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World Premiere
Bryn Mawr, PA 2/12, Brooklyn, NY 2/14

 

MENDING WALL


a fully staged evening of new music, poetry, and light
PRISM Quartet | soprano Tony Arnold | pianist Arturo O'Farill
Music by George Lewis | Arturo O'Farrill | Juri Seo | Martin Bresnick

Stage Director Jorinde Keesmaat | Lighting Design Aaron Copp 
 

 

IN THE PRESS


We're happy to share media coverage of MENDING WALL leading up to world premiere performances at Bryn Mawr College (Greater Philadelphia, Saturday) and Roulette (Brooklyn, Monday). Plus previews from just before the MENDING WALL was postponed nearly two years ago. Get your tickets now!

Metro Philadelphia
PRISM Quartet to unveil new, meaningful live show
For this particular production, Levy explains how Frost’s particular poem brings to light stories of walls as nuanced, complex, and paradoxical. They can serve as symbols of hatred, but can also provide protection from oppression. With those paradoxes in mind, PRISM gave all of their composers the freedom to reflect on the meaning of walls in any way they chose—and they did, spanning genres such as classical post-minimalism to South African pop to Mexican son jarocho.

OPERAWIRE
Mending Wall – How PRISM Saxophone Quartet Joined Forces with Soprano Tony Arnold for a Unique Musical Journey
“The content of the poem, [Keorapetse Kgositsile’s] ‘Where Her Eye Sits,’ related to PRISM’s theme of mending walls, the demise of apartheid and that regime, and the construction of a new vision of society,” [George] Lewis told OperaWire in a February 2020 interview. “[The poem] is like a libretto and directs what happens in the piece. In this case, I wanted to look at the imagery of the poem and have sounds that would relate to that. I also wanted to give a sense of distress, foreboding, horror–things that come out in the poem. I wanted to have a sense of dynamism about the saxophone music and the voice blending to express in a way the meaning of the words. When you see a word like ‘blood,’ what does that bring up in your mind? It’s important to do that.”

Steve Smith's Night After Night
PRISM, a long-running saxophone quartet with a boundless appetite for innovation, at last mounts the New York premiere of an especially venturesome undertaking: Mending Wall, a fully staged concert directed by Jorinde Keesmaat, who says the show's themes of barriers, division, and isolation have grown more resonant during its pandemic-prompted delay. Music by Martin Bresnick, George Lewis, Juri Seo, and Arturo O’Farrill finds inspiration in poems of Robert Frost, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Waly Salomão, and Guillermo Gómez-Peña; pianist O'Farrill and soprano Tony Arnold are featured guests.

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN
5 Questions to Arturo O’Farrill (composer) about Mending Wall
Arturo O'Farrill: The existence of walls in the music/art world are heinous examples of what the physical barriers attempt to be. Elitism in fringe art and academia is a construct as profound as mesh and chicken wire. The presence of fear and hatred in the hearts and minds of so many of us, whether acknowledged or not, whether implanted by the fascist regime or not, is more real than any physical barrier that can be constructed. It is the same in Pennsylvania as it is in Brooklyn as it is in San Diego/Tijuana.

OBSERVER
Spring’s Best Opera Reveals an Art Form Rapidly Innovating
Mending Wall is another great example of emerging opera stars bending the rules with what opera can do. Prism Quartet tapped Jorinde Keesmaat and soprano Tony Arnold to link four major works by the composers Arturo O’Farrill, George Lewis, Juri Seo and Martin Bresnick to make music inspired by four poets. Each composer was given a single prompt: chose a poem to represent their own experience of living behind walls.

Philadelphia Inquirer
Arts & Culture
What’s the meaning of a wall in this day and age? [Prism] answers in the world premiere of “Mending Wall,” a fully staged theatrical collection of works by composers George Lewis, Arturo O’Farrill, Juri Seo, and Martin Bresnick. The poetry of Robert Frost figures into one work.

 

CONCERT DETAILS


Greater Philadelphia:
February 12, 2022 at 8 PM
Co-presented by
Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series and PRISM Quartet, Inc.
Goodhart Hall, McPherson Auditorium
150 N. Merion Ave. | Bryn Mawr, PA
$20 General Admission; $18 Seniors;
$10 Students (outside of the Tri-Co); $5 Children

NYC:
February 14, 2022 at 8 PM
Co-presented by Roulette and PRISM Quartet, Inc.
509 Atlantic Ave. | Brooklyn, NY
General Admission Presale $20, Walkup $25; Student/Senior Walkup $20

 

Attendees must abide by Bryn Mawr College and Roulette proof of vaccination, mask-wearing, and other safety requirements
in order to attend Mending Wall performances. 

 

Visit the website for photographs from workshops, artist blog posts, and more:
mendingwall.prismquartet.com

Acknowledgements

Major support for Mending Wall has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from Chamber Music America, The Presser Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, the Musical Fund Society, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature,  the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, and Conn-Selmer, Inc.

Please visit mendingwall.prismquartet.com for the complete funding credit.

 


For further information, press tickets, photos, and to arrange interviews,
please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or aleba@alebaco.com.

Copyright © 2022 PRISM Quartet, Inc., All rights reserved.

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