Bright Shiny Things to Release Premiere Recording of ‘Ellen West’

By David Salazar

Bright Shiny Things has announced that it will be releasing the premiere recording of Ricky Ian Gordon and Frank Bidart’s “Ellen West” this fall.

The album, which will be released on Sept. 25, 2020, stars Jennifer Zetlan, Nathan Gunn, the Aeolus Quartet, Evan Premo, Djordje Nesic, and conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya.

The recording was captured this past January at the Prototype Festival in New York City.

“Writing such a haunting piece from a place of personal pain, Gordon’s personal journey through dark times infused ‘Ellen West’ with honest emotion that flowed from his heart. His Note From the Artist in the program was candid about his experience writing the opera: “For however long it took to set, I would wake early, sometimes at 4 a.m., and enter this strange world of Ellen and the Doctor. It was a trance… I needed a deeper understanding of Ellen in me, and the Doctor’s impotence in the face of the severity of her crippling ideal: me, and my ruthless inner tyrant. How often I have nearly destroyed myself…,” said OperaWires’ review of a performance during that run.

“Ellen West” was jointly commissioned by Opera Saratoga and Beth Morrison Projects and was first staged in June 2019.


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