LIBRETTOS

Sheltering Voices

Sheltering Voices was a project originated by the Eureka Ensemble and composer Stephanie Ann Boyd to raise awareness of domestic violence in Boston. Stephanie and conductor Kristo Kondakci graciously invited me to write a libretto in five movements, poetically-- a crown of sonnets-- to represent the five stages of recovery from abuse.

 

The first three movements were sung by the extraordinary Angel Azzarra, an Operavore 40 Under 40 soprano. The final two movements, those of hope and joy, were performed by a choir composed of women from shelters in Boston who wished to participate, and received stipends and meals at rehearsals. 

The project raised a significant amount of money for women's shelters in Boston. The performance was featured in The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, as well as a viral NowThisNews video. Our work for this piece was featured in the textbook So You Want to Sing Music by Women: A Guide for Performers.

Undressing for a Personal Apocalypse 

This piece for soprano and piano was titled after my poem of the same name, which originally appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry. Undressing for a Personal Apocalypse was commissioned by the incredible Paulina Swierczek who was praised by The Boston Globe for her "rich voice that could go in a blink from speaking to soaring."

 

The poem that inspired this piece holds a special place in my heart as a man I had recently met in graduate school sent me a message in the middle of the night to tell me that it was the most beautiful thing that he'd ever read. Four years later, reader, I married him. 

Even A Woman

Conceptualized by Griffin Candey, the Dark Sky Project aimed to to commission original song cycles from woman composers that reclaim narratives skewed and glossed over by history. The program resulted in three new song cycles from Stephanie Ann Boyd, Frances Pollock, and Tina Tallon. The new works knitted together the words of Shakespeare's women with contemporary poetry-- exploring women's trials as well as the ways women survive and endure. 

Stephanie's piece included two of my poems: "First Lesson" (originally published by Connotation Press) and "Epilogue" (originally published by Broad River Review and a Finalist for the 2018 Rash Award in Poetry) alongside text from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra.

The piece premiered at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan and was later performed at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit. 

Every Shadow Takes the Shape of a Daughter

This vocal sextet was composed by Stephanie Ann Boyd for Ekmeles, a vocal ensemble dedicated to the performance of new and rarely-heard works, and gems of the historical avant garde. The poem after which the piece is titled originally appeared in Noble Gas Qtrly. 

Every Shadow Takes the Shape of a Daughter premiered at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City. 

Flower Catalog

Flower Catalog is a set of preludes for piano that can function as a full concert set, though each piece is designed to function as its own personal encore for the soloist who commissioned it. Each prelude is accompanied by a poem that pays tribute to the soloists favorite flower-- the familial history, sense memory, and significance of that flower to their life. 

 

Preludes from Flower Catalog have debuted and been performed internationally. More information can be found on Stephanie Ann Boyd's website.