Prince (John Kelly) and Lisa (Lauren Worsham)
Let’s talk about Dog Days, because it’s a relatively rare circumstance for a piece of art to compel me to hop on a bus to New Jersey two weekends in a row. This post-apocalyptic opera was so dense with subtleties in the score and staging, topics of existential crises, and straight up gorgeous moments of performance, there was too much to fully absorb with just one viewing. But as I sit here trying to write about it, I’m finding it somewhat difficult to pinpoint what specifically lured me to a second performance.
And a bare warning for the rest of this post, I will be merciless with spoilers. It’s rather difficult to talk about the important stuff without spoiling the best scenes.
Soundcheck for Steve Reich’s Cello Counterpoint. Photo courtesy of Matt Frey
by Adam Cuthbért
W4 New Music Collective, a team of young composers fresh out of NYU, brought their Kickstarted Cellophilia production to the main stage of 92Y TriBeCa for a delightfully large crowd. Interested in curating themed shows full of newly composed pieces, the team chose the many faces of the cello as their topic of the night. With nine tunes on the program spanning nearly two hours, the show gave us a wonderfully diverse “how-to” on the cello as it explored different ensemble sizes (from one to eight), staging possibilities (on the stage and surrounding the audience), electronic integrations, and aesthetic possibilities of one of the most tried and true instruments of the Western music canon.