Beth Morrison Projects Announces 2018-19 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Beth Morrison Projects has announced its 2018-19 season, featuring a number of world premieres and stops at numerous festivals.

Here is a look.

New York

The Beth Morrison Projects will make a stop in New York at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival with “Place’s” world premiere. The opera with music by Ted Hearne and a libretto by Saul Williams and Ted Hearne is part meditation, part confrontation, which examines the complex consequences of a rupture in the place we call home. Patricia McGregor directs the production.

Performance Dates: Oct. 11-13, 2018

The National Sawdust will present “BMP: Next Generation, Round 2” with music by Michael Lanci and Emma O’Halloran. BMP: Next Generation is a new initiative to discover the next generation of music-theatre and opera-theatre compositional voices.

Performance Dates: Feb. 21-22, 2019

The 6th Annual Prototype Festival

BMP will present “p r i s m” by composer Ellen Reid and librettist Roxie Perkins. The opera, which will be presented at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, will be directed by James Darrah. The opera tells the story of a sickly child Bibi and her doting mother Lumee. When a mysterious illness lurking outside their door leaves Bibi unable to walk, her youthful curiosity begins to simmer and a seductive external existence can no longer be ignored.

Performance Dates: Jan. 6-7, 9-12, 2019

The festival will also showcase BMP’s “Train With No Midnight” by composer  Joseph Keckler. The work is considered an intimate musical ensemble lead the audience through a series of vignettes, each like a stop on a late-night train– from Paris to Hamburg, Michigan to Times Square and the symbolic space of The Crossroads, a place of danger and possibility.

Performance Dates: Jan. 5-8, 10-13, 2019

Los Angeles

The LA Opera and The Ford Amphitheatre will present David T. Little’s “Soldier Songs” with a film by Bill Morrison. Directed by Ashley Tata the work is an evening-length multimedia event that combines elements of theater, opera, rock-infused concert music, and animation to explore the perceptions versus the realities of the Soldier, the exploration of loss and exploitation of innocence, and the difficulty of expressing the truth of war.

Performance Dates: Oct. 13, 2018

LA Opera Off Grand @ REDCAT will present the world premiere of Ellen Reid and Roxie Perkins’ “p r i s m,” which will later make an appearance at the Prototype Festival.

Performance Dates: Nov. 29-Dec, 2, 2018

National Projects

The Berkeley Rep will present “Home” by Geoff Sobelle with original songs by Elvis Perkins. Directed by Lee Sunday Evans, Home is a large-scale performance work that explores and explodes the relationship between “House” and “Home.” A visual physical spectacle, the work combines dance, illusion, live music, home-spun engineering, and an inventive use of audience interaction to compose a work that asks, where is home?

Performance Dates: March 26-April 21, 2019

The Austin Opera will present “Soldier Songs” at the Austin Opera in the same production by the LA Opera as the work continues its tour.

Performance Dates: April 5-6, 2019

Ricky Ian Gordon’s “Ellen West” makes its world premiere. Based on the poem by Frank Bidart, “Ellen West” is a new chamber opera-theatre work that delves into the world of a hospitalized woman fighting her own body and mind. A location is yet to be determined.

Performance Dates: June 2019

International Touring Projects

“Home” by Geoff Sobelle with original songs by Elvis Perkins will go on an international tour in numerous cities including Edinburgh, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Brisbane.

Performance Dates: August 22-26, 2018/Edinburgh International Festival, Sept. 12-15, 2018/Brisbane Festival, Jan. 9-18, 2019/Sydney Festival, March 14-16, 2019/Hong Kong Arts Festival

Du Yun and Royce Vavrek’s “Angel’s Bone” will make its Asian Premiere at the Hong Kong New Visions Arts Festival. Directed by Michael Joseph McQuilken the 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner follows the plight of two fallen angels whose nostalgia for earthly delights finds them far from heaven.

Performance Dates: Nov. 10-11, 2018

Zhou Long and  Cerise Lim Jacobs’s “Madame White Snake” makes its Hong Kong Premiere at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Directed by Michael Counts, the work follows the story of a deadly white snake demon who gives up her immortal existence to assume human form in the pursuit of the most human of all emotions – love.

Performance Dates: March 8-9, 2019