He appears to float in the nothingness. Confined to a tall tower 20 feet above the seats, he is alone, broken, and has a story to tell.
In this daringly staged one-act opera from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang—featuring mezzanine-only seating and based on the novel by Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard—a failed piano student (baritone Rod Gilfry, Anna Nicole, 2013 Next Wave) recounts a life lived in the shadows of his famous friend Glenn Gould. As virtuoso pianist Conrad Tao and a chamber ensemble conducted by Karina Cannelakis accompany from far in the distance, the cavernous space engulfs the singer, as he sings of the distance that separates beauty from perfection.
Libretto, music, and stage direction by David Lang
Adapted from the novel by Thomas Bernhard
Translated from German by Jack Dawson
The 2016 Richard B. Fisher Next Wave Award honors David Lang and the production of the loser.
September 7-11, 2016 Part of 2016 Next Wave Festival Conducted by Karina Canellakis
Rod Gilfry, baritone
with Bang on a Can Opera Ensemble
Lighting design by Jennifer Tipton
Set design by Jim Findlay
Sound design by Jody Elff
Costume design by Suzanne Bocanegra
Commissioned by BAM
Produced by Bang on a Can