Thursday, November 12, Monday, November 16-20, at 7:00pm, Fresh Squeezed Opera will host a series of casual conversations with 6 composers about their backgrounds, inspirations, compositional processes, and sparks of creativity that begins with the composer and ends with a live musical performance.
Hosted via live stream through FSO's Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube pages, each composer will guide us through their music and give us a "behind the scenes" into their processes. Featuring Kate Soper, Brittany J. Green, Jenny Beck, JD Daniel, Molly Joyce, and Omar Najmi, and hosted by FSO's own Victoria Benson.
While these events are free, we recommend a suggested donation of $10 to help support our programs.
Live-Stream will be on:
Thursday, November 12
Kate Soper is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated composer, performer, and writer whose work explores the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure, the slippery continuums of expressivity, intelligibility and sense, and the wonderfully treacherous landscape of the human voice. Soper has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters (The Virgil Thomson and Goddard Lieberson awards and the Charles Ives Scholarship), the Koussevitzky Foundation, Chamber Music America, the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund, the Music Theory Society of New York State, and ASCAP, and has been commissioned by ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, and Yarn/Wire.
Praised by the New York Times for her "lithe voice and riveting presence," Soper performs frequently as a new music soprano. She has been featured as a composer/vocliast on the New York City-based MATA festival and Miller Theatre Composer Portraits series, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW series, and the LA Philharmonic's Green Umbrella Series. As a non-fiction and creative writer, she has been published by Theory and Practice, the Massachusetts Review, and the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies. Soper is a co-director and performer for Wet Ink, a New York-based new music ensemble dedicated to seeking out adventurous music across aesthetic boundaries. She teaches composition and electronic music at Smith College.
Brittany J. Green
Monday, November 16
Brittany J. Green (b. 1991) is a North Carolina-based composer, creative, and educator. Described as “cinematic in the best sense” and “searing” (Chicago Classical Review), Brittany’s music is centered around facilitating collaborative, intimate musical spaces that ignite visceral responses. The intersection between sound, movement, and text serves as the focal point of these musical spaces, often questioning and redefining the relationships between these three elements.
Brittany’s music has been featured at concerts and festivals throughout the United States and Canada, including the Society of Composers National Conference, New York City Electronic Music Festival, SPLICE Institute, the West Fork New Music Festival, Music by Women Festival, and Electroacoustic Barn Dance Festival. Her current projects include commissions from the JACK Quartet as an inaugural member of JACK Studio Artists and Mind on Fire, along with an artist residency with TimeSlips.
Tuesday, November 17
Jenny Beck is a composer of chamber, orchestral, electronic, vocal, and found-sound music, as well as music for dance. She grew up in rural Pennsylvania where the sounds of the woods stirred her imagination at a young age, and has gone on to write music that invites listeners into alternative modes of listening, awareness, and consciousness. Working in an intensely distilled musical language, the goal of which is to forge significance for each sound, her music reflects her interests in nature, meditation, ambience, and ambiguity.
She has worked with a wide range of chamber ensembles and orchestras including Alarm Will Sound, Latitude 49, Metropolis Ensemble, Modern Medieval, Eighth Blackbird, Argus Quartet, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Mise En, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Bearthoven, and SōPercussion. She also performs
her own vocal work and has performed with the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk). Jenny is currently pursuing a PhD at Princeton University.
Wednesday, November 18
JD Daniel (he/they) is a composer, bass-baritone, writer, and amateur pianist based in Kansas City, MO. He is known especially for his work with minimalism, poetry, electroacoustics, and the voice (both spoken and sung), and his works for piano and voices have been performed and recorded by groups such as the CORO Vocal Artists and Young Artists (Des Moines, IA), KC VITAs (Kansas City, MO), the faculty artists of Art Song Lab (Vancouver, BC), and the Erato Ensemble (Vancouver, BC). His “Night Light” for a cappella choir and soloists is featured in the 2020 Society of Composers Inc. National Conference (cancelled due to COVID-19) and on the William Jewell College Concert Choir’s anticipated album of American music.
JD holds a musicology-focused BA in Oxbridge Music and Philosophy from William Jewell College (’19). They have been mentored by Ian Coleman, Anthony Maglione, Jocelyn Hagen, Timothy Takach, and Rodney Sharman. By day, JD works in sales and administration, and by night they are a professional classical and contemporary-classical vocalist in the greater Kansas City area, as well as volunteering with No Divide KC, a nonprofit devoted to local arts and social justice. They hope to further their education and continue building a career in music, the arts, and social advocacy.
Thursday, November 19
Molly Joyce’s music has been described as “serene power” (New York Times), written to “superb effect” (The Wire), and “impassioned” (The Washington Post). Her work is primarily concerned with disability as a creative source. She has an impaired left hand from a previous car accident, and the primary vehicle in her pursuit is her electric vintage toy organ, an instrument she bought on eBay which suits her body and engages her disability on a compositional and performative level.
Molly’s creative projects have been presented at TEDxMidAtlantic, Bang on a Can Marathon, Danspace Project, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, National Gallery of Art, Classical:NEXT, VisionIntoArt’s FERUS Festival, and featured in outlets such as Pitchfork, Red Bull Radio, WNYC’s New Sounds, and I Care If You Listen. Additionally, she has written for publications 21CM, Disability Arts Online, and collaborated across disciplines including with visual artists Lex Brown and Julianne Swartz, choreographers Melissa Barak and Jerron Herman, director Austin Regan, and writers Marco Grosse and Christopher Oscar Peña. Molly is a graduate of The Juilliard School, Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Yale School of Music, alumnus of the National YoungArts Foundation, and currently serves on the composition faculty at New York University Steinhardt.
Friday, November 20
Tenor Omar Najmi is a familiar face on the stages of Boston, where he makes his home. An alumnus of Boston Lyric Opera's Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist Program, Omar has appeared in over ten productions with the company, including his critically acclaimed performances as Vanya Kudrjas in Katya Kabanova, Nick in The Handmaid's Tale, Beppe in Pagliacci, and many more. Omar is a recipient of the Harold Norblom Award, awarded by Opera Colorado, where he completed a residency as a Young Artist in the 2016/2017 season. His appearances with Opera Colorado include Joe in La Fanciulla del West, Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Edgardo in the Lucia di Lammermoor Student Matinee.
Omar is also active as a composer - his first opera, En la ardiente oscuridad, received its premiere in 2019, and it will be performed again at the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice in August 2020. Omar holds a M.M. from Boston University, and a B.M. from Ithaca College.