Deborah Artman (librettist) is a fiction writer, poet and librettist whose career is defined by a restless urge to explore new forms and collaborate often with artists in other media. She worked previously with the composer Michael Gordon as well as with David Lang and Julia Wolfe on the oratorios Shelter and Lost Objects, which had their U.S. premieres at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and have toured around the world. Other music projects include The Highwater Trilogy, a film by Bill Morrison, and Music for Gracious Living, for actor and string quartet by Lang. She has collaborated with an extraordinary array of performing artists including Laurie Carlos, Jenny Romaine, Samuel L. Jackson, Deborah Karpel, Jawole Zollar, Evangeline Johns and Risa Mickenberg. As an editor, she has worked on books by the legendary bass player Tony Levin, the performance artist John Kelly and about the mercurial choreographer Jerome Robbins. Artman’s awards include fiction fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the macdowell Colony. Her stories, poems and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine and American Short Fiction, among other journals. Her CD Lost Objects is available through Atlantic Records/Teldec Classics, and Shelter and Acquanetta (forthcoming) are available through Cantaloupe Records.
Daniel Fish (director) is a New York-based, Tony-nominated director who makes work across the boundaries of theater, film, and opera. He draws on a broad range of forms and subject matter including plays, film scripts, contemporary fiction, essays and found audio. His recent work includes the Tony Award nominated OKLAHOMA! (Broadway and St, Anns Warehouse), WHITE NOISE, inspired by the novel by Don delillo (Theater Freiburg and Ruhrfestspiele Recklingshausen), Don’t Look Back (The Chocolate Factory), Leonard Bernstein’s A QUIET PLACE (Curtis Opera),Who Left This Fork Here (Baryshnikov Arts Center, Onassis Center), Ted Hearne’s The Source (BAM NEXT WAVE, L.A Opera, San Francisco Opera), and ETERNAL. His work has been seen at theaters and festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe including, The Walker Arts Center, push, Teatro Nacional D. Maria, Lisbon/Estoril Film Festival, Vooruit, Festival transamériques, Noorderzon Festival, The Chocolate Factory, The Public Theater’s Under The Radar, Opera Philadelphia, American Repertory Theater, Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College, Yale Repertory Theater, mccarter Theater, Signature Theater, The Shakespeare Theater Company, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Staatstheater Braunschweig, and The Royal Shakespeare Company. Residencies and commissions include The macdowell Colony, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Mass MOCA, The Chocolate Factory, The Bushwick Starr, LMCC/ Governor’s Island. He is graduate of Northwestern University’s Department of Performance Studies and is the recipient of the 2017 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for the Theater.
David Bloom ’13, GCP ’15 (Conductor) is founding co-artistic director of Contemporaneous, a 22-member New York-based ensemble, and co-artistic director of Present Music, Milwaukee’s long-running new music ensemble. He has conducted over 200 world premieres and has worked with such artists as Bang on a Can All-Stars, David Byrne, Helga Davis, Donnacha Dennehy, Kronos Quartet, Courtney Love, NOW Ensemble, and Dawn Upshaw. He will appear as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic next season. David has conducted productions for Opera Omaha, PROTOTYPE Festival, Beth Morrison Projects, American Opera Projects, and Experiments in Opera, among others. David is Resident Conductor of The Dream Unfinished, an activist orchestra for social justice that promotes music by composers of color, and conductor of Face the Music, New York’s new music youth orchestra. He leads frequent educational programs throughout the US, including at his alma mater, Bard College.
Soprano, Rebecca L. Hargrove (Acquanetta) recently made her Carnegie Hall debut in Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration. This spring Ms. Hargrove joined the national tour of The Mikado as Peep-Bo with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. Last season she performed the world premiere of Joseph C. Phillips’ one-woman opera The Grey Land at Roulette Intermedium. Next season she looks forward to joining the company of Porgy and Bess at The Metropolitan Opera. Previous stage credits include Cabin in the Sky with New York City Center Encores!; Los Elementos (Literes), La Campana Sommersa (Respighi), I Pagliacci (Leoncavallo), and Aleko (Rachmaninoff) with New York City Opera; as well as Afram ou la belle Swita (Jenkins, world premiere) with Spoleto Festival USA. Ms. Hargrove is a proud graduate of Mannes the New School for Music and Oberlin College Conservatory. She has won distinguished awards from The National youngarts Foundation, Opera Ebony, and The NSAL Shirley Rabb Winston Vocal Competition.
Eliza Bagg (Ape) is a Los Angeles-based experimental musician. Along with creating her own work, she has collaborated with a number of prominent and emerging composers from John Zorn to Caroline Shaw. Recent projects include Meredith Monk’s Atlas with the LA Philharmonic, new operas by David Lang and Bryce Dessner with Roomful of Teeth, soloing with the North Carolina Symphony and on the San Francisco Symphony’s Soundbox Series, a collaboration with Daniel Wohl for voice and electronics, and new works by Ben Frost and Julianna Barwick for a performance on the Liquid Music Series. Bagg has been noted for her unique sound, which Pitchfork compared to "a lovelorn alien reaching out from the farthest reaches of the galaxy." Bagg also writes, produces, and performs as Lisel, a solo future-pop performance project. Lisel's debut album, Angels on the Slope, will be released in July on Luminelle Records. She has also collaborated as one half of the band Pavo Pavo for the last three years, and sings regularly with Roomful of Teeth and modernmedieval Trio.
TIMUR (Doctor), “the extravagantly transgressive tenor, dangerously seductive” (LA Times), has made solo appearances with LA Philharmonic, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Sarasota Opera, PROTOTYPE, Utah Opera, Santa Cecilia Academy, Nouvel Opéra Fribourg, Budapest Palace of the Arts, Hawaii Opera Theater and the Industry LA, among others. He collaborated with many composers, including Thomas Adès, Evan Ziporyn, David Lang, Silvano Bussotti, David T. Little, Mohammed Fairouz, Louis Andriessen, Gerald Barry, Anne lebaron, the late Gian-Carlo Menotti, Peter Eötvös, Veronika Krausas, Michael Gordon, Tobias Picker, Kate Moore and Nick Urata. His band Timur and the Dime Museum performed a critically-acclaimed rock-opera COLLAPSE, produced by Beth Morrison Projects, at REDCAT, Miami Light Project, Operadagen Rotterdam and BAM 2015 Next Wave Festival. His upcoming projects include “Klaus From Space” with songwriter Kristian Hoffman; “One Body” by John Kennedy; “Nueva Cancion: Songs of Mercedes Sosa,” and David T. Little’s “Artaud in the Black Lodge.”
Amy Rubin (scenic designer) is a designer of environments for theatre, opera, dance and live events. Recent Credits: Octet (Signature); Thom Pain(based on nothing) (Signature); Gloria (Daryl Roth Theatre); Cyrano (Goodspeed); Miles for Mary (Playwrights Horizons); Mahagonny/Medium (Philadelphia Opera/Curtis); Acquanetta (Prototype); All The Fine Boys (The New Group); Aging Magician a collaboration with Julian Crouch (BMP)(New Victory Theater); Mönster Outside (Sidra Bell Dance); Quiet, Comfort (JACK); Ike at Night (undertheradar); The Wholehearted (Abrons). Her designs have been at La Jolla, Walker Arts Center, massmoca, Z Space, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Bushwick Starr, HERE, The Flea, Cherry Lane, 3LD, and numerous TED Talks.
Barbara Samuels (lighting designer) is a New York based lighting designer for opera, new performance, and dance. Select opera: Onegin (New School), Acquanetta (Prototype/ Beth Morrison Projects), A Quiet Place (Curtis Opera Theater), The Rape of Lucretia (Curtis Opera Theater), Three Sisters, Who Are Not Sisters (Manhattan School of Music). Select New York:Hurricane Diane (NYTW/WP Theater), Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of The Future (Ars Nova, Lortel Nom.), Dance Nation (Playwrights Horizons, Hewes Nom.), The Things That Were There (Bushwick Starr), Singlet (Bushwick Starr), The Rape of The Sabine Women (Playwrights Realm), Orange Julius (Rattlestick/P73, Hewes Nom.), Don’t Look Back(Coil), Caught (playco), …Great Lakes (New Georges/WP Theater), The Terrifying (minor theatre/Julia Jarcho), O, Earth (Foundry Theatre, Hewes Nom.), A Ride on the Irish Cream (Erin Markey). Regional: Long Wharf, The Alley, Playmakers, Cincinnati Playhouse, Trinity Rep. Dance: Vim Vigor Dance; LA Dance Project BA, Fordham; MFA, NYU. Member USA829.
Terese Wadden (costume designer) is a Brooklyn, NY-based costume designer. Recent credits include Cosi fan Tutte (Santa Fe Opera), Oklahoma! (Broadway and St. Ann’s Warehouse), Bard Summerscape’s production of Peter Pan, A Quiet Place (Curtis Institute of Music), Acquanetta (Prototype Festival), and The Wake World (Opera Philadelphia). She has designed costumes for Il Farnace (Spoleto Festival USA), Dr. Atomic (Curtis Institute of Music), David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion (Perez Museum, Miami and Jack Shainman Gallery at The School, Kinderhook, NY), Philip Glass’s In The Penal Colony (Boston Lyric Opera), Pyramus and Thisbe (Canadian Opera Company), and the Handel operas Orlando and Alcina (whitebox Art Center). Her work has been seen at the Glimmerglass Festival, Tanglewood, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, New York City Opera, Opera Colorado, Central City Opera, Portland Opera, Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Mark Taper Forum, Brooklyn Academy of Music, National Sawdust, LA Opera at redcat, and the San Francisco Opera.
Ashley Tata (assistant director) is a director and designer of multi-media works of theater, contemporary opera, performance, live music and immersive experiences. Her work frequently sits at the intersection of music, installation and performance and has been presented in venues and festivals throughout the U.S. and internationally including LA Opera, Austin Opera, The Miller Theater, Mass moca, National Sawdust, The Kitchen, EMPAC, BPAC, Dixon Place, Roulette Intermedium, HERE Arts Center, PROTOTYPE Festival, The Crossing the Line Festival, the Holland Festival, The Big Ears Festival, The National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, and the Bard Fisher Center. She earned her MFA at Columbia University and has taught or guest taught at Harvard University, MIT, Marymount Manhattan College, Colgate College, Bard College, LIU Post and NYU. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors’ Lab, the recipient of the Lotos Foundation's Emerging Artist Award in Arts and Sciences and a winner of the 2017 Robert L. B. Tobin Director/Designer grant.
David Bloom (assistant conductor) is founding co-artistic director of Contemporaneous, a 22-member New York-based ensemble, and co-artistic director of Present Music, Milwaukee’s long-running new music ensemble. He has conducted over 200 world premieres and has worked with such artists as Bang on a Can All-Stars, David Byrne, Helga Davis, Donnacha Dennehy, Kronos Quartet, Courtney Love, NOW Ensemble, and Dawn Upshaw. He will appear as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic next season. David has conducted productions for Opera Omaha, PROTOTYPE Festival, Beth Morrison Projects, American Opera Projects, and Experiments in Opera, among others. David is Resident Conductor of The Dream Unfinished, an activist orchestra for social justice that promotes music by composers of color, and conductor of Face the Music, New York’s new music youth orchestra. He leads frequent educational programs throughout the US, including at his alma mater, Bard College.
Since 2006, Beth Morrison Projects (BMP) has been a tastemaker at the forefront of musical and theatrical innovation by supporting living composers and their collaborators during the creation of groundbreaking new works in opera-theatre and other kinds of vocal-theatre. “More than any other figure in the industry, Beth Morrison has helped to propel the art form into the 21st century (Opera News).” BMP encourages risk-taking in all its artists, resulting in provocative works that represent a dynamic and lasting legacy for a new American canon. Over the past five years alone, BMP has produced works in 43 venues in 22 cities around the world. BMP’s commitment to cutting edge musical expression has created “its own genre" (Opera News) of originality. In 2013, Beth Morrison Projects and HERE Arts Center co-founded the PROTOTYPE Festival, which showcases contemporary opera-theatre and music-theatre projects over ten days each January. The New Yorker recently wrote that the festival is “Essential to the evolution of American Opera,” and the New York Times called the festival “Bracingly innovative… a point of reference.” The 2014 bi-coastal expansion to Los Angeles sprang from growing partnerships with institutions such as LA Opera, the LA Phil, Ford Theatres, and RVCC. BMP is a National Sawdust Artist in Residence.
- Beth Morrison, president and creative producer
- Jecca Barry, executive director
- Noah Stern Weber, director of development
- Brian Freeland, production manager
- Mariel O’Connell, associate producer
- Christopher Mode, associate producer
- Ashley Peters, finance associate
- Julie Hurley, company manager
- Melanie Milton, PROTOTYPE Festival Producer
|Rebecca L. Hargrove||Acquanetta|
|Amelia Watkins||Brainy Woman|
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street
Bang on a Can Opera
Ashley Bathgate, Cello
Greg Chudzik, Double and Electric Bass
Kallie Ciechomski, Violin and Viola
Taylor Levine, Electric Guitar and Bass
Red Wierenga, Keyboard
Heather Wittels, Violin
CREATIVE TEAMMusic by Michael Gordon
Libretto by Deborah Artman
Directed by Daniel Fish
Conducted by David Bloom ’13, GCP ’15
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects
Scenic design by Amy Rubin and Jim Findlay
Video design by Joshua Higgason
Costume design by Terese Wadden
Lighting design by Barbara Samuels
Sound design by Garth MacAleavey
Dramaturgy by Michael Jackson
FUNDINGThe chamber version of Acquanetta was commissioned and produced by Beth Morrison Projects with lead commissioning support by Linda & Stuart Nelson. Additional support from Chris Ahearn & Marla Mayer, Miles & Joni Benickes, Stephen Block, Sarah Brown, Emilie Corey, Jeanne Fisher, Marian Godfrey, Joel Graber, Raulee Marcus, James Marlas & Marie Nugent-Head Marlas, Jill Matichak, Charles & Jane Morrison, and Anna Rabinowitz.
Music by Michael Gordon
Libretto by Deborah Artman
Directed by Daniel Fish
Conducted by David Bloom ’13, GCP ’15
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects
“Unmissable..sublime...massive-scale cinematic revelations unfolding out of a seemingly empty space.” —Time Out New York
An homage to the campy and spine-chilling horror films of the 1940s, Acquanetta combines theater, opera, and film to explore the world of a real-life B-movie star with a mysterious past. Known for her exotic beauty, Acquanetta—aka Mildred Davenport—was the star of such cult 1940s horror films as Captive Wild Woman, Jungle Woman, The Sword of Monte Cristo, and Tarzan and the Leopard Woman, before she disappeared from public life. With a soaring and often comic score from Bang on a Can cofounder Michael Gordon and text by librettist Deborah Artman, Acquanetta examines the ways in which the movie camera manipulates how we see and are seen. A vivid cast of characters reveals their inner longings and emotional shadows in a haunting meditation on identity, transformation, stereotypes, and typecasting, set in the heyday of Hollywood glamour. This visual and musical tour de force is directed by Tony-nominee Daniel Fish, whose 2015 SummerScape production of Oklahoma! is now running on Broadway.
Opening Night Reception for Members
Friday, July 12
Sunday, July 14 at 1 pm in Resnick Studio
Wednesday, July 17
Visiting us from the New York Metro Area?
Our luxury coach brings you round-trip from NYC's Upper West Side to the Fisher Center for just $40. Select the coach option available at checkout.
Make a day of it!
Free Hessel Museum of Art Bard College gallery tours and wine receptions available after matinee performances on July 13, 14, 20, and 21 at 4 pm, featuring Leidy Churchman: Crocodile, Nil Yalter: Exile is A Hard Job, and Acting Out. To reserve, select the tour option at checkout.
July 12 at 8 pm
July 13 at 2 pm
July 14 at 2 pm
July 17 at 2 pm
July 18 at 8 pm
July 19 at 8 pm
July 20 at 2 pm
July 20 at 8 pm
July 21 at 2 pm
Tickets start at $25
SummerScape Coach from New York City is offered on July 12 & 14.