AME presents a socially-distant, streamed performance for our times.
American Modern Ensemble (AME) emerges from the pandemic silence with a performance about a modern ritual that has confounded Millennials and Boomers alike, online dating. Composer Robert Paterson and librettist David Cote present two song cycles that explore the narratives of those looking to find true love in digital space – a chamber musical for the “Tinderella” in all of us.
The program features the world premiere of In Real Life II, the counterpart to In Real Life. This song cycle explores the humor and heartbreak of online dating through the lens of five different men. In Real Life II was written for Baritone Jorell Williams who portrays each of our eligible bachelors from the prototypical player who exaggerates his attributes to the secret passions of an “everyday guy.”
Mr. Williams is a former resident artist of The American Opera Project Composers and the Voice series and is a much-in-demand interpreter of contemporary opera. He has received top awards from the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Schuyler Foundation, Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, The American Prize, The American Traditions Competition, Civic Morning Musicals Foundation, the National Association of Negro Musicians, and the Liberace Foundation.
“Almost all of us have been down this dating road at some point in our lives. With AME and these talented singers, David and I are beyond thrilled to present new songs that illuminate the often humorous and sometimes complex world of online dating.” – Robert Paterson, Composer
Soprano Marnie Breckenridge returns to the stage with AME to perform In Real Life, the first digitally romantic song cycle written by Paterson and Cote that was premiered by AME in 2016. Ms. Breckinridge’s “deeply expressive layered characterizations and grounded storytelling” brings to life the stories of five women navigating the labyrinth of online dating. From the unrealistic expectations of a woman searching for her Prince Charming to the nostalgia of a divorcee re-entering the dating pool, these relatable and witty narratives portray reality, fantasy, and second chances in a brave new world.
“When we premiered In Real Life, the world was a very different place. But the search for romance and connection is universal. It’s been quite a journey, having all these lovelorn men and women in my head!” – David Cote, Librettist
Rounding off the evening is yet another world premiere from the Paterson/Cote partnership. Extraordinary depicts the dynamics of dating during treacherous times. A couple decides to take their relationship from the digital shadows to the light of real life to find their “Happily Ever After.”
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