Death with Interruptions recounts the story of what happens when death falls in love with the principal cellist of a local orchestra and fails to claim his life. Music becomes the transformative force that gradually changes death from a spectral entity into an idealized woman who is unfamiliar with human emotion and perplexed by the intricacies of decisions that are based on the desire to be loved and unalone.
Composer of Death with Interruptions and UC Davis faculty member Kurt Rohde says of the opera—
“In this re-imagined tale of the Orpheus myth, it is death that rises to the land of the living, passing through the music of mankind, becoming more and more human as she fulfills her journey. As desire takes hold, death decides to love, which means she has to become human and relinquish her authority. Things get messy when living the lives we have, subconsciously operating on the premise that death will take us someday, suddenly we get a new book of rules to work with and no one knows exactly what to do next. Not even death.”
American music; three composers across three generations, all still alive! Genres range from opera to songs to intimate chamber music.
Derek Keller:California Tableaux, Act I
A thought-provoking opera that deals with the complexity of California’s multicultural history. The piece questions what it means to be a citizen of the US; who’s in and who’s out, and perhaps even what it means to be “American.”
Also on the program is a piece by San Francisco composer Mark Winges, and a duo by Karl Kohn, who was born in Vienna but emigrated to the US in 1939, an eminence of Californian music life who turned 90 last year.
Works written by “Revision/s” Composer Fellows Oren Boneh and Natalie Draper.
The Empyrean Ensemble presents engaging, thought-provoking, eclectic programs, enabling audiences to experience new musical sensations delivered with high artistry by its seven extraordinary core players—the finest new music performers in California. Ensemble-in-residence at UC Davis, Empyrean has premiered more than 200 works and performed throughout California, including appearances at many prominent music festivals and concert series.