Mount Tremper Arts presents
PERFECT LIVES Catskills
An opera by Robert Ashley
Arranged and performed by Varispeed
Video by Matthew Bernard
Saturday, August 17th, 2013 11:00am-11:30pm
Perfect Lives (Catskills) is a daylong, site-specific performance of Robert Ashley’s 1983 opera adapted by Varispeed. The performance consists of seven half-hour episodes, each at a different location. Each episode has been newly arranged by a member of the group and endeavors to bring together musicians, performers, fans, and community members alike in a celebration of this American opera.
9pm, THE LIVING ROOM (The Solutions)
Mount Tremper Arts
At his wife, Ida’s prompting, Will, the local sheriff, goes over the events of the day.
Aliza Simons, Paul Pinto, Brian McCorkle, Gelsey Bell, Dave Ruder (lead + synth + chorus), Bill Ylitalo (flutes), Karen Waltuch (viola), Asa Kimber (cello)
Part of the 2013 Mount Tremper Arts Summer Festival.
Contemporary Art in the Catskill Mountains, June 15 – August 24, 2013
Robert Ashley, a distinguished figure in American contemporary music, holds an international reputation for his work in new forms of opera and multi-disciplinary projects. His recorded works are acknowledged classics of language in a musical setting. He pioneered opera-for-television.The operatic works of Robert Ashley are distinctly original in style, and distinctly American in their subject matter and in their use of American language. Fanfare Magazine calls Ashley’s Perfect Lives “nothing less than the first American opera…”, and The Village Voice comments, “When the 21st Century glances back to see where the future of opera came from, Ashley, like Monteverdi before him, is going to look like a radical new beginning.”
Varispeed is a collective of composer-performers that creates site-specific, sometimes-participatory, oftentimes-durational, forevermore-experimental events. Founded by Aliza Simons, Dave Ruder, Paul Pinto, Brian McCorkle, and Gelsey Bell, Varispeed came together in June 2011 to perform Perfect Lives Brooklyn, a 12-hour celebration of Robert Ashley’s landmark opera. Subsequently, they were invited to perform an updated version across the river as part of Performa ’11, and Perfect Lives Manhattan made Time Out New York and New York Times’ critic Steve Smith’s “Best of 2011” list. In August 2012, Varispeed presented their second full scale project, an over-night arrangement of John Cage’s Empty Words. Varispeed will collaborate with Alia Musica Pittsburgh to produce Perfect Lives Pittsburgh in May 2014. Varispeed’s members regularly perform together as members of Panoply Performance Laboratory, ensemble thingNY, and the band Why Lie?, as well as under their own names.