February 05, 2013
DeShon Stars in Bank’s new Opera, Our Earth
: Courtesy of the artist.
Seattle Opera is opening a new opera for kids composed by former faculty member Eric Banks; Cornish staffer and coloratura soprano Rachel DeShon stars.
Picture: Rachel DeShon;
Our Earth is an amazing work on several levels. First, it is a trilogy, then it was written for children, it was always meant to tour, and lastly, it was written on commission for a major American opera company, Seattle Opera. From a Cornish perspective, it is also significant. The music was composed by Eric Banks, who for eight years taught music theory, music history, musicianship, composition and voice at the college. Also, it has been developed with and stars Cornish staffer and local celeb soprano, Rachel DeShon. Working with Banks and writing the libretto was Irene Keliher.
The first part of the Our Earth trilogy opens February 10 at Seattle’s Town Hall. Presented by Seattle Opera and Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, the trilogy explores stories of a Pacific Northwest river, including marine life, freshwater ecosystems and forests, the first story being this weekend’s offering, Heron and the Salmon Girl. The opera will be sung in English, in a performance that features the Seattle Youth Symphony with Seattle Opera soloists and Youth Chorus, conducted by Stephen Rogers Radcliffe. The program also includes Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Wesendonck Lieder, sung by former Seattle Opera Young Artist Adina Aaron.
Heron and The Salmon Girl begins one spring when salmon fail to return to the sea. Animals such as Orca, Heron, and Turtle—and a greedy fisherman—embark on a journey upriver to find the missing fish. As the Seattle Opera says, it’s a story sure to entertain and inspire children and adults alike.”
The opera notes that the trilogy was “created especially for our youngest opera goers and their families.” Rachel DeShon adds: “As a Classical performer it is essential to find and establish a new audience for our work and this project is tailored to do just that. I hope by bringing opera to young people we will be able to foster the growth of this audience sector and create a love for opera that will extend throughout their lives.”
DeShon has a more personal perspective on being involved with Our Earth as well. “Having the opportunity to share in the creation process with the youth of the Seattle community has brought unique life to the development of this project. To see young people excited about creating a new work is truly gratifying.“
Our Earth: Heron and the Salmon Girl
Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 2PM
Town Hall Seattle, 1119 - 8th Avenue
Performance Time: One Hour and Fifteen Minutes
Advance tickets for are $20/ $10 youth under 18 and seniors. TICKETS ONLINE or at the Seattle Opera ticket office, 1020 John St. Great Hall; enter on Eighth Avenue.
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