No Balm in Gilead featured at the Southern and Mid-Atlantic CMS conference
My chamber opera, No Balm in Gilead will be featured in the 2014 joint conference of the College Music Society Southern Chapter, CMS Mid-Atlantic Chapter and the Association for Technology in Music Education this week in Knoxville, TN. The opera will be presented in the Grand Opening performance this Thursday (Feb. 13) at 12:40 p.m. in the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center on the UT campus by members of the UT voice and piano faculty. Daniel Hartis's wonderful libretto is a fantastical account of the last night of Edgar Allan Poe's life.
On October 7, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe died outside a bar in Baltimore. This opera imagines his last moments. Drinking absinthe and barely lucid, he imagines that the barmaid is his wife Virginia, who died of tuberculosis only two years earlier, at the age of 25. Two other women appear, who introduce themselves as Lenore and Annabel Lee, figures from his poems who accuse him of depriving them of life and love, creating them only to have them die. Tormented between tragic reality and fierce illusion, Poe staggers out into the night.
Marjorie Bennett Stephens, soprano: Lenore
Cecily Nall, soprano: Annabel Lee
Lorraine DiSimone, mezzosoprano: Eliza (barmaid)
Andrew Skoog, tenor: Poe
Andrew Wentzel, baritone: Narrator
Kevin Class, piano