"Capital punishment" from "FAIRY TALES, Songs of the Dandelion Woman". Music by Carson Kievman - Libretto by Carson Kievman and Mark David Needle, Stage Direction by Jeffrey Marc Buchman - Music Director by Mary Adelyn Kauffman. Starring Meagan Brus as Dandelion Woman & Kenneth Mattice as Bank Examiner
Synopsis: The fragmented notes and drawings of a troubled mind, adapted from the real-life struggles of a young heiress alone in the city, are gathered as possible evidence by a bank examiner, who is fraught with his own disturbing thoughts. The transformations they both go through are framed with penetrating and sometimes poetic insights from the writings of Carl Jung, who once envisioned a picture book to illustrate the complex logic and fantastic associations behind mental breakdowns. This dramatic collage of fantasy and reason is fused in an operatic song cycle that evokes the longings and confusions and the spiritual and mundane aspirations of modern life.
"'FAIRY TALES' MAKES A BOLD AND POWERFUL IMPACT IN WORLD PREMIERE"
South Florida Classical Review / The Miami Herald (May 9, 2014)
"is a Stunner!"
"delivers a great dramatic punch!"
"is a shattering experience"
"grips the attention"
"Meagan Brus dominates the stage with a frightening emotional intensity"
"Her brilliant flights of coloratura dazzle the ear"
"A vocal and dramatic tour de force, her performance is a singular triumph"
"Kenneth Mattice brings a baritone of power and verbal subtlety to a journey of tragic dimensions"
"Mary Adelyn Kauffman conducted with taut urgency"
"Jeffrey Marc Buchman's production never flagged in momentum, with the protagonists' turmoil conveyed in strong dramatic strokes"
"Stunning projections of geometric images and the heroine's notebooks by Alain Lores"
"In his boldest stroke, Kievman suddenly turns this happy scene into a hospital room with the bank examiner... his final words "I'm lost" are accompanied by traffic noises over speakers, leaving the audience stunned."
"In a season that has seen more twentieth- and twenty-first century opera in South Florida than in the last two decades combined, Kievman's opus is a stunner. It deserves wider performances beyond the current Miami Beach run"
"WRITTEN WITH SHARP INTELLIGENCE, HIGH TECHNICAL SKILL AND UNCOMPROMISING INTEGRITY" Palm Beach Arts Paper (June 1, 2014)
I am announcing the launch of a new project to record "Symphony No. 4 (Biodiversity)" [Delta David Gier, conductor]; a work which conveys my vision of the grandeur and fragility of the natural world.
"Symphony No. 4 (Biodiversity)" Recording Project. "Glaciers (Rivers of Ice)," "The Great Swamp," "Starving Angels," "The Year of the Reef" is a project of Mystery Park Arts Company / SoBe Institute of the Arts (SoBe Arts), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit arts organization.
Symphony No. 4 (Biodiversity) was motivated by a suggestion in 1998 from Dr. Robert Ginsburg, a renowned Professor Emeritus of marine geology and geophysics. Dr. Ginsburg was actively involved in preparations for the International Year of the Reef, and he believed that a musical piece could help to draw global awareness of coral reefs and ecosystems and perhaps persuade people to take simple actions that benefit the reefs. I became thoroughly inspired and began work on what would ultimately become an hour-long symphony.
The full symphony, revised and completed in 2012, is a four-part reflection on biodiversity and the plight of our worldwide ecosystems.
"Artists and musicians often lead the way to create awareness about climate change and the (mostly man-made) degradation of our environment. For Carson Kievman, one of the most lucid contemporary classical composers, this awareness is compellingly conveyed through the medium he knows best - music." Ishrat Ansari, The Listening Room, Caffe Vivaldi, NYC
Ke Chung Kim, Professor Emeritus at Penn State University commented on the project, [This recording] "representing beautiful sounds of life and sum of all those sounds of our cohorts in the world could produce a symphony of biodiversity that is the foundation of life and primary natural resources for humans and all other life forms, and all together keeps us going for perpetual future of our soul."
CARSON KIEVMAN / SYMPHONY NO. 3 (HURRICANE)
Written in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew.
ICP Catalogue No. 0116c.
Recorded by the National Polish Radio Symphony Katowice. Delta David Gier, conductor. Mystery Park Arts Records (1999)
The third symphony (of Carson Kievman) was written in 1993-95, the years following Hurricane Andrew's devastating course though South Florida. Though clearly inspired by the composer's experience of living within its path of destruction, the work is as contemplative as it is dramatic or descriptive. Rather than depicting the random-ness or dissonance of an actual storm, the tone is translated through the more complex -- and poetical -- responses of the individual. The three-part structure is in fact a highly developed exploration of internal thoughts and feelings: anticipating, absorbing and finally adjusting to forces that lie beyond our control. While the hurricane imagery is apparent, the human dimension of the work might reflect any threat of powerful or violent confrontation."
The third movement is a meditation on the aftermath of devastation, shaped and colored by a dialogue between orchestra and timpani: questions softly posed on the transitory nature of man, answered only by nightmarish echoes of violence. The aftershock opens with hesitant entreaties by horns, strings, tubular bells, vibraphone, and harp, creating an air of unreality and dislocation. The contemplative tone is disturbed by repeated 16th notes beginning in the trumpets and is shadowed by the rumbling of timpani and by tremolos in the winds--somber reminders of the windstorm. The prominence of the timpani, whose role includes all twelve pitches and requires a constant re-adjustment of tunings, conveys the deep and resilient nature of psychological trauma.
As the timpani's reverberations fade into silence, others timidly assert a renewed lyricism, fragments reminiscent of the first movement, anticipating a return to beauty after the loss of innocence. The timpani, whose blustering strength recalls the shear power of the confrontation, fades to a muted pulse again. The remainder of the piece is haunted by thunderous resurgences of the timpani and echoes of the gong, rising like traumatic memories to spar with the softer elements of strings and winds. Yet by the end, the emotional battering of percussion is countered by an equally powerful rejoinder of the brass. The horns build together as the strings, which opened the symphony, suggesting that a new level of harmony, is a last achieved: resilient, mature, and indomitable. The symphony ends with the wind section playing a serine, unearthly chord."