Robert Ashley brings his three most recent operas, DUST (1998), CELESTIAL EXCURSIONS (2003) and MADE OUT OF CONCRETE (2007/2009), to La MaMa (NYC) in radically new productions from January 15 through January 25. The retrospective features a cast of new music luminaries including Sam Ashley, Tom Buckner, Jacqueline Humbert, and Joan La Barbara, who have sung Ashley’s work for more than 20 years, and Tom Hamilton, who processes and mixes the voices and the orchestra. Robert Ashley will perform in all three operas, pioneer video artist/choreographer Joan Jonas in Celestial Excursions, and keyboard player “Blue” Gene Tyranny in Dust.
Over the last two decades, Ashley has relentlessly explored stream-of-consciousness poetry and unusual narrative forms, inventing the possibility of a new kind of operatic ensemble and an innovative vocal and orchestral vocabulary. “My characters are ordinary people. I am interested in their profoundly good qualities. They just happen to be ordinary people who are spiritually divine.” These three works brilliantly display the composer’s idiosyncratic voice and his compelling preoccupation with American vernacular speech and the states of mind of seemingly ordinary people.
“Ashley is the musical counterpart of David Lynch, a detective of weird secrets amid everyday life” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker).
Dust, Celestial Excursions, and Made Out of Concrete
Presented by La MaMa E.T.C., in association with Mutable Music’s Interpretations series
Dust: Jan. 15 (Thu.), 16 (Fri.), Jan. 22 (Thu.) & Jan. 25 (Sun.) at 8 p.m.
Celestial Excursions: Jan. 17 (Sat.), Jan. 18 (Sun.) & Jan. 23 (Fri.) at 8 p.m.
Made Out of Concrete: Jan. 20 (Tue.), 21 (Wed.), & Jan. 24 (Sat.) at 8 p.m.
La MaMa, E.T.C. Annex, 74A East 4th Street, New York
Tickets: $25/$15 (students)
Online tickets and information: www.lamama.org
Box Office: 212-475-7710
For more information on Robert Ashley, visit www.robertashley.org