A new graphic novel steampunk opera by award-winning composer Robert J. Bradsaw will be released.
This cutting-edge electroacoustic work, Deus Ex Machina, features soprano, Gillian Hurst (Rockport, Mass.), returning from Scotland to record along side baritone Gary Wood (Salem State University, Professor of Music) and tenor Brendan P. Buckley (Plymouth State University).
Adding to the uniqueness of the project, the opera features brass quintet, performed by internationally acclaimed Bala Brass including trumpeter James Ackley (University of South Carolina), Seelan Manickam (Keene State College), Kristen Sienkiewicz (Austin Peay State University), Robert Hoveland (Plymouth Philharmonic), and tubist Jihn Bottomley (University of Massachusetts Amherst).
Completing the star-studded artistic team, comprised of performers from around the nation and world, is virtuoso percussionist Megan Arns (University of Missouri) performing on timpani and engineer/percussionist Benjamin Fraley.
The CD was recorded in historic Cabot Cinema in Beverly, Mass. — the perfect place to record a post-victorian, steampunk opera. Heard from the stage, the Cabot offered beautiful sound for the recording and a gorgeous vintage space to help the singers get into character for the sessions.
“In a fascinating twist, the entire opera is performed to the main character’s clockwork heartbeat and the sounds of steam engines (all synced with the music),” Bradshaw said. “It was important that every aspect of this project be choreographed as the soundscape (sounds of the world where the opera exists) is ever-present until the tragic demise of the main character.”
In addition to the release of this recording, which includes sophisticated packaging with beautiful photography, extensive biographical information, and libretto booklets, Deus Ex Machina was performed in New York City in August
CAPE ANN OPERA is dedicated to music education and bringing relevant contemporary opera to life in recording and onstage. The organization received a prestigious MUSIC DRIVES US GRANT which supported performances of “QWERTY: an opera with a text message” throughout Massachusetts’ North Shore including performances at Salem State University, Endicott College and daytime presentations at elementary and high schools.
For more information, visit www.capeannopera.org.