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A recording of The Red Thread -- a chamber opera about China's One Child Policy, adoption, and two mothers' love.
A recording of The Red Thread -- a chamber opera about China's One Child Policy, adoption, and two mothers' love.
69 backers pledged $2,661 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Hi!  I'm Rene and the composer of The Red Thread, a chamber opera on China's One-Child Policy and adoption.  I've had the wonderful opportunity to record a piano + 2 percussion reduction of this opera, and now it's time to mix, master, and distribute the CDs! 

The Story

The Red Thread is a chamber opera that addresses the current issues of China's One-Child Policy and adoption. The storyline follows a grown adopted Daughter who seeks to answer the questions of "Who am I?" and "Why didn't my mom want me?" -- perhaps the most universal questions proposed by adopted children in general.  At the same time, it follows the journey of the two mothers in the past with interjections by Chinese Government Figures.  The Chinese Birth Mother moves from a state of joy/hope (being pregnant) to absolute hopelessness (the act of abandonment).  The Adoptive Mother moves from hopelessness (after four miscarriages) to complete joy (adopting a baby).  The point of the work is not to fault anyone or any government or to provide political commentary but to shed light on the complexities of the current situation and to ensure that a mother's love inherently transcends beyond even the most opposite of cultures. 

The Music

SNEAK PREVIEW of the recording:

WATCH a reading of the first scene with chamber orchestra here.

The Artists

I was really, really fortunate to work with such an amazing group of talented and fun people.  They've brought this work to life!

Kimcherie Lloyd, Conductor, is the Director of Orchestral Studies and Opera Theatre at the University of Louisville School of Music.  She served as Director of Music with Kentucky Opera from 1999-2007, where she was the Music Director for the Rudd Young Artist Program and Assistant Conductor/Chorus master for the main stage productions.  Other past affiliations include the Louisville Orchestra, the Louisville Youth Orchestra,  the Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, MacPhail Center for Arts, Baton Rouge Opera,  and the Ann Arbor Chamber Orchestra.

Emily Howes, Soprano - Daughter, will begin her M.M. studies in vocal performance at the University of Louisville on full scholarship this coming fall. She recently sang the role of Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites and upcoming performances include Don Giovanni (Zerlina) in Poland.

Emily Albrink, Soprano - Adoptive Mother, has been hailed by the New York Times as "vocally strong and versatile" and has had the opportunity to work with such artists as Placido Domingo, James Levine, Marin Alsop, Jake Heggie, and Dawn Upshaw. Past appearances have included the Washington National Opera, Chicago Symphony, Kentucky Opera, Baltimore Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke's, and more. Check out more here!  

Sarah Murrell, Mezzo-Soprano - Birth Mother, recently earned her degree in Music Education at the University of Louisville. She is currently pursuing opportunities in the Cincinnati and Newport areas.

Dan Weeks, Tenor - Government Figure 1, maintains an active performing career while being a member of the voice faculty at the University of Louisville.  Recent appearances have included the Houston Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Louisville Bach Society, and the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall.  For more information click here!

Chad Sloan, Baritone - Government Figure 2, is currently on faculty at the University of Louisville.  He has sung with Kentucky Opera, Louisville Choral Arts Society, Dayton Opera, Tanglewood Music Center, Anchorage Opera, New York City Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Opera, Aspen Opera Theater, and Tacoma Opera. Most recently he was heard as soloist in Britten's War Requiem with Lawrence University, as a soloist in The Juilliard School's concert celebrating the life and work of Elliott Carter, Willy in Lee Hoiby's THIS IS THE RILL SPEAKING with Opera Memphis and featured along side eighth blackbird in University of Chicago's CONTEMPO series. For more information click here!

Craig Price, Bass-Baritone - Government Figure 3, is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and has sung with orchestras and opera companies across the country including Central City Opera and Kentucky Opera.  He currently resides in Lexington, Kentucky where he maintains an active private voice studio. For more information, click here!

David George, Pianist, is on the Bellarmine University Piano faculty and  the staff accompanist at the University of Louisville.  He is also the biggest Louisville Cards fan. Ever.

Jim Weixler, Percussionist, is a performer, clinician, and educator in the Louisville area. He frequently performs contemporary works and enjoys his independent study of eastern philosophy. 

Spencer Zembrodt, Percussionist, is a rising junior studying music education at the University of Louisville.  He's also a composer and aspiring conductor and listens to music that hasn't even been written yet.

Quinn Dizon, Assistant Conductor, recently earned his M.M in Music Composition at the University of Louisville as a Moritz von Bomhard Fellow.  He will begin his graduate conducting studies under the tutelage of Kimcherie Lloyd this fall at the University of Louisville as the conducting fellow.

The recording was done by Tim Haertel and TNT Productions in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Funding

Thanks to the Kentucky Foundation for Women, I received a generous Artist Enrichment grant to fund parts of this project.  The grant covered artist fees, recording fees, score/part printing costs, and travel costs.  We've rehearsed and recorded the work ... we're almost there but we still need YOUR help to finish it!  

This Kickstarter project will fund the rest of our needs: graphic artist fees, mixing/mastering tracks, printing the CDs/album covers/sleeves, and the costs of distributing them to workshops, competitions, and opera companies.

I'm working towards getting this work staged and performed with full orchestra one day, but I can't do it without YOU!  This project will definitely help me get there.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help! 

..And more music of mine: 

LISTEN here

Risks and challenges

We've been successful in all the obstacles presented so far: We've coordinated super busy schedules to work out, rehearsed the opera, and have now recorded some really great music -- all while having an absolute blast!

Funding has been the biggest challenge -- but thanks to the generosity of the Kentucky Foundation for Women Artist Enrichment Grant, most of these expenses have been covered. Now we just need to finish out this step of the project -- but I can't do it without YOUR help!

Once the CD is mixed, pressed and distributed, the next challenge will be to move the work to the next stage/my dream: a full orchestra and staging! I won't be able to reach that point though without first fulfilling this project -- so I THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help!

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    I'll tweet or facebook a personal THANK YOU!

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    All of the above + You'll get your NAME IN THE CREDITS on the CD sleeve or booklet.

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    All of the above + a PRE-RELEASE DOWNLOAD of The Red Thread.

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    All of the $50 pledge rewards + 1-HOUR LESSON on composition or audio engineering/recording/ProTools. (Note: subject to Skype if we aren't in the same city).

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    All of the $100 pledge rewards + a signed and bound COPY OF THE SCORE.

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    All of the $150 pledge rewards + I'll write and record you a PERSONAL THEME SONG. (Everyone needs one of these, right?)

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    All of the $150 pledge rewards + a NEW PIECE - I'll write you a short chamber piece based on your preferences (as much as I can), record it, and send you the mp3. Or, if you're a musician, I'll write it for you to premiere.

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Funding period

- (30 days)