January 2017 Undergraduate Courses


Music of New York: The Prototype Festival and "new music" "opera" - MUSIC-UA 100

Instructor: Suzanne Cusick    Time TBA (Silver 218)
Of all of the microcosms that characterize New York City's musical life, none is more distinctive than the small but vibrant scene of "new music." This January's "Music of New York" will focus on one especially influential part of that scene, by studying the interaction of aesthetics, economics and political engagement in "new music" opera, as embodied in the Prototype Festival. The five-year-old brainchild of opera producer Beth Morrison, theatre director Kristin Marting and producer Kim Whitener, Prototype has been described by the New York Times as "New York's most dependably interesting  source of new music theatre." Prototype earned that reputation by adopting a new business model for the production of 'opera,' presenting work that challenges operatic conventions, and crafting seasons that thematically explore compelling contemporary concerns. This year's season engages systemic violences of gender and race, in relation to the personal and collective dimensions of apocalypse, through 7 extremely heterogeneous shows, produced in 4 venues over 10 days.
(See http://prototypefestival.org/shows/listing/ for the details.)

Class activities will include academic reading on the business and production of opera, attendance at closed rehearsals and in-class presentations by festival staff, and the opportunity to intern with development of front-of-house staff. No prerequisites. Final essay (or successfully completed internship).

Class meets Tuesday-Friday, from 2:00-4:00, plus attendance at the following Festival events:
                  Friday, January 6th, 9:00-10:30, Sarah Small, Secondary Dominance, HERE,
                             145 6th Avenue
                  Saturday, January 7th, 7:30-11:00 pm, Missy Mazzoli's opera Breaking the Waves,
                             Skirball Center
                  Sunday, January 8th, 3:30-5:00 pm, lecture, "Artistic Representatives of Violence Against Women," HERE
                  Tuesday, January 10th, 8:00-9:30, David Lang's anatomy theatre, BRIC Arts,
                             647 Fulton St., Brooklyn
                  Wednesday, January 11th, 7:0-9:00 pm, Matt Mark's Mata Hari, HERE
                  Saturday, January 14th, double feature:
                       -  3:00-4:30, Julius Wachner's work-in-progress Rev. 23, National Sawdust
                          Theatre, 80 North 6th St., Brooklyn
                       -  [dinner and discussion with class nearby]
                       -  7:00-8:30, M. Lamar and Huntet Hunt-Hendrix, Funeral Doom Spiritual,
                          National Sawdust
                  Sunday, January 15th, 5:00-6:30 pm, multiple composers (including Toshi Reagon and
                          DJ Spooky), Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Silent Voices, French Institute/Alliance Fran├žaise,
                          Florence Gould Theatre, 55 East 59th St.