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Michael Gordon; David Lang; Julia Wolfe - Red Poppy

Publisher: G. Schirmer

The Carbon Copy Building (1999)
Text Writer
Words and drawings by Ben Katchor
Red Poppy
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Year Composed
1 Hour 12 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
3 male voices, 1 female voice
Programme Note

Composer note:
I wrote The Carbon Copy Buildingin collaboration with composers Julia Wolfe and David Lang and the comic-book artist Ben Katchor. The piece was commissioned by Enzo Restagno and the Settembre Musica Festival in Turino, Italy. Enzo asked Julia, David and me to each write one act of a three-act opera. We decided instead to write a piece with many scenes and intermingle our music.

The Carbon Copy Building has 15 scenes. We wanted to create a different type of music-theater piece, so we conceived with Ben Katchor the idea of a comic-book opera, where the set would be made up of Ben's drawings and the singers appeared in the scenes as the characters depicted in the comics. The Carbon Copy Building tells the tale of two identical buildings that were built in dramatically different neighborhoods of the same town.

––Michael Gordon

  • 13 NOV 2015
    The Carbon Copy Building Country Premiere
    Freiburg, Germany
    Opera Factory

    Other Dates:
    15 November - Freiburg, Germany
  • 02 OCT 2015
    Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig, Germany
    Opera Factory
    Kimberley Boettger-Soller, Neal Banerjee, Erwin Belakowitsch, Jonas Holst/ Joachim Rathke, stage director; Klaus Simon, conductor

    Other Dates:
    3,4 October - Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig, Germany
    14,13,15 November - Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany
  • 07 APR 2011
    New York, NY
    Beth Morrison Projects
    Ted Hearne, conductor
  • 25 OCT 2006
    The Carbon Copy Building Country Premiere
    Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool, UK
    Bang on a Can All-Stars
    Bob McGrath, stage director

    Other Dates:
    26 October - Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool, UK

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