FIRST TAKE 2015

A WEST COAST WORKSHOP OF NEW OPERAS

FEBRUARY 21, 2015  |  LOS ANGELES

The Industry and wild Up present

Free Performance

Saturday, February 21, 2015, 1-4:30pm

FIRST TAKE is back!  The Industry will team with the wild Up music ensemble to present the only West Coast workshop of new American opera.  FIRST TAKE is quickly establishing itself as one of the most compelling platforms for the exploration of new ideas in American opera.  The inaugural run of FIRST TAKE took place at the Hammer Museum in 2013 and featured works-in-progress by Pauline Oliveros, Mohammed Fairouz, David Brynjar Franzson, Ellen Reid, Aaron Siegel, and Alexander Vassos.

The vibrant artists of The Industry and wild Up, along with guests like the legendary Joan La Barbara, perform concert readings of six new operatic works-in-progress by Jason Thorpe Buchanan, Nomi Epstein, Jenny Olivia Johnson, Anne LeBaron, Andrew McIntosh and Paul Pinto.

Seating is first-come, first-serve.  Come for one session or stay for the whole afternoon: FIRST TAKE is free! Doors open at 12:30pm.

FIRST TAKE Schedule

1:00-2:00pm: Jenny Olivia Johnson, The After Time Paul Pinto, Unintelligible Response

2:15 – 3:15pm: Nomi Epstein, Translation Jason Thorpe Buchanan, Hunger

3:30-4:30pm: Andrew McIntosh, Bonnie and Clyde Anne LeBaron, LSD: The Opera


Hunger Music by: Jason Thorpe Buchanan (New York) Text by: Darcie Dennigan (Providence)

Based on Knut Hamsun’s novel Sult, Hunger is a multimedia opera exploring themes of psychological decay, irrationality, and self-destruction.  Visceral, fragmented music and text drive the the narrative through psychological and musical states expressing the volatility of man’s psyche.

Translation Music by: Nomi Epstein (Chicago)

Translation is a conceptual work examining translation and miscommunication through its notation, audio/visual components, and performer relationships.  Throughout the piece, performers will create different sonic landscapes for both solo and group translations, based on each individual’s voice and musical language.

The After Time Music and Text by: Jenny Olivia Johnson (Boston/New York)

In The After Time, fragmented memories disorient the main character, a freshman dance major who is accused of the murder of her best friend. Complex electronics create a dark, haunting atmosphere where trauma is thick in the air.

LSD: The Opera Music by: Anne LeBaron (Los Angeles) Text by: Anne LeBaron, Gerd Stern and Ed Rosenfeld (New York)

LSD: The Opera is a psychedelic odyssey charting the powerful historical ramifications—cultural, political, and spiritual—set into motion by the discovery of lysergic acid diethylamide in 1943.  Written for a large ensemble, including five of Harry Partch’s extraordinary instruments, fluid harmonies and timbres create an enchanting space filled with a panorama of dramatic events.

Bonnie & Clyde Music by: Andrew McIntosh (Los Angeles) Text by: Melinda Rice (Los Angeles) In collaboration with artist Claudia Doderer (Berlin)

Bonnie & Clyde is the story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, 1930-1934, told by the people who witnessed it.  With extreme shifts in duration and mood, the work is a tense and complex emotional reading of the often contradictory historical records created by family, comrades, bystanders, law enforcement, and historians, and focuses on the lives of these outlaws outside their legendary status.

Unintelligible Response Part of Thomas Paine in Violence Music by: Paul Pinto (Jersey City) Text by: Paul Pinto and Rick Burkhardt (Providence)

Thomas Paine in Violence is an opera-in-development at HERE in New York.  It depicts the final days of the American revolutionary activist Thomas Paine, the strange events of his “afterlife”, and the censorship of his work. This piece is written for vocal virtuoso Joan La Barbara.


FIRST TAKE is made possible with generous support from Myrna Cook and a grant from the California Arts Council.  Additional support is provided by Thomas E. Backer, PhD, Ron & Linda Phillips, and the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.

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