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Press Releases

Center for Contemporary Opera's Performance of Joel Feigin's Opera Outcast at the Gate, Available Online December 1

November 25, 2020

The Premiere of the video of composer Joel Feigin’s opera Outcast at the Gate will be seen on Tuesday, December 1 @ 7:45 PM, online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCpootV_z9E.

Outcast at the Gate, an opera in development, was presented by Center for Contemporary Opera on June 14, 2019 at Symphony Space's Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre in New York, NY.  This semi-staged public workshop was directed by Sara Erde, and conducted by Sara Jobin. The singers are Aaron Theno (Oedipus), Kristina Bachrach (Antigone), Anna Laurenzo (Ismeme), David Gorn (Stranger) and Eric McKeever (Theseus). 

Outcast at the Gate is about refugees: a blind old man led by his daughter, both in rags, struggle onto the stage, seeking safety and a home. They have been rejected everywhere, for this beggar needs redemption from a horrible life: he has unwittingly killed his father and married his mother--“stained to the core of his existence,” he is at the same time in some sense innocent.

The opera is based on the last play of Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, written at the very end of his life as the greatness of his homeland, Athens, was crumbling all around him. (It has been eerie to write this opera at this particular time in this particular country.) In the end, Oedipus finds the redemption he so desperately needs. He is offered a home and is revealed as a prophet, leading his daughters and the king of his new homeland to a miraculous appointment with the waiting Gods.

Joel Feigin is an internationally performed composer, whose operas, chamber, orchestral, and piano works have been widely praised for their "very strong impact, as logical in musical design as they are charged with emotion and drama." (Opera Magazine)

Mysteries of Eleusis, Feigin’s first opera, written on a Guggenheim Fellowship, was commissioned and premiered by Theatre Cornell. In 1999, it was featured at the Moscow Conservatory (Russia) and repeated at the Russian-American Operatic Festival. Feigin's second opera, Twelfth Night, based on Shakespeare's comedy, was premiered in Durham, NC in 2005, and was produced twice in the 2014/15 season, in Chicago, IL and Santa Barbara, CA.

Instrumental commissions include a Fromm Commission for Aviv: Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, written for Yael Weiss. Feigin has also received piano commissions from Leonard Stein and Margaret Mills, who included two works on her Cambria CD, Meditations and OvertonesFeigin’s most recent CD (MSR Classics) presents the large-scale chamber work Lament Amid Silence, featuring violist, Helen Callus. Concerts devoted solely to Feigin’s music have been given in Russia and Armenia, and in New York at Merkin Hall and Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium. Honors include a Mellon Fellowship, a Senior Fulbright Fellowship, and the Dimitri Mitropoulos Prize in Composition at the Tanglewood Music Center.

Dr. Feigin studied with Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau and with Roger Sessions at The Juilliard School. An accomplished pianist and accompanist, Feigin studied with Rosina Lhevine, and worked at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with Nico Castel.

The Joel Feigin Collection at the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center opened in 2011. A student of Zen Buddhism, Feigin is Professor Emeritus of Composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

His website is https://joelfeigin.com/. 

For inquiries about his music, please contact Jeffrey James Arts Consulting at 516-586-3433 or jamesarts@att.net.

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