Pultizer prize and National Medal of Arts winner Carlisle Floyd is most known as an opera composer yet he has also written songs for voice and piano and voice and orchestra. One such cycle, a mono-drama called Citizen of Paradise based on letters and poems by Emily Dickinson, was premiered by mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer.
Scroll below for audio samples.
Mr. Floyd is in his late 80's and it is a good time for him to supervise a recording of his songs as none, as such, exists. Historically it will be a good record of what the composer intends.
Susanne Mentzer has been singing internationally for over thirty years, twenty of them in leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera. She appears on many DVDs and CDs and has also appeared on Live from Lincoln Center and A&E network. More info about Susanne at susannementzer.com
“Susanne Mentzer's performance of my musical profile of Emily Dickinson, CITIZEN OF PARADISE, is definitive in every regard: she sings it with a superb range of color and feeling and, as the performing artist, quickly disappears into a vivid and totally convincing evocation of the poet herself. I frankly can't imagine the cycle of songs (with its very broad span of moods) being more artfully or more movingly performed.” -Carlisle Floyd
The two cycles planned (both published by Boosey and Hawkes) with piano accompaniment are:
Citizen of Paradise (1983) approx. 35 minutes long
Soul of Heaven (1995) approx. 15 minutes long, with texts by Herrick, Case, Lanier, Aesop, Emerson, Nitzsche, Collier, Castiglione, Spinoza and Shakespeare.
The goal is to get a high quality recording at a good studio with an excellent producer and either market independently or opt for bids from an established label.
Fees for pianist, producer and technician. Ms Mentzer is waving her fee.
Post production editing
Travel and lodging for Mr. Floyd, Ms Mentzer, pianist and producer
Digital production- onto CD or downloadable
Here are three excerpts from a live performance
Audio link below: A conversation with Carlisle Floyd from the NEA Honors
Risks and challenges
1. cost over run- will solicit other private funding
2. unforeseen illness causing postponement of recording sessions- postponing for a later date
- (60 days)