Daron Hagen is one of America's most versatile, prolific, and respected composers. All eight of his major operas are currently in production or revival somewhere in the U.S., Europe, or Asia. His orchestral, chamber, and song catalogues are frequently programmed internationally. Mr. Hagen's activities include stage direction, conducting; and engagements as a collaborative pianist, artistic director, writer, and librettist.
The program that Gilda Lyons and I performed last week in New York City on the Phoenix Concerts and in Hudson, New York at the Hudson Opera House "paired" songs the way that a chef "pairs" a delicacy with a wine so that something essential in its makeup is unlocked. These notes concern a program that "paired" art songs with cabaret, folk, pop, and musical theater songs in order to explore the delicious, emotionally vibrant realm that exists somewhere between them.
Why? Because, for all the periodic pronunciamentii about rediscovering the art song and bringing it "back to life" by infusing it with the conventions of pop music composers make, it has always been clear to me that the best of them have always existed comfortably in both worlds. Nothing new there: indeed, songs that meld elements of pop song, art song, musical theater, and...
2 May 2014
Actors Fund Center, 8 PM
THE NEW YORKERS, from the Five Boroughs Songbook is included on a 'Two Sides Sounding' concert honoring American Opera Projects' 25th Anniversary. Eleanor Taylor, soprano / Daniel Neer, baritone / Mila Henry, piano. More information here.
9 May 2014
Skylight Theater Center
I HEAR AMERICA SINGING [a new musical; book, lyrics & music by Daron Hagen] Daron Hagen, stage director; Robert Frankenberry, musical director. First production and run of 14 shows: 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25 May. For tickets and more information, click here.
17 May 2014
Blaisdell Concert Hall
GENJI: KOTO CONCERTO [premiere of large orchestra version] Hawaii Symphony Orchestra / Yumi Kurosawa. For more information, click here.