This is the beginning of Jump, my hybrid music theater piece Jump, at once a play, an opera, and an intimate concert. This is from an early concert version with Kevin Burdette the fantastic Bass singer along with our team of Jamie Lawrecne and the gang.
Jump became a collaboration between singer/composer Nora York, co-composer Jamie Lawrence, and director JoAnne Akalaitis, playwright David Greenspan, with artist Kiki Smith.
JUMP began as Nora York’s musical response to Vissi D’arte, the seminal lament of Puccini’s great diva Tosca. Weaving her own song through the Puccini aria York presented this contemporary musical collage to JoAnne Akalaitis, to see if they could make the work theatrical. They discovered that the 19th century French actress Sarah Bernhardt performed the role of La Tosca for 25 over years, and it was Bernhardt’s Tosca, that inspired Puccini to secure the rights for his libretto. JoAnne invited David Greenspan to join the team as playwright. Kiki Smith, inspired by the music and the collaborative team, wanted to try her hand at stage design.
Jump is a kaleidoscopic collage of performance styles that embraces the original Sardou play, Sarah Bernhardt, the Puccini opera ( along with two opera singers) and the original music of Nora York. Jump is a passionate journey about inspiration and why we make art.