Opera generally greets a very specific clientele. Operatic performances tend to only grace the stages of large cities on a frequent basis and mid sized cities a couple times a year. They’re expensive due to the their grand design with heavy production, stage craft, costumes, large casts, and full orchestras. Thanks to fragmentation some composers are composing shorter, smaller, more fiscally manageable chamber opera’s. There are still big budget opera’s, like Michel van der aa’s 2006 Afterlife, but for a poet like Emily Dickinson, all the grandeur of traditional opera might have seemed contrived. A chamber opera, however, matches. Eva Kendrick , a Boston area composer, took a concise slice of Dickinson’s life, a cast of ten, a piano, and only an hour of your time to explore the essence of Emily’s poetry. Musically speaking, Emily was more tonal than I would have expected from a modern operatic production, but there are some nice harmonies and one fantastic moment with a 6-part stacked polyphonic monologue. The main theatrical ‘action’ deals with a singular poem, If you were coming in the fall, and the many misinterpretations by suitors, friends, and family. The poets frustration in dealing with social constructs in conveyed as Emily only smiles when she’s writing, or showing her poetry to someone she respects.
Tomorrow on the Keep Louisville Literary radio hour, I’ll be chatting with another poet by the name of Emily.
Emily Ruppel is a writer and artist whose work explores the intersection between faith and science, the spiritual and empirical, as ways to understand ourselves and our place in the cosmos. After studying poetry at Bellarmine university, Emily received a master’s degree in science writing at MIT and is now back home in the Louisville highlands.
Social constructs have changed since the days of Emily Dickinson, but how we deal with sharing our poetry with the world-not as much. Tune in at 1pm EST on artxfm.com to hear about the balance between writing in science and the writing of the heart, the faith in beauty, poetry.
Events: All week Spalding Residency
Frank X Walker, Kentucky poet laureate, has been named the 2014 Diana M. Raab Distinguished Writer in Residence for Spalding University’s brief-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program. Walker gives a public presentation at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at the Brown Hotel, 335 W. Broadway. The event is free, ticketless, and open to the public. A book signing follows.
Lexington- Holler 72 happens to be our 6 year anniversary of bringing literature to the main stage in Lexington. Guest hosted by award winning poet and feature at the very first Holler, Maurice Manning, the party will feature the return of former Poet Laureate Richard Lawrence Taylor and Holler creator and host Eric Scott Sutherland, both celebrating the release of new books. Music will be provided by the talented Don Rogers (Bluegrass Collective, KY Wildhorse, Giant Rooster Sideshow, etc.). Richard and Eric will have their new books available and will be ready to sign your copy. Open mic starts the show at 8pm with signups beginning at 645pm