Daron Hagen says his new work The Art of Song is “sort of a sixty-minute opera in four acts for dozens of characters set in lots of locales and eras.” The different sections cover issues as vast as “the intersection between citizenship and art in pursuit of peace” and as intimate as “the everyday human struggle to find rebirth in the processing of dreams lost, regained, and treasured.”
Hagen is a veteran American composer now in his sixties. His output includes 350 songs and 13 operas, in addition to instrumental works that have been performed by most of America’s major orchestras. Like many of the best American composers, he’s an individualist whose style can’t be fitted into any of the standard pigeonholes.
Lyric Fest will premiere The Art of Song on the composer’s birthday, November 4, at The Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square. It’s the product of a joint commission from Lyric Fest and the Brooklyn Art Song Society. It features six vocalists, taken from both groups, singing in solos and different types of ensembles. The accompaniment is scored for four handed piano and the hands will be provided by a pair of five star accompanists—Lyric Fest’s Laura Ward and the Brooklyn Society’s founder Michael Brofman. The Brooklyn premiere will take place in June.
Lyric Fest has presented some notable new works over the last 15 years. The Art of Song could be another example of the major attractions small, innovative organizations are adding to the Philadelphia music calendar.
What, Where, When:
Lyric Fest will present The Art of Song on Monday, November 4 at 7:30pm at The Church of the Holy Trinity, 1904 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Tickets are $25 online, $30 at the door, $10 for students.