the FIPRESCI Prize. Reed is also working on Dark Money, a documentary about campaign finance reform. A New York Foundation for the Arts fellow, she has had residencies at Yaddo, Hermitage Artist Retreat, and Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She has made several national television and radio appearances and is one of Filmmaker magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

Robin Guarino, Stage Director
Robin Guarino has directed opera, musical theater, film, and new works at major theaters and opera companies across North America. The holder of the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera at the Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music since 2008, she is also artistic director of Opera Fusion: New Works, a collaboration with Cincinnati Opera funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that has workshopped and developed new operas including Doubt, Champion, Shalimar the Clown, and Morningstar.

Bradley Moore, Conductor
Conductor, coach, and pianist. He recently conducted The Crucible at the Miami Music Festival; he has conducted Madame Butterfly at the Castleton Festival and The Barber of Seville at Opera Colorado, and has worked as assistant conductor, backstage conductor, and coach at the Metropolitan Opera, the Salzburg Festival, Opéra National de Paris, Canadian Opera Company, and Los Angeles Opera, among others.

Featured Performers:
The role of Dominique de Menil will be sung by soprano Yelena Dyachek. A first-year artist in the HGO Studio, she was a winner of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and will sing the First Secretary in HGO’s production of John Adams’s Nixon in China later this month.

Mezzo-soprano and first-year HGO Studio artist Zoie Reams plays Cece. Earlier this season she sang the alto Winged Angel in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s It’s a Wonderful Life and later this month will appear as the Third Secretary in Nixon in China.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
7:00 PM