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Saturday, June 24, 2017




Guerilla Opera comes to campus for yearlong residency




This year, the New Music Brandeis is hosting a yearlong residency with the Guerilla Opera. The group is a Boston-based, self-proclaimed “experimental” organization that focuses on creating new operatic pieces for intimate settings. The residency will work with students throughout the year in preparation for a production of six opera scenes produced by students and professionals from the Guerilla Opera. The performances will be shown as part of the annual Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts in the spring. 

For the festival, six students (Anne Kat Alexander ’18, Raphael Stigliano ’18, Katie Lawrence ’16, Andrew Elmers ’16, Talia Amar Ph.D.’ 19 and Victoria Cheah Ph.D.) will write opera scenes. Six students (Yuan Keng Ling '17, Jeremy Rapaport-Stein M.F.A. ’16, Cheah, Amar, Luke Blackburn and Daniel Allas) will compose music for them. Amar and Cheah are composing for their own written pieces, but the others were paired. For the Festival of the Arts, professionals from the Guerilla Opera Residency will perform the pieces.  

Last year, Emily Koh, Ph.D. student in Music Composition and Theory, proposed the residency University Arts Council. The council approved the project and Koh is now overseeing the residency. 

Koh said that she was looking for a smaller group when she chose the Guerilla Opera for the residency. “I was looking at opera companies who were doing interesting, smaller, more bite-sized things,” she said in an interview with the Justice. 

Since there were so few applicants, all of the writers who applied will get a chance to see their opera come to life. For pairing the student writers with composers, Koh created a blind selection process. The writers each submitted a writing sample and a general description of their final vision, and the composers ranked their choices. 

New Music Brandeis showcases the work of student composers through contemporary music concerts. 


*This article was edited for accuracy of names and graduation dates on 9/8/15.


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