In this the second year of our extended PeARL residency @ Montclair State University, 2016-17 brings three QUIXOTE workshops, tech week, and performance week. As we get closer to receiving the final score, we continue to develop the set, lighting, projection, and sound designs, learn and memorize the music, and continue to develop the staging and movement. 

Our newest production for soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, four singing percussionists, actor, and video, QUIXOTE pokes Cervantes's timeless novel with a sharp stick giving a compelling glimpse of the mad knight on his deathbed. Equal parts storefront theatre, opera company, and grotesque chamber ensemble, HOWL confronts Amy Beth Kirsten's music and Mark DeChiazza's production - a collaboration that places the musicians at the center of the action.

QUIXOTE was commissioned and produced by Peak Performances @ Montclair State University as part of the inaugural Performing Arts Research Lab, a two-year extended residency in the performing arts. HOWL's PeARL residency culminated in the world premiere performances of QUIXOTE March 23-26, 2017.


2015 - 2017 QUIXOTE Artists 

HOWL's percussionists are the Brooklyn based Sandbox Percussion. Lauded by The Washington Post as “revitalizing the world of contemporary music” with “jaw dropping virtuosity.” Sandbox Percussion has established themselves as a leading proponent in this generation of contemporary percussion chamber music...(more)

Soprano Lindsay Kesselman was recently hailed by Fanfare Magazine as "simply gorgeous...with a fully loaded palette of tone color." She is a soprano quickly becoming known for her soulful singing and her exemplary musicianship. She passionately advocates for contemporary music in America, actively commissioning and collaborating... (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)

Kirsten Sollek has been called “an appealingly rich alto” and “true contralto” by The New York Times, and “an ideal Bach alto” with “elemental tone quality” by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Recent highlights include Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Bach Cantatas 11 and 106 with Saint Thomas 5th Avenue, Handel’s Resurrezione with Avi Stein and the Helicon Foundation, Mahler’s Third Symphony with Kevin Noe and the MSU Symphony Orchestra...(more)

Composer, librettist, and vocalist Amy Beth Kirsten's 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)

Director / Designer Mark DeChiazza has been called “wildly imaginative” and “a tour de force” by the Washington Post, Colombine’s Paradise Theater his latest music-theater work with composer Amy Beth Kirsten continues a relationship with multiple-Grammy-winning ensemble eighth blackbird that began in 2009 with his acclaimed production of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. (more)

Palmer Hefferan is a sound designer and composer for theater, new music, and art installations. Select credits include- OFF-BROADWAY- Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre: Orange Julius; Signature Theatre: The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World; Second Stage Uptown: Friend Art; Soho Rep: Samara (upcoming) and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again; MTC: Important Hats of the 20th Century; Playwrights Realm: A Delicate Ship...(more)

Denisa Musilova is a Czech choreographer and performer based in NYC. She has collaborated with Pavel Zustiak's Palissimo, Deganit Shemy & Company, Bill Young & Colleen Thomas Dance, LEIMAY Dance Company, Tami Stronach Dance, Mirenka Cechova, Ko Murobushi, Netta Yerushalmy, Lindsey Dietz Marchant, Mari Osanai, Daiichiro Yuyama and Yukio Waguri, among others. Currently she is dancing in the production of “Viva La Mama” (dir. R. Vizvary) at the National Theater in Prague...(more)

Sylvianne Shurman is a Los Angeles based costume designer working in film and theater. Recent credits include: Orpheus Unsung: an opera for electric guitar (Dowling Studio, Guthrie Theatre), Colombine's Paradise Theatre (Tour), Sila: The Breath of the World (Lincoln Center Out of Doors), Wingman (Ars Nova), Blind Angels (Theater for the New City), Something Cloudy, Something Clear (Dixon Place), She is King (Incubator Arts), The Lady in Red Converses with Diablo (Arts@Renaissance), as well as numerous film projects. BFA: Carnegie Mellon University. 

Lighting Designer Mary Ellen Stebbins. Recent credits include QUIXOTE (Peak Performances @ Alexander Kasser Theatre), Beardo (Pipeline Theatre), Orpheus Unsung (Guthrie Theater), Cowboy Bob (Ars Nova), Colombine’s Paradise Theatre (eighth blackbird), Song Cycle with Matt Aucoin (Peabody Essex Museum), I’ll Never Love Again (Bushwick Starr), and LongYarn (Bushwick Starr) for which she received a Henry Hewes nomination in 2016...(more)

Daniel Thorpe (QUIXOTE Assistant to the Composer) is a Performer//Composer from Adelaide, South Australia.Influenced by everything from queer punk to American experimentalism, Dan Thorpe’s music “decimat[es] the boundaries of genre” [CutCommon, 2016]. His broad base of musical experience is reflected in a curious, experimental and genre defying compositional and performance output linked together by a love of storytelling and sense of irreverence for existing forms...(more)

Matthew Tanico (QUIXOTE Scholar-in-Residence) is a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University. His current research project, The World of Things in Don Quijote, investigates material objects in Cervantes’s text and analyzes the ways in which they construct meaning in the disenchanted world of the novel. He has published on Cervantes and on the Golden Age Spanish grammarian Antonio de Nebrija. His research interests include early modern literature in Spain and Italy, material culture, and the history of ideas. (more)