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Asia Society Texas Center presents She Told Me This[10/16]


BY Alex Wang [ October 01, 2010 at 02:10:08 ]

Asia Society Texas Center presents
in partnership with Musiqa and the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology

She Told Me This
Houston contemporary music group premieres chamber piece
inspired by Amy Tan novel

Zheng Cao, guest mezzo soprano of the East-meets-West program featuring dance, Chinese folk music, and nanotechnology-themed works. zheng cao

DATE:
Saturday, October 16, 2010

LOCATION:
Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
800 Bagby Houston, Texas 77002

TIME:
7:00 p.m. Screening of 10-minute film about Stewart Wallace and Amy Tan's collaboration, from the upcoming PBS documentary.

7:30 p.m. Performance

TICKETS:
$20-$40
50% off for seniors and
students with ID

Purchase tickets at www.musiqahouston.org

She Told Me This, a world premiere chamber piece inspired by Amy Tan's novel The Bonesetter's Daughter, launches music group Musiqa's ninth season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 16, in the Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall.

The program also includes a world premiere ballet performed by Dance of Asia America and works by Lei Liang, Lou Harrison, Anthony Brandt, and Todd Frazier.

Houston-based Musiqa, which is dedicated to the performance of contemporary classical music, commissioned composer Stewart Wallace to create She Told Me This. Tan, among the country's most beloved Asian-American novelists, wrote the libretto. The work features mezzo-soprano soloist Zheng Cao with Sara Jobin, assistant conductor of the San Francisco Opera, conducting.

"We're very excited about Musiqa's first commission," Brandt, Musiqa's Artistic Director, says. "Stewart's music is colorful and dramatic, and he captures Amy Tan's text with great authority and passion."

A native Houstonian, Wallace is best known for his opera Harvey Milk, which premiered in Houston in 1995 and is considered a modern classic. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Opera America.

"She Told Me This reimagines musical ideas and themes from The Bonesetter's Daughter, my opera with Amy Tan, but focuses more overtly on the nature of stories and storytelling," Wallace says. "It is an impressionistic look at three generations of women. Ruth, the American-born daughter of a Chinese mother with many secrets, channels the voices of her mother, the ghost of her grandmother, and the unmistakable presence of the family's Chinese past. Like most Americans, this past mythic homeland shapes the narrative of the family's present in America."

Earlier in the program, the audience will be introduced to China in Lei Liang's Gobi Gloria. Liang, hailed as "one of the important Chinese composers of the new generation" by Contemporary Music Review, merges traditional Chinese and Mongolian folk music with the Western tradition of chamber music.

Dance of Asia America's performance will be to Lou Harrison's Varied Trio, which fuses Asian and Western music styles to create energetic pieces that combine classical sounds, such as violins, with unexpected instruments, such as bells made out of bowls.

The evening includes two pieces commissioned for the recent anniversary of Rice University's Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Anthony Brandt's Nano Symphony and Todd Frazier's Save the World. Frazier's work will be narrated by Malcolm Gillis, former President of Rice University and a close friend of Dr. Smalley's.

For more information contact Gina Stevens (ginas@musiqahouston.org) 713-524-5678.


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