The Tower and the Garden – Premiering two new oratorios by composers Gregory Spears and Jorge Muñiz, this evening commented on our criminal mismanagement of the Earth in the words of Catholic poets and the Gospel. Carmen co-commissioned Spears’ The Tower and the Garden in consortium with Donald Nally and The Crossing in Philadelphia, Mark Shapiro and Cantori New York, and Robert Geary and Volti of San Francisco, with support from the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music.
Illuminating the Incarnation- a commission of the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, (music begins after 21:00). The McGrath Institute conceived the event to share the presence in the campus of the University of Notre Dame campus of the Saint John’s Bible, a set of uniquely designed and hand-painted volumes. The concert concept emerged from the Bible’s own images.
The Interdisciplinary Sacred Music Dramas at Notre Dame, a series of annual events directed by Carmen-Helena Téllez between 2012 and 2016, enacting her principles for Kosmologia. Robert Kyr’s Paradiso was commissioned for the last sacred drama in the series Journeying la Divina Commedia. This project was supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Video: Shulamit Ran’s “Apprehensions,” part of “Music, Courage and Remembrance,” University of Notre Dame, The music of Pulitzer Prize winner Shulamit Ran became the inspiration for this portrait concert with interdisciplinary and co-creative components. Composer Christophe Preising, installation artist Gwen Terry and video artist Alison Evans contributed interpretations of some of Shulamit Ran’s overriding expressive themes.
Passion with Tropes, by Don Freund, reconstructed for immersive theater. In 2011, Carmen-Helena Téllez asked Don Freund to recompose his epical 2.5 hour oratorio Passion with Tropes for immersive theater, allowing the new chamber orchestra and vocal ensemble to surround the audience. As she mapped out the interactions of music and text, the brilliant adaptation was realized by Robert Shakespeare (production and lighting design), Paul Brunner (set and technology), choreographer Elizabeth Shea, stage director Jonathan Courtemanche, digital visual artist Margaret Dolinsky and videographer Susanne Schwibs. The Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble performs with actors from the Indiana University Department of Theatre.
Carmina Burana: A Morality Play – In collaboration with the University of Sao Paulo and Professor Marco Antonio da Silva Ramos, Carmen-Helena Téllez reconceptualized Orff’s cantata as a Faustian story of the artist living under fascist times based on the most recent scholarship about the composer’s life in Munich during the rise of the Nazi regime.
The Bells of Leopardi – The first interdisciplinary project of Aquavá New Music Studio that would lead to the creation of Kosmologia as an ongoing venture. This video performance consolidated Carmen-Helena Téllez’s “nesting” methodology for interdisciplinary presentation that gives direction to Kosmologia as an ongoing project. In collaboration with the gifted video artist Susanne Schwibs and the daring stage director Chia Patiño, The Bells of Leopardi extends the musical conceptualization of composer Yehuda Yannay from the words of poet Giacomo Leopardi into the visual and performative realm.