Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 9, 2012.

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Schubert meets Sinatra: torch songs, rants and dreamy delirium in a lushly scored cycle for Theo Bleckmann and the ten players of ACME.

The production team comprises stage director Emma Griffin (Opera Company of Philadelphia, Juilliard Opera, Williamstown Theater Festival); production and costume designer Andrea Lauer (B'way, Off-B'way, El Paso Opera, Trey McIntyre Dance); Mike Inwood (lighting designer); and Todd Eskridge (sound engineer).

Phil Who?

"Kline has graduated from 'experimental' to 'original'-he's one of America's most important compositional voices-thanks to his burning urge to communicate, and not things that can be reduced to a charismatic sentence."
- David Patrick Stearns, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

Oh yeah! So what's he up to?

This October, composer and lyricist Phil Kline (Unsilent Night, John the Revelator ) has been invited to present the world premiere of his new song cycle Out Cold as part of BAM’s 30th Next Wave Festival, in a co-production with AOP (American Opera Projects). The performances will take place in the new, state of the art Fishman Space in the BAM Fisher, adjacent to the famous BAM Howard Gilman Opera House.

"BAM has given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not just be part of the Next Wave Festival, but to be among the first to use their brand new Fishman Space. It's an amazing, high-tech jewel of a black box theater. I'm deeply honored to be given this chance and thrilled to premiere my new song cycle Out Cold here, along with a newly orchestrated version of Zippo Songs. AOP and I will be presenting these song cycles as semi-staged works, with direction, set and lighting design. It takes a lot of creative minds to put this together and I think we have a great team. Please join us in making our own little bit of history in Brooklyn."- Phil Kline

Out Cold is an all-new song cycle written for Kline’s muse, the “transcendent” (Village Voice) vocalist Theo Bleckmann and American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), and co-commissioned by AOP (American Opera Projects). Kline began to think of the project during a NY blizzard in January 2010. He started with the idea of the great romantic song cycle Winterreise (winter journey)—Schubert’s long walk out into the cold—and fused it with the ethos of Frank Sinatra’s “suicide song” LP’s with Nelson Riddle from the 1950’s (particularly Only the Lonely). The winter landscape is replaced by a mythical bar at 2:45am, with a man haunted by the past and searching for something, singing sad and beautiful songs with a ten-piece band from a dark corner of heaven. Despite the cozy environs, the singer is “out cold” in the sense of being an outcast, and in the sense of being unconscious, even in his waking moments. READ MORE ABOUT THE INFLUENCES AND ARTISTRY BEHIND OUT COLD.

This is the same composer who wrote Zippo Songs, right?

Yep! In fact, Out Cold will be presented on a double-bill with Kline’s Zippo Songs ("One of the most brutally frank song cycles ever penned." Alex Ross, THE NEW YORKER), heard in its entirety for the first time in Kline's arrangement for string quintet, piano and percussion. The new scoring, called “luminous” by The New York Times, reveals subtle shades of color without losing any of the original’s punch.The 2004 CD release of Zippo Songs was on top ten lists from The New York Times, Gramophone, Newsday, WNYC, TimeOut NY, and many others. Read the reviews

So when is it?

Out Cold/Zippo Songs will run from Thursday, October 25 through Saturday, October 27 at 7:30 PM. An artist panel discussion will follow the Friday, October 26 performance. Tickets are $20 and available at www.bam.org/OutColdZippo. These will be among the first performances in BAM’s spectacular Richard B. Fisher Building (321 Ashland Place), a state-of-the-art black box theater recently profiled by the New York Times.

ACME players for Out Cold Zippo Songs are Keats Dieffenbach, Ben Russell, and Caleb Burhans, violins; Nadia Sirota, viola; Clarice Jensen, cello; Logan Coale, bass; Alex Sopp, flute; Michelle Farah, oboe; Timothy Andres, piano; and Chris Thompson, percussion.

AOP (operaprojects.org) co-commissioned Out Cold.  The production team comprises stage director Emma Griffin (Opera Company of Philadelphia, Juilliard Opera, Williamstown Theater Festival); production and costume designer Andrea Lauer (B'way, Off-B'way, El Paso Opera, Trey McIntyre Dance); Mike Inwood (lighting designer); and Todd Eskridge (sound engineer).

Why do you need to help?

As Phil mentions, BAM is presenting us in their new state-of-the-art theater, but they pay only for the performances. The cost of the production itself, the writing, design, lights. set, etc., is on our tab.

What If I Have No Idea How Kickstarter Works?

If you're not familiar with Kickstarter or how it will work, here's a brief overview (or you can read the official one, here). For the next 30 days, you'll be able to make pledges to help support this project, ranging from $1 to whatever you can afford without your spouse/parent/financial advisor slapping you. For your pledge, you can select one of the reward packages—listed to the right—of equal or lesser value to your pledge. You can always pledge more than the minimum to get a reward if you want (and for some packages, you'll need to do so if it must be shipped internationally). Your credit card or other account will not actually be charged at the time you make your pledge, and you can change your mind right up to the final deadline.

If the final deadline comes and we've reached our goal, then everyone gets charged the amount they pledged at once and we begin putting together all those nifty rewards for you (along with producing our show, of course). But if for some reason we don't meet our goal, then the whole thing is called off. No one gets charged, no fees are applied, everyone just keeps their money. Of course, if we fail to meet the goal, then no one gets any rewards, either, and some of those rewards are pretty cool, in our highly biased opinion.

Is my donation tax-deductible? 

American Opera Projects is an IRS recognized 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. All donations are tax-deductible, minus the expenses of any rewards you receive. If the project meets its Kickstarter goal, you will receive a letter declaring your donation once we have received all funds.

FAQ

  • Kickstarter doesn't currently have an anonymous pledge feature. You are free to choose any username you wish, though, so you could anonymize that way if you would like. Otherwise, we hope you're okay with showing your name and support.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    17 backers

    An exclusive mp3 demo of the song “Leap of Faith” from Out Cold, recorded in May 2012 in a “living room session” with Theo Bleckmann and members of ACME.

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    29 backers

    An exclusive mp3 demo of three songs from Out Cold, recorded in May 2012 in a “living room session” with Theo Bleckmann and members of ACME.

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    16 backers

    A page of sheet music of Out Cold, used during the October 2012 World Premiere and signed by the composer and artists. Plus an exclusive mp3 demo of three songs from Out Cold.

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    21 backers

    A CD copy of Zippo Songs (2003), signed by the composer and performer Theo Bleckmann.

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    1 backer

    An mp3 copy of Zippo Songs (2003), featuring performer Theo Bleckmann with exclusive commentary track by composer Phil Kline.

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    12 backers

    Limited edition Out Cold/Zippo Songs poster, signed by the composer and artists.

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    8 backers

    An Out Cold shot glass, exclusively made for the World Premiere run! Plus a limited edition Out Cold/Zippo Songs poster, signed by the composer and artists.

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    2 backers

    Photo with the composer and performer Theo Bleckmann after a performance of Out Cold/Zippo Songs. Plus an Out Cold shot glass, exclusively made for the World Premiere run, and a limited edition Out Cold/Zippo Songs poster, signed by the composer and artists.

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    0 backers

    Attend a private rehearsal of Out Cold/Zippo Songs. Plus an Out Cold shot glass, exclusively made for the World Premiere run, and a limited edition Out Cold/Zippo Songs poster, signed by the composer and artists.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    2 backers

    Invitation to a private reception with the composer during the run of Out Cold/Zippo Songs at the BAM Fisher. Plus an Out Cold shot glass, exclusively made for the World Premiere run, and a limited edition Out Cold/Zippo Songs poster, signed by the composer and artists.

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  • Pledge $2,500 or more
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    0 backers

    Help commission one of the twelve songs in Out Cold! A dedication to you or a person of your choosing will be added to the AOP website and inscribed into the score. You will receive a copy of the score to “your song” signed by the artists and composer. Plus all rewards at the previous levels.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers

    Invitation to a private performance of songs and chamber music by Phil Kline featuring Theo Bleckmann and members of ACME. (Date TBA) Plus all rewards at the previous levels.

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Funding period

- (43 days)