“Lang, once a post-minimalist enfant terrible, has solidified his standing as an American master.”
The final concert of ICE’s third year as ensemble-in-residence at MCA Stage features a world-premiere chamber opera by David Lang, commissioned by ICE with Tony Arnold as solo soprano. This one-of-a-kind work is performed with the musicians, singer, and audience enclosed in an intimate, onstage set. Composed for flute, clarinet, percussion, cello, and solo soprano, the music and the environment work together to convey themes of secrets, and the tension between what we hide and what we choose to reveal. the whisper opera (2013) is inspired in part by Lang’s visits to rural Italy, where he was surprised to experience the powerful intimacy of small opera houses.
Lang has turned to Jim Findlay to direct the work and create the particular stage design needed for the intimate setting of the whisper opera; Findlay is an influential and delightfully provocative force as a designer and director in New York’s experimental theater world.
At the request of the artists, there will be no late seating for this performance.
About the artist
David Lang is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music organization Bang on a Can. He is one of America’s most performed composers, and has a prolific catalog of opera, orchestra, chamber and solo works as well as music for theater and dance. Lang is at the same time deeply versed in the classical tradition and committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms. His music is by turns ominous, ethereal, urgent, hypnotic, unsettling and very emotionally direct. Lang is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Rome Prize, the BMW Music-Theater Prize (Munich), and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, the NEA, and others.
After two consecutive sold-out seasons at the MCA as an ensemble in residence, ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) is raising the bar again, performing three new concerts for the season that illuminate the ensemble’s astonishing range. Founded in Chicago in 2001, ICE has established itself as one of the leading musical ensembles of its generation, as well as one of the most innovative young arts organizations in the US. Described by the New York Times as “one of the most adventurous and accomplished groups in new music,” ICE performs more than 50 concerts a year throughout the United States and abroad, and has commercially released six acclaimed albums. A champion of music by young composers, ICE has also given more than 400 world premieres by composers under the age of 35. On October 2, 2012, ICE’s Artistic Director Claire Chase was named a 2012 MacArthur Fellow. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.
More about ICE.
Artists Up Close
First Night Post-Show Talk
Thu, May 30
Peter Taub, Director of Performance Programs, leads a discussion with the artists and audience in the theater, after the performance.
Support for this project is generously provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.