In 2015-16 we began our PeARL residency at Peak Performances @ Montclair State University to develop QUIXOTE. We also created the world premiere production of ARABY, an evening-length staged work for mezzo-soprano and cello inspired by James Joyce's short story of the same name which premiered on Feb 23, 2016 at Lyric Hall in New Haven, CT and Feb 28, 2016 at National Sawdust in Brooklyn. 

Our evening-length (65 minute) ARABY is a compelling and universal tale about first love and the loss of innocence. An adaptation of the Joyce by Amy Beth Kirsten that uses spoken and sung text, existing music (Sabina by Andrew Norman and sept papillon by Kaija Saariaho), and newly commissioned music inspired by the Joyce (Between us by Tonia Ko - World Premiere, Lamplight by Matthew Schickele - World Premiere, and after Araby by Amy Beth Kirsten - World Premiere). Lighting design and Co-direction by Mary Ellen Stebbins. Staging and Co-direction by Amy Beth Kirsten.

2015 - 2016 ARABY Artists 

American cellist Ashley Bathgate has been described as an “eloquent new music interpreter”(New York Times) and “a glorious cellist”(The Washington Post) who combines “bittersweet lyricism along with ferocious chops”(New York Magazine). Her “impish ferocity”, “rich tone” and “imaginative phrasing” (New York Times) have made her one of the most sought after performers of her time. The desire to create a dynamic energy exchange with her audience and build upon the ensuing chemistry is a pillar of Bathgate’s philosophy as a performer...(more)

Cellist Hannah Collins is a dynamic performer and collaborator devoted to diverse forms of musical expression.  Winner of De Linkprijs for contemporary interpretation, Hannah takes an active role in expanding the repertoire for cello and has commissioned and premiered solo works by composers such as Caroline Shaw, Patrick van Deurzen, and Timo Andres.  With support from the Presser Foundation, Hannah spent 2009-2011 in France and The Netherlands researching and performing contemporary European cello repertoire...(more

The music of Tonia Ko (HOWL Composer-in-Residence 2015-16) has been lauded by The New York Times for its “captivating” details and “vivid orchestral palette.” Her interests in texture and physical movement play into a larger theme of interdependency between visual art and music. For the 2016-17 season, Tonia was guest composer at Clarion Concerts in Columbia County and The Process Series at UNC Chapel Hill.  She was also commissioned by clarinetist Chen Halevi for the CEME Festival in Tel Aviv and Young Concert Artists, writing for Olivier Stankiewicz, principal of the London Symphony Orchestra...(more)

Matthew Schickele (HOWL Composer-in-Residence 2015-16) writes music and words. Comfortable across genres, Schickele writes chamber music, vocal music, songs, and electronic music for ensembles, bands, and the stage. His chamber music has been performed at venues across the country and internationally. Recent premieres include the sextet Linden's Song and Lamplight for singing cellist and drone. Currently on exhibit in New York City is a collaboration with the artist Jane Benson, The Rings of Saturn, a series of multimedia works...(more)

American Mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn performs in a wide range of styles and venues, from Purcell to Pierrot Lunaire, Cherubino to The King & I, J.S. Bach to P.D.Q. Bach. She was featured in the revival and tour of Phillip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach, performed at venues around the world from 2011–2014, and she is currently singing the role of Belle in Glass’s La Belle et la Bête, also on tour. She has performed with New York City Opera, The Wooster Group, OperaOmnia, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s...(more)

Amy Beth Kirsten's (Araby Co-Director / Composer) work combines popular idioms with fierce expressionism and often requires musicians to play, vocalize, act, and move simultaneously. Her "wildly inventive" QUIXOTE, premiered this season at Peak Performances in the Alexander Kasser Theatre in NJ (The New York Times). In 2014 the multi-Grammy-winning eighth blackbird toured with her critically acclaimed evening-length Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, which The Washington Post described as a “tour de force…often extraordinarily beautiful.” Tommasini at The New York Times found it “dark, wild and engrossing...” (more)

Mary Ellen Stebbins, (Araby Co-Director / Lighting Designer).  Recent NYC: The Traveling Imaginary (Orbiting Human Circus), My Machine Is Powered By Clocks, dive, Convergence, That Time, Hold Music, One Arm (Sightline), Walking the Volcano (Royal Family), A Spare Me (Waterwell), Roost (Ritual Theatre). MFA, Boston University. AB, Harvard College... (more)