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Saturday
Jun232012

1st Act of LUDLOW at University of Colorado's New Opera Works

The University of Colorado's New Opera Works Program, run by Leigh Holman, presented Act I of my newest opera Ludlow in three workshop performances from June 1- 3, 2012, with director Beth Greenberg and music director Robert Spillman. 

Ludlow is based on the verse novel by David Mason. The action takes place in the early American West, during the 1914 coal-mining wars of southern Colorado. In protest of brutal working conditions, scores of miners went on strike and erected a tent colony in Ludlow. The colony was burned by The Colorado National Guard and more than a dozen innocent people, mostly women and children perished in the Ludlow Massacre. 

In the opera Ludlow, a contemporary Poet tells the tale of the Greek immigrant Louis Tikas. Like others, Tikas arrives in southern Colorado and finds work in the dangerous coal mines. He falls in love with Luisa Mole, an orphan of Mexican-Welsh descent. As Tikas discovers the harsh realities of mining work in America, he becomes a reluctant union organizer.

Events unfold, as we see that the opera's storyteller — the Poet — is also searching for his identity in the vast American landscape. The opera weaves in-and-out of the historical events at Ludlow while revealing the Poet's similar quest for identity and roots.

Librettist David Mason has said, "we are all hyphenated-Americans." Whether poet young girl or coal miner, how does one become anchored to the land? How does one find fulfillment?

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was unable to attend as planned, but I was able to Skype into several rehearsals. I had no worries, as the show was in great hands with the talented students, Beth Greenberg and Robert Spillman. Librettist David Mason was also in attendance. This workshop was a wonderful opportunity for me — it was so exciting to see the characters come to life off the page — and I was absolutely thrilled with the results. I wish to thank everyone who was involved, but I am especially grateful to Leigh Holman, for allowing me this wonderful opportunity.

Here are a few excerpts from the production, and here is a link to an article from The Daily Camera

I also wish to thank the University of Colorado music faculty for presenting a  beautiful recital of my songs on May 25, 2012. 

Friday
Mar162012

David Mason's The Scarlet Libretto now available

The Scarlet Libretto is the libretto for my opera The Scarlet Letter. Award-winning poet and librettist David Mason, author of Ludlow and other books, gives new life in verse to Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel. By distilling the book’s narrative line and adding a charged lyricism of his own, Mason has created another magnificent work in his ongoing poetic portrait of America.

Click here to purchase at Amazon or here to purchase at Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday
Mar142012

Laitman songs on NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART Recital by Jessica Jones and Danielle Hahn

On March 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm, Soprano Jessica Jones and pianist Danielle Hahn will present a recital at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The recital will feature music by Nadia Boulanger, Clara Schumann and Lori Laitman. For more information, please visit http://www.nga.gov/programs/music/

Tuesday
Mar062012

Vedem Songs and The Boys of Terezin 

The Boys of Terezin documentary will be featured at the New Jersey Jewish Film Festival. Prior to the screening on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm, Lori and mezzo-soprano Denise Mihalik will perform selections from Vedem Songs.

Leo Lowy, one of the Terezin survivors and original contributor to the Vedem Magazine will be the guest speaker.

The performance will take place at JCC MetroWest in West Orange, NJ. Another screening (without the songs) will take place on March 29, 2012 at 11:30 at AMC Loews in E. Hanover, NJ.

For more information, please visit http://www.njjff.org/

Monday
Mar052012

Dark Spring Premiere

The premiere of Dark Spring will take place on April 21 Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm at the Salone of the Galleria Nazionale Palazzo Spinola di Pelliceria in the Centro Storico of Genoa, Italy. Fondazione Spinola will host the concert, which features British tenor Chris Elliott and Austrian pianist Bernadette Bartos. The cycle is comprised of four songs setting the Motets of Eugenio Montale, as translated by Dana Gioia.

The theme of the concert is "Il Golfo dei Poeti"/"The Gulf of Poets" — with songs by Strauss, Wolf, Mendelssohn, Quilter, Britten, Ireland, Sibelius, Respighi, Parry, Tosti, and Laitman. The concert examines the influence of Liguria upon poetry and composition and thus all the poets of the song texts all have links to this famous region of Liguria.