Conceived and directed by David Michalek
Music by Nathan Davis
Libretto by Brendan Pelsue
About the Work Creators Video/Audio Gallery Press Performances


Reuniting former NYCB principal dancers Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto, Hagoromo is a multidisciplinary work of dance-chamber opera inspired by one of the masterpieces of Japanese Noh drama, featuring contralto Katalin Károlyi and tenor Peter Tantsits, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The ancient tale of Hagoromo involves a desolate island and the fateful encounter between a poor fisherman (Soto) and a fallen angel (Whelan). A thoroughly contemporary vision, this retelling is a bold experiment in hybrid forms: a chamber opera composed by Nathan Davis and librettist Brendan Pelsue, with dance choreographed by David Neumann, puppetry by Chris M. Green, dramaturgy by Norman Frisch, and costumes created by the celebrated Belgian designer Dries Van Noten. Description for World Premiere production.

Hagoromo is an 80-minute work for two dancers (male, female), two soloists (contralto, tenor), ensemble (flute, guitar, violin, bassoon, percussion), and girls chorus.

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(director, conception)
David Michalek's work ranges from photography, video/sound and light installations and live performance to site-specific works of public art. His concentration has been closely tied to his interest in the contemporary person, which he explores through the use of relational aesthetics, performance techniques, storytelling, movement, and gesture. His work in video has been focused on capturing marginal moments —carefully staged — that develop density with minimal action through the interplay of image, sound, and most importantly, time. Exploring notions of durational and rhythmic time (as opposed to the referential time used in cinema) in both form and content, his works engages in intimate yet open narratives. His work has been shown nationally and internationally with recent art exhibitions or performances at the Brooklyn Museum, the LA Music Center, The Louvre, The Cleveland Museum, Covent Garden, Harvard University, Sadler's Wells, Trafalgar Square, Opera Bastille, Venice Biennale, Yale University, The Kitchen, Tanz Im August, WOMAdelaide, Lincoln Center and the Edinburgh Festival. David Michalek is a visiting faculty member at Yale Divinity School, where he lectures on religion and the arts.

Nathan Davis "writes music that deals deftly and poetically with timbre and sonority" (NYTimes). Lincoln Center inaugurated the TullyScope Festival with the premiere of Nathan's landmark work Bells and presented other premieres at the Mostly Mozart Festival. Commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Calder Quartet, Yarn/Wire, La Jolla Symphony Chorus, Steven Schick, Donaueschinger Musiktage, and the Ojai Festival (with sound sculptor Trimpin), Nathan's music has been performed at NYC's Carnegie Hall, Park Avenue Armory, Miller Theatre, LPR, Roulette, in a portrait concert at Spoleto USA, and internationally at Darmstadt, Helsinki Musica Nova, Aspekte Salzburg, and Acht Brücken Köln. He has received awards from Meet The Composer, Fromm Foundation, Copland Fund, Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, and MATA. With Phyllis Chen he scored Sylvia Milo's acclaimed monodrama The Other Mozart. CDs of his music include The Bright and Hollow Sky, one of TimeOut NY's top 5 classical albums of 2011.
Brendan Pelsue is a playwrights, librettist, and translator from Newburyport, Massachusetts. He is currently pursuing an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, where past projects include Parking Lot, Riverbank: a Noh Play for Northerly Americans, and a translation/adaptation of Molière’s Dom Juan. A Huntington Playwriting Fellowship finalist and one of Cutting Ball Theater’s “Risky Playwrights,” his work has been produced or developed by groups including the Corkscrew Theater Company, the Telephonic Literary Union, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
Credits & Bios for the 2015 World Premiere at BAM Next Wave
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December 29, 2015 - NEW YORK ARTS
Opera review: "Hagoromo – a Dance/Opera Premiered at BAM, November 3, 2015"

November 23, 2015 - DANCE ENTHUSIAST
Opera review: "Impressions of the Chamber Dance/Opera "Hagoromo""

November 10, 2015 - WALL STREET JOURNAL
Opera review: "‘Hagoromo’ Review: A Study in Slowing Down"

November 9, 2015 - THE NEW YORKER
Opera profile: "Goings On About Town: Hagoromo"

November 9, 2015 - BROADWAY WORLD
Opera review: "HAGOROMO Meditates on the Contrasts Between Heaven and Earth"

November 8, 2015 - TODAY'S ZAMAN
Opera review: "Eclectic new opera ‘Hagoromo’ premieres in New York"

November 8, 2015 - BACHTRACK
Opera review: "Hagoromo: a Tale of Heaven and Humanity"

November 7, 2015 - ARTS JOURNAL
Opera review: "An Ancient Dance Play Meets New Music"

November 7, 2015 - FEAST OF MUSIC
Opera review: "Hagoromo" at Brooklyn Academy of Music

November 5, 2015 - FINANCIAL TIMES
Opera review: "Hagoromo, Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York — ‘Rich and seamless’"

November 5, 2015 - WNYC
Opera profile: "Beyond Dance"

Opera review: Hagoromo

November 4, 2015 - THIS WEEK IN NEW YORK
Opera review: "‘Hagoromo’ BAM Next Wave Festival"

November 4, 2015 - DEUTSCHLANDFUNK (German Radio)
Opera review: "Hagoromo"

November 4, 2015 - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Opera review: "'Hagoromo' Offers More Than Dance at BAM Harvey Theater"

November 3, 2015 - DANCEVIEW TIMES
Opera review: "Among the Gods: Hagoromo"

November 3, 2015 - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Opera preview: "Dance This Week: An Eclectic ‘Hagoromo’ and Jérôme Bel’s ‘Ballet (New York)’

November 1, 2015 - VOGUE (US)
Artist profile: "Wendy Whelan Dances in Dries Van Noten in Hagoromo"

October 30, 2015 - DANCE ENTHUSIAST
Opera profile: "Wendy Whelan Chats About “Hagoromo”"

October 29, 2015 - W MAGAZINE
Artist profile: "Dries van Noten Designs for the Ballet"

October 27, 2015 - VOGUE (Italy)
Artist profile: "Dries Van Noten for Hagoromo"

October 22, 2015 - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Opera profile: "‘Hagoromo’ Features Steps Not Found on the Head of a Pin"

October 5, 2014 - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Artist profile: "Muse Steps Away"

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Nov 3, 5—7, 2015 at 7:30pm, Nov 8 at 3pm
BAM Harvey Theater
651 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY 11217
Presented in association with the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of their 2015 Next Wave Festival Info

October 26, 2015 at 7pm
Staged Workshop Preview w panel discussion
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128
Presented by Guggenheim Works & Process and AOP Info

October 23 & 24, 2015 at 8pm
Staged Workshop Preview w panel discussion
ADI Theater
1570 East Jefferson Street, Rockville, MD 20852
Presented by American Dance Institute and AOP as part of the ADI Incubator Residency Info



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American Opera Projects, Inc. • 138 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
718.398.4024 •