I am so pleased to announce several beautiful projects I have been involved in lately. My fully orchestrated and staged opera “Isolda/Tristão” with libretto by Marcia Zanelatto premiered this September to my great delight. Baião N’ Blues, commissioned by KMFA, put a wonderful finishing touch to my residency with Austin’s classical radio station KMFA, and the performance by the University of Texas’s students under the baton of maestro Douglas Kinney Frost was mesmerizing. Also exciting is TERRA’s premiere, a bassoon and orchestra concerto commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra for the virtuoso Daniel Matsukawa. Many exciting and upcoming projects are on the horizon, and we’re keeping this page open so you can easily navigate to what may interest you this season! Thank you for being here!
TERRA REVIEWS: Concerto For Bassoon & Chamber Orchestra (Philadelphia Orchestra Commission)
The Philadelphia Orchestra presents Yannick Conducts Rachmaninoff, featuring the world première of Clarice Assad’s Terra, Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra
Assad’s work is a joy to hear, drawing heavily from her cultural roots. Her impressive scoring features a full traditional orchestra plus, by my count, 19 percussion instruments beyond the classical timpani. The names of those percussion instruments—such as thunder sheet and pitched wood planks—roll off the tongue like rough poetry and add excitement and zest to a work already infused with dance rhythms and Amazonian melodies. And then there is the bassoon, a gorgeous double-reed instrument of highly polished wood and gleaming golden keys. The instrument is nearly five feet in length and weighs around 7.5 pounds, quite a burden to shoulder for a half-hour performance. – Broad Street Review
The great accomplishment of Terra, the bassoon concerto by Brazilian American composer Clarice Assad receiving its world premiere, was its ability to move across numerous stylistic borders to create a world unto itself. Played with soul and virtuosity by bassoon soloist Daniel Matsukawa, the piece was easy on the ears and packed with some gripping emotional storylines. You also had to admire the delicate, sensitive textures Assad used to ensure that the solo bassoon wasn’t a lone voice swallowed up by the crowd. – The Philadelphia Inquirer
ABOUT ISOLDA/TRISTÃO by Clarice Assad
One-act opera with libretto by Marcia Zanelatto
The myth of Tristan and Isolde has been told and retold since its emergence in the 11th century. It became a relevant and definitive work of art after the German composer Richard Wagner took it as inspiration, already in the 19th century, to write the libretto for his unforgettable opera Tristan und Isolde. In this new version, the myth of the Celtic medieval setting will be exchanged for present times, in a border region where we follow the drama of a group of refugees living in an extreme situation: they are not authorized to cross the border and be welcomed into a new country and also cannot return to their country of origin. They are in a place where time seems not to pass, waiting for a solution. In this context, the character Isolde assumes the lead role. She arrives at this refugee camp to rescue her mother. But everything changes when Isolde is confronted with her mother’s death during the authorities’ reaction to an act of resistance by the refugees.