I had written an opera, and I wanted to premiere it in Bali—not exactly the jungle, but close.
On the eve of NewMusicBox’s 10th anniversary, we invited eight people to roll up their sleeves, dust off their magic eight balls, and offer their thoughts on where we’re coming from and (hopefully?) where we may be headed.
As a group, Native Americans who write music churn out work in genres from classical to hip-hop, and those in the classical business write in styles from neo-romantic to electro-acoustic and pretty much everything in between.
While most composers, performers, and listeners would probably agree that there is a wide and flexible field of possibility available in bringing a piece of music home creatively and with its dignity still intact, they would also be quick to add that there are distinct limits beyond which the native sense and spirit of a musical creation undergoes rapid self-destruction and loses its core identity.
Nine years younger than Aaron Copland, nine years older than Leonard Bernstein, Elie Siegmeister, who died of a brain tumor on March 10, 1991, would have been 100 years old on January 15, 2009.
The times have never been as dark and uncertain for composers of new operatic works, but every crisis presents its opportunities; the times suggest that the less costly but not often performed smaller-forces opera, also known as chamber opera, may be entering its heyday.