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News - Matthew Aucoin's opera 'Crossing' comes to New York

Gretjen Helene Photography
Thursday, September 28, 2017
…'Crossing' is a taut, teeming and inspired work…

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
 
 
Matthew Aucoin's opera Crossing — an operatic fantasia based on Walt Whitman's experiences as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War — is presented in its highly anticipated New York premiere at the BAM Opera House, October 3-8. Crossing arrives in NYC in its premiere production with American Repertory Theater, conducted by the composer, directed by Diane Paulus, and starring baritone Rod Gilfry as Walt Whitman. The production also features Boston-based chamber orchestra, A Far Cry.

Premiered in 2015 at American Repertory Theater, and revised for these performances, Crossing delves into Whitman’s psyche, exploring what might have led a middle-aged New Yorker to drop everything and work in brutal conditions for years on end. Was it pure generosity, pure selflessness? Or did Whitman feel some need to escape his own life — or to know himself better by putting himself through a Dante-esque challenge?

Once in the hospital, Whitman strikes up a friendship with a volatile young soldier named John Wormley. As the war drags on, their relationship grows deeper and more complicated: Whitman never could have expected either the love or the betrayals that await him.

Later this season, LA Opera presents Crossing in concert in its West Coast premiere on May 26, 2018 at the Annenberg Center. Matthew Aucoin is currently LA Opera's first ever Artist-in-Residence.



Concert works:
In addition to his staged works, Matthew Aucoin’s orchestral and chamber works are also garnering attention on programs this season:

October 29, 2017, Boston, MA
BMOP (Boston Modern Orchestra Project) presents the New England premiere of Aucoin’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with Artistic Director Gil Rose conducting and piano soloist Conor Hanick.

February 23, 2018, Cambridge, MA
The Orphic Moment presented in its original version by Emmanuel Music

May 6 & 7, 2018, New York City, NY
The Orphic Moment presented in a version specially reconceived for the MasterVoices series, conducted by Ted Sperling and featuring performances by soprano Kiera Duffy, dancer Bobbi Jene Smith, and violinist Keir GoGwilt. Directed by Zack Winokur, with scenic design by Doug Fitch.

Recent orchestral works:
Evidence for chamber orchestra, commissioned by Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and premiered in May 2016.
Crossing Suite for chorus and orchestra, with baritone and bass-baritone soloists. A 40-minute suite created from the opera, commissioned by Music Academy of the West and premiered in July 2017.

Upcoming world premieres:
April 22, 2018, New York area
Union College Concert Series
New work for Brentano String Quartet

June 9-16, 2018, San Francisco, CA
Chanticleer: Then & There, Here & Now
New work for Chanticleer

About Matthew Aucoin:
Matthew Aucoin is an American composer, conductor, pianist, and writer. His oeuvre as a composer extends from solo piano to chamber and orchestral music to opera. In 2016, Aucoin was named the first Artist-in-Residence at Los Angeles Opera. This position, created for Aucoin, features him as a composer and conductor, and culminates in the world premiere of a newly commissioned opera in 2019.



For further information, please contact Rachel Sokolow, Promotion Director.

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