In 2004 I discovered the journals of Isabelle Eberhardt, and embarked on what would become the largest and most ambitious musical project of my life (so far!). Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904) was one of the most unusual and independent women of her era. She was born in Switzerland but left home at age 19 to travel alone through North Africa. She dressed as an Arab man, joined a Sufi order, fell in love with an Algerian soldier, was nearly assassinated, roamed the desert alone on horseback, and eventually drowned in a desert flash flood at age 27. Her journals, salvaged from the wreckage of that 1904 flood, are the inspiration for my first opera, SONG FROM THE UPROAR: THE LIVES AND DEATHS OF ISABELLE EBERHARDT. Over the past five years I have worked in collaboration with filmmaker Stephen Taylor, librettist Royce Vavrek and director Gia Forakis to expand this piece into a fullly-staged opera, and I can state without hesitation that this has been the most fulfilling and challenging project I have ever initiated. Each day I am newly inspired by the universal themes in Isabelle's story: the confusion of falling in love, conflicts between eastern and western cultures, and the desire to break with one's past and forge a new identity.
We're delighted to announce that SONG FROM THE UPROAR will premiere February 24-March 3 at the Kitchen in New York City, featuring performances by mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer (Isabelle Eberhardt), chamber group NOW Ensemble and vocalists Amelia Watkins, Celine Mogielnicki, Kate Maroney, Peter Stewart and Tomas Cruz. The day after the final performance we enter the recording studio, and a CD of this opera will be released on New Amsterdam Records in September, 2012.
We have raised about 40% of the funding needed to make this album a reality, and are now turning to our friends and family for (tax-deductible!) support through Kickstarter. Armed with a professional recording, we will be able to share this opera with presenters, fans, family, friends and colleagues around the world. This recording will help us book future performances of the opera, and will enable us to continue creating work that takes risks and challenges the idea of what an opera can be. After five years of work, you can imagine that we would love for this opera to have a life beyond the performances at The Kitchen. We can do it with your help!
All donations are fully tax-deductible. Thank you for supporting emerging artists and new opera!
-Composer Missy Mazzoli
[The creative team is extremely fortunate to be joined by a gifted group of collaborators for the premiere production including music director Steven Osgood, set designer Zane Pihlstrom, costume designer Alixandra Englund, Lighting Designer Scott Bolmon, projection designer S. Katy Tucker, and producer Beth Morrison (Beth Morrison Projects).]
- (31 days)