A world premiere 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.
March 23 at 7:30p March 24 at 7:30pm March 25 at 8pm March 26 at 3pm at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University (GPS: 22 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ)
Tickets, affordably priced at $20, can be purchased online or by calling 973-655-5112.
Running time is approximately 80 minutes, with no intermission. Following the March 25 performance, Kirsten and DeChiazza will participate in a post-show discussion that is free and open to the public.
QUIXOTE - creative team
(created by HOWL after Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)
composer and librettist Amy Beth Kirsten
director and production designer Mark DeChiazza
choreographer Denisa Musilova
costume designer Sylvianne Shurman
lighting designer and production manager Mary Ellen Stebbins
associate lighting designer Alex Fetchko
sound designer Palmer Hefferan
associate sound designer Valentine Monfeuga
projections designer Mark DeChiazza and Erik Trester
stage manager Jason Kaiser
associate stage manager Cassey Kivnick
assistant to the composer Daniel Thorpe◊
scholar-in-residence Matthew Tanico
INSTRUMENTATION (in alphabetical order)
Percussion Jonathan Allen†
Percussion Victor Caccese†
Mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn
Actor Mark DeChiazza*
Soprano Lindsay Kesselman
Percussion Ian Rosenbaum†
Contralto Kirsten Sollek
Percussion Terry Sweeney†**
**Don Quixote of La Mancha
†also a member of Sandbox Percussion
◊made possible with the support of Australia's Carclew Youth Arts foundation
Quixote was commissioned, produced, and developed under the auspices of Peak Performances at Montclair State University (NJ).
Getting to the Kasser Theater from Manhattan Charter bus service is provided for the fee of $10 per person (roundtrip) from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to the Alexander Kasser Theater for all Saturday and Sunday professional performances. The De Camp charter bus can be found outside the Port Authority Terminal on the 41st Street "arcade" (covered street) between 8th and 9th Avenues (see map below). Please purchase bus tickets online when buying show seats, or call the box office at 973-655-5112. Bus departs 90 minutes prior to curtain. Subject to availability.
HOWL pictured here with Jason Kaiser, our superhero stage manager. The last day of our workshop week at Peak Performances @Montclair State University. See you in January 2016 for workshop number two!
HOWL's new media label, bad wolf records, has a mission to release recordings every few years that feature ‘HOWL and friends’. Our aim is to capture not only the voices from our own ensemble, but from established and emerging players and composers from around the world.
In September 2014, bad wolf released its inaugural CD, If this world could stop..., featuring soprano Lindsay Kesselman in world premiere recordings of music by David Lang, Amy Beth Kirsten, Sarah Gibson, Abbie Betinis, Lee Kesselman, and Lee Hoiby with Christopher James Lees, piano; Tim Munro, flute; members of Third Coast Percussion David Skidmore and Rob Dillon; Robin Kesselman, contrabass.
bad wolf's upcoming release, she is a myth (2017), features the solo and chamber music of Amy Beth Kirsten played by the Calyx Piano Trio, Lisa Moore, piano/voice; Bang on a Can All-Star Ashley Bathgate, cello/voice; and Michael Compitello, marimba.
Our planned 2019 release, SLAM!, is a surreal take on the 'poetry slam' and features recitations of emerging poets from around the world accompanied by HOWL as well as works for percussion and female voice.
copyright 2014, Adrienne Justice
HOWL was founded in 2012 by Amy Beth Kirsten (composer/librettist), and Lindsay Kesselman (soprano) as a way of bringing together their favorite collaborators to develop works of ‘composed theatre’ – works that treat sound, image, voice, gesture, text, movement, light, and design as part of the musical language and that apply musical thinking to performance as a whole. HOWL's aim is to question conventional ideas about how music is created and presented and to explore collaborative processes that allow the musicians and designers to be an integral part of the development of new works.
Next season HOWL enters the world of 15th century France to develop Savior, our newest evening-length endeavor with music and text by Amy Beth Kirsten. Savior, inspired by the life and trial of Joan of Arc, features sopranos Molly Netter, Eliza Bagg, mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn, and musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Previous concert seasons included world premieres by composers Tonia Ko, Matthew Schickele, Ingram Marshall, and poet Mariko Nagai.
Recent and upcoming free concerts in New Haven include music by David Lang, Frederic Rzewski, Hannah Lash, Martin Bresnick, Kaija Saariaho, George Aperghis, Salvatore Sciarrino, George Crumb, Leonardo Gorosito, and staged works by Mauricio Kagel and Claude Vivier.
she is a myth (video - with text below)
all graces in one each lip waiting to be gathered eyes no stars outshine sweet sweet hope all graces in one each breath bated waiting... breasts something divine sweet sweet hope criminal sweet crime die Hero die - at the hands of what you must love
HOWL engages in workshops and residencies at universities, performing arts centers, and presenting venues to provide educational offerings tied to the performance of our works-in-progress. We like to invite our community and yours into our creative conversation. The expertise and experience that HOWL brings to any environment cultivates an ongoing dialogue about the making of new works for vocal and instrumental theatre. Our aim is to engage with a diverse, cross-disciplinary community of musicians and non-musicians alike. For more information or to book a workshop/residency contact Mark DeChiazza: mark [at] wearehowl [dot] org
Sept 2015 @Montclair State
HOWL in staging rehearsal at MSU during the first of six residency weeks.
HOWL likes to play our works-in-progress for diverse groups of artists, patrons, and community members both near to New Haven and far. These presentations encourage audiences to experience and respond to the work we are making, facilitating an open dialogue with the community and an opportunity for feedback from diverse groups of musicians and non-musicians alike. In this way, our audiences have an investment in the artistic process and can engage pro-actively with us to create work that is truly community-inspired and uniquely imaginative.
Our upcoming Open Studios include free presentations of Quixote-in-progress, a film screening and discussion of Colombine's Paradise Theatre (composed by Amy Beth Kirsten, directed by Mark DeChiazza, performed by eighth blackbird), and pre and post-concert discussions open to the community.