We look forward to seeing you this September at &Now: Points of Convergence!
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Friday, September 20 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Fantasia Verde: An Opera in Progress

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A poet/librettist, composer, and dramaturge discuss their collaborative approach to the interdisciplinary convergence of words, music, and staging in an experimental music theatre work in progress, Fantasia Verde. How do we convey to audiences the complicated world of a forest, the science behind these life forms, and the urgent crisis posed by global warming? Learning rather than preaching about trees is one of several central challenges. We will present key moments from the work on audio and video recordings to demonstrate our approach and deliberations about how words and music interact, how eco-poetics meets eco-musicology, how original words/scores can be hybridized with found materials and ancient myths and folk tunes, and how scientific vocabularies can be woven with poetic sensibility into sung arias and choruses, and programmatic instrumental music. General topics posed by any collaborative work may surface, such as how individual styles synergize or collide, and social perspectives on a diversity of prospective audiences.

“There was once upon a time…, ‘A King’, my little readers will instantly exclaim. No, children, you are wrong. There was once upon a time a piece of wood”. Thus begins Pinocchio (1881) by Carlo Collodi. In a sense, this panel will follow the past history of that piece of wood and others like it. We intend to explore the time scope of a forest, take a long view that includes the past, present and possible futures of these massive fellow creatures in their vast numbers, by particularizing and dramatizing their life processes and struggles to survive. We hope we will hear feedback and criticism from our audience to help us continue to chisel and sculpt.


Jonathan Balsley

Jonathan Balsley is a composer and music educator in Olympia Washington. He studied classical and electronic music composition, philosophy, psychology, and comparative religion at The Evergreen State College and music performance at Hillsong International Leadership College. His work... Read More →

Andrew Buchman

Andrew Buchman, a composer and musical dramaturge, teaches music theater offerings at Evergreen. He has published articles on dramaturgy in the musicals Hair (1968) by Gerome Ragni, James Rado, and Galt MacDermot, Company (1970), and Merrily We Roll Along (1980), both by George Furth... Read More →
avatar for Zhang Er

Zhang Er

Zhang Er, poet and opera librettist, was born in Beijing and moved to US in 1986. She is the author of six collections of poetry in Chinese, most recently Closest to You (2017). Her most recent book in English translation, First Mountain (2018), a collaborative work with American... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 10:45am - 12:00pm PDT

Attendees (2)