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Brown Bag Lecture "Post-Modern Opera: Welcome to the 21st Century"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
12:00 AM
202 S. Thayer, room 2022, Ann Arbor

Stephen Rush, music

The history of opera took a strong left turn with Robert Wilson/Philip Glass’ opera Einstein on the Beach.  But around that same time Fluxus-related composers such as John Cage and Robert Ashley were also re-inventing the medium with their “experimental” works.  Restructuring the notion of narrative, altering performative/staging choices, and rethinking the notion of score were endemic to this process.  Using Einstein on the Beach as a backdrop, Professor Stephen Rush will discuss post-modern operas Circus On by John Cage, Kit Carson, and his own new opera U.S. Grant – a FluxKit Opera, to be premiered March 30, 2012 at the U-M Museum of Art.  

Stephen Rush is professor of music at the University of Michigan and the director of the Digital Music Ensemble (DME). With DME, Rush has premiered works by John Cage, Philip Glass, and LaMonte Young, and has recorded with Pauline Oliveros and "Blue" Gene Tyranny. His extensive body of work includes four operas, chamber music (some of which is standard repertory), orchestra work and over 100 scores for dancers. His compositions have been recorded and performed worldwide. As a performer, Rush has presented his multi-media work in Japan, Europe, Latin America, and India. He works frequently as a jazz musician, performing with Roscoe Mitchell, Steve Swell, Eugene Chadbourne, the late Peter Kowald, and his own New York-based trio Yuganaut, with Tom Abbs and Geoff Mann. His new book, Better Get It In Your Soul, discusses radical approaches to liturgy.