• Contemporary chamber opera Family Secrets at North Carolina Opera

    The contemporary Chamber Opera Family Secrets: Kith and Kin will have its staged world premiere in Raleigh, NC, on February 15-16, 2018 at 7:30 PM, in a production by North Carolina Opera. This is a very interesting show. Keep reading for more information.

    Soprano Andrea Edith Moore - photo credit Crickett Photography

    This is a dramatic song cycle for soprano, a narrator, and six instruments, being staged as a chamber opera, that is a truly local creation. Soprano Andrea Edith Moore is a native North Carolinian and a Raleigh resident (a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, and Yale University School of Music). She is a regular at North Carolina Opera, having been, for example, Micaëla in a recent performance of Carmen by the company, and Sara in Cold Mountain. See her website by clicking [here].

    Andrea conceived the idea for this piece, got some grants, and commissioned the work for her own voice. She used as libretto, texts from seven authors who are, all seven, residents of North Carolina's Orange County, where Chapel Hill is located. The composer is Daniel Thomas Davis, also a North Carolina native.

    Composer Daniel Thomas Davis' wide range of musical activities has taken him from the stages of Carnegie Hall and the Royal Opera House to monasteries in the Horn of Africa to directing new-music festivals in the rural South. Praised as "ingenious" by The Guardian and for his "endless curiosity" by USA Today, he creates music singled out for its connection to the human voice and its "magnificent...and entirely original style of orchestration" (Lexington Herald Leader).

    Composer Daniel Thomas Davis - photo credit unknown, fair promotional use

    Andrea performed the work at the Hill Hall auditorium of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in concert form, on March 29, 2015, and now North Carolina Opera is putting together a fully staged version.

    The concert world premiere can be seen and heard complete on YouTube. We included the first stretch here on this page; if one clicks on "watch on YouTube" once it finishes playing, the next parts load automatically. It is beautiful, interesting, and compelling music.

    We are pleased to see that North Carolina Opera continues to be active in contemporary music. So, dear readers, get your tickets and help this initiative. Hopefully the performance will sell out.

    After the performance, join the creators, performers and authors for a special Q&A in the lobby.

    Author appearances on Thursday: Randall Kenan, Frances Mayes, Daniel Wallace, Allan Gurganus, Jeffrey Beam, and Michael Malone

    Authors appearances on Friday: Allan Gurganus, Michael Malone and Lee Smith



    Thursday, February 15 and Friday, February 16 at 7:30pm
    Burning Coal Theater at Murphey School
    224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC 27604
    Music by Daniel Thomas Davis
    with Andrea Edith Moore (soprano) and Jane Holding (actress)
    Direction and Projections by Francesca Talenti
    presented by North Carolina Opera

    Tickets $38 (general admission)

    ​To buy tickets, click [here] or call 919-792-3853.

    Family Secrets: Kith and Kin is a new dramatic song cycle conceived and commissioned by soprano, Andrea Edith Moore, composed by Daniel Thomas Davis, with new texts written by seven nationally acclaimed Southern authors: Jeffery Beam, Allan Gurganus, Randall Kenan, Michael Malone, Frances Mayes, Lee Smith and Daniel Wallace. This new work for soprano, narrator and chamber ensemble includes the presence of multi-media elements from photographer Elizabeth Matheson and American Folk Art Buildings selected from the unparalleled collection of W. Steven Burke and Randy Campbell.

    Every place--- from grand public building to old barn, from porch to kitchen to attic to church pew or back stair--- every place holds a story... the story of who lived here and how we spent our hours and days. Places tell us who we are, who we were, what we lived and died for. Through music, words, voice, folk art and visual imagery, Family Secrets: Kith and Kin reveals how places are resonant with beauty as well as mystery and explores how secrets, both big and small, define ourselves, our families, and a sense of place.

    Family Secrets: Kith and Kin was made possible by the University of North Carolina Performing Arts Special Activities Fund (PASAF); an Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, as well as the generous support of private donors.


    Listen to the complete song cycle on YouTube (after the first clip, the others will load):

    Andrea Edith Moore, Soprano
    Jane Holding, Narrator
    Nicholas DiEugenio, violin
    Nathan Leyland, cello
    Bo Newsome, Oboe and English Horn
    Mimi Solomon, piano
    David Kirkland Garner, banjo
    Daniel Thomas Davis, composer and conductor

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