Michael Gordon; David Lang; Julia Wolfe: Red Poppy
Publisher: G. Schirmer
The Carbon Copy Building (1999)
Words and drawings by Ben Katchor
Opera and Music Theatre
1 Hours 12 Minutes
3 male voices, 1 female voice
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.