Star mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton has announced her new album entitled “Unexpected Shadows.”
The new album includes a recital of songs by Jake Heggie, with the composer at the piano. The album is a celebration in words and music of powerful, exceptional women and contains four song cycles, a standalone art song, and an opera aria.
Among the song cycles included are “The Work at Hand,” set to poetry of the late Laura Morefield; “Iconic Legacies,” with texts by Gene Scheer; “Statuesque,” inspired by five iconic sculptures of women; and “Of Gods & Cats,” based on poetry by Gavin Dillard.
Cellist Matt Haimovitz appears in “The Work at Hand.”
The album also includes “Music,” set to a text by Sister Helen Prejean and “Ice Cube Aria” from Heggie’s opera “If I Were You,” with a libretto by Gene Scheer.
In a statement Barton said, “One of the great joys of singing is collaboration — working with great colleagues on exciting projects that matter and make a difference. And though the meat of my career is singing big roles in operas by Verdi, Donizetti, Wagner and others, there’s a special place in my heart for the intimacy and immediacy of recital work. Unlike opera, there are no characters up there onstage — just me and a pianist. Together, we can explore a range of work, vibrations, and perspectives from all kinds of composers; a range that isn’t always possible on the opera stage. I am a die-hard feminist, so work by and about women is very important to me. In recital, we can explore poetry and music by and about women, and I can work with living composers.”
The album is set to be released on August 2020 before its digital release in September.