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Christine Brewer to Perform at the Pulitzer

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis present

brewer-half-for-email


CHRISTINE BREWER, soprano
ELIZABETH ZHAROFF, soprano

in
Intervals

 composed by Shahrokh Yadegari
with reading by Ann Hamilton

A performance in conjunction with stylus
a project by Ann Hamilton

 

Press contact:
Linda Schulte, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; lschulte@opera-stl.org; (314) 963-4225
Rachel Craft, Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts; rcraft@pulitzerarts.org; (314) 754-1861

 

 Intervals is the first in a series of performances and events throughout the St. Louis community which respond to and interact with stylus, artist Ann Hamilton’s immersive installation at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, featuring sound design by Shahrokh YadegariTwo performances will be held on Tuesday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.  stylus is on view at the Pulitzer until January 22, 2011.  Future stylus events will include collaborations with the St. Louis Public Library and KDHX Community Media.

Co-produced by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, this experimental sound performance takes its title from the theme of Ann Hamilton’s installation and brings together two sopranos: Christine Brewer, one of the great singers of our time, with newcomer Elizabeth Zharoff, one of Opera Theatre’s outstanding new artists.  Uniquely set within Hamilton’s moving video projections, the performance will connect the traditional expression of operatic form with an unconventional performance environment.  The live voices of both singers will “accompany themselves” through the use of an electronic instrument called Lila, which provides precise real-time control of delay lines, loops, modulations, and convolutions of sound.  Both the performance and the installation will engage and animate the Pulitzer’s Tadao Ando building with a compelling web of sound and imagery and will incorporate the audience as part of the experience.

This experimental sound performance is a completely new venture for Christine Brewer, who is internationally known as an operatic and symphonic soloist but has never before participated in an event of this kind.  Artist Ann Hamilton is known for creating experiences that respond to architectural presence and the social history of their sites.  Composer and sound designer Shahrokh Yadegari is noted for marrying traditional forms of music with contemporary electronics.

The event is offered in homage to the enterprising spirit of the late James N. Wood, member of the Pulitzer’s board of trustees and former director of the Saint Louis Art Museum, and who was most recently President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust.  Throughout his career, Mr. Wood encouraged and supported new ways of experiencing and thinking about works of art, an approach that has had an influence on Ann Hamilton’s work in particular.

The two performances will take place on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.  The doors of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts will open 30 minutes prior to each performance.  Tickets may be purchased for $25 online by clicking here, by calling 1-800-838-3006 or at the Pulitzer during open hours (Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m., Thursday: 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).  The Pulitzer is located at 3716 Washington Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108.

This event is underwritten in part by Nancy and Ken Kranzberg, with additional support from Mark Weil, Charles & Bunny Burson, and Meyer Sound.

About stylus
If the call is the origin of speech, then the hand — raised in touch, or signal at a distance — is its silent counterpart.  The relationship between these two gestures, one silent and one sounded, provides the structure for Ann Hamilton’s project stylus.  Conceived in response to the Pulitzer’s mission to be both sanctuary and laboratory, stylus is structured around live acoustic elements and is comprised of multiple forms of call and response.  Varied haunting presences and traces of human gesture and voice surround the visitor; the project waits in simultaneous states of expectancy and remembrance, making manifest both the idea of gatherings to come and the histories of those that have passed. 

About Ann Hamilton
Ann Hamilton is a visual artist internationally recognized for the sensory surrounds of her large-scale multimedia installations.  Noted for a dense accumulation of materials, her liminal environments create immersive experiences that poetically respond to the architectural presence and social history of their sites.  Born in Lima, Ohio in 1956, Hamilton received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in Sculpture from the Yale University School of Art in 1985.  Among her many honors, she has been a recipient of the Heinz Award, MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, United State Artists Fellowship, and was chosen to represent the United States at the 48th Venice Biennale.  In 1992, she established her home and practice in Columbus, Ohio.  Currently, she is a Professor of Art at The Ohio State University.  Recent installations include corpus at Mass MoCA, meditation boat in Laos, Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, and human carriage in the rotunda of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

About Shahrokh Yadegari
Shahrokh Yadegari is a composer, sound designer, and producer who has collaborated with a multitude of artists, such as Peter Sellars, Robert Woodruff, Maya Beiser,  Steven Schick, Vibeke Sorensen, Yolande Snaith, John Malashock, David Schweiszer, Hossein Omoumi, and Siamak Shajarian.   Yadegari holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, a Master’s in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT’s Media Lab, and a Ph.D. in music from University of California, San Diego.  He is currently on the faculty in the department of Theatre and Dance at University of California San Diego, where he has founded a new progressive program in Sound Design.  Among his recent collaborations are (The New) Ur Sonata with Steven Schick, Stay the Hand with John Malashock, Tobacco Road with David Schweiser, Provenance with Maya Beiser and Robert Woodruff, and Tower Sounds performed at the Tower on Oliver Ranch, conceived by Ann Hamilton.

About Christine Brewer
Grammy Award winning American soprano Christine Brewer’s appearances in opera, concert, and recital are marked with her own unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past.  Her range, golden tone, boundless power, and control make her a favorite of the stage as well as a sought-after recording artist.  Highlights of Christine Brewer’s 2009-10 season include performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Lorin Maazel, the New World Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, the Dallas Symphony and Jaap van Zweden, the Toronto Symphony, the BBC Philharmonic and Donald Runnicles, the Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony and David Robertson, the Ravinia Festival, the Marin Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert.  This season also brought a highly anticipated reprisal of Ms. Brewer’s critically acclaimed portrayal of Lady Billows in Albert Herring at Santa Fe Opera.  A native of the St. Louis metropolitan area, Ms. Brewer began her career as a young artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and has appeared with the company several times throughout the past several years. 

About Elizabeth Zharoff
Elizabeth Zharoff, soprano, has performed for three seasons as a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, most recently taking on the role of Barbarina in the company’s 2010 production of The Marriage of Figaro.  She has studied at Oberlin Conservatory as well as the Conservatoire de Rouen in France, Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, and Sichuan Conservatory in China.  Ms. Zharoff has performed in a number of master classes with renowned teachers such as Marilyn Horne, Peter Kazaras, Dean Williamson, and Michael Eliason.  She has also appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, and in concerts in New York, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Missouri, Ohio, and Washington state.  A winner of the Barry Alexander International Voice Competition, Ms. Zharoff has also won prizes in the Palm Beach Opera Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and others.

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