Onset Was Sudden

Using the language of international nautical signals, this opera tells the story of seven diverse characters on a boat, all of them fleeing a major city to go to a secluded island. Each character rules for a day, setting stipulations for the daily tale to be told by all participants.

Linda Bouchard, Composer

Georgina H. Escobar, Librettist

Keith Turnbull, Director

LBouchard.jpg

French-Canadian Linda Bouchard has been an active composer, orchestrator, conductor, and producer for over thirty-five years.Winner of both Composer of the Year from the Conseil Québécois de la Culture and the Joseph S. Stauffer Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts in 1999, Bouchard received the Fleck Fellowship from The Banff Centre in fall 2015.

Georgina Escobar High Res, Photo Credit

Georgina H. Escobar is a multi-disciplinary artist, playwright and director from Ciudad Juárez, México. She is the maker of sci-fi femme narratives, ultra-humanistic mythos, frontera-funk stories, and Latinx Futurity that run current systems of thinking through different filters of all-immersive visual, musical, and interpretative experiences.

1N6A3404 KT Cream shirt Blue Blazer Stra

Keith Turnbull’s career is highlighted by his commitment to contemporary and new work in theatre and opera as a director, dramaturge, and producer. 

In London, Canada, he founded a company producing new Canadian plays before becoming Assistant to the Artistic Directors at the famed Stratford Festival.

oneset was sudden

The Proposal

Curator discussion

with Jonathan Khuner, Emelie Whelan

& Leigh Rondon-Davis

Artist Interviews: Onset Was Sudden

InFocus Issue 18

Onset Was Sudden

Get to know them: First Opera Stories

previous work samples

Director Keith Turnbull introduces

"Under Milk Wood"

Georgina Escorbar introduces

"Monsters We Create"

composer Linda Bouchard introduces

"The House of WOrds"

Excerpt from

"Under Milk Wood"

Excerpt From

"Monsters We Create"

excerpt from

"The House of WOrds"

Linda Bouchard Bio:

French-Canadian Linda Bouchard has been an active composer, orchestrator, conductor, and producer for over thirty-five years. 

 

Winner of both Composer of the Year from the Conseil Québécois de la Culture and the Joseph S. Stauffer Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts in 1999, Bouchard received the Fleck Fellowship from The Banff Centre in fall 2015. Her honors in the United States include first prizes at the Princeton Composition Contest, the Indiana State Competition, and the National Association of Composers USA Contest and a Fromm Music Foundation Award from Harvard University. 

 

Ensembles and performers who have performed Bouchard’s music include the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Bang on a Can, New York New Music Ensemble, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Ear Play, California E.A.R. Unit, Kronos Quartet, Ives Ensemble, Grdina/Houle/Loewen Jazz Trio, Paul Hiller and the Theatre of Voices and many others. 

 

Her works have been recorded in Canada by the CBC Label (Orchestre Métropolitain), Analekta (SMCQ), Marquis Classics (National Arts Centre Orchestra), and CMC (Standing Wave); in Germany by ECM (Kim Kashkashian and Robyn Schulkowsky); and in the United States by CRI (several artists) and Bang-on-a-Can. Bouchard first came to the United States in 1977 to study and lived in New York City from 1979 to 1990, where she composed, led new music ensembles, and made orchestral arrangements for The Washington Ballet. She was assistant-conductor for New York Children’s Free Opera from 1985 to 1988 and guest-conducted Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the American Dance Festival, and others. Bouchard was composer-in-residence from 1992 to 1995 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada. In 1997, she moved to San Francisco, where she currently resides with her husband and son. 

 

In 2001, Bouchard was invited to participate at IRCAM’s Stage d’Informatique Musicale in Paris. In 2005, Bouchard founded New Experimental Music, Art and Production (NEXMAP), a nonprofit art and acted as artistic director until January 2016. 

 

In 2014, Linda wrote a score for Detour Inc., a San Francisco–based startup that creates unique and innovative documentary tours all over the world. Her score is used for architecture tours in San Francisco, Berlin, and London. Linda was a Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley during Spring 2016. 

 

In 2017, she received the Davidson Composition Award from the Victoria Symphony Orchestra in Canada and also received a multiyear grant from the Canada Council for the Arts for her project titled “Live Structures in partnership with Matralab at Concordia University in Montreal. Bouchard was invited to lecture on her research at the Melbourne Tenor Conference in July 2019, at the German Society for Music Theory conference from October 4-6, 2019 at the Zurich University for the Arts and at IRCAM Forum Hors-Les-Murs and ISCM International Festival in New Zealand in March 2020 (both later conferences were canceled because of COVID19). Her multimedia work All Caps No Space toured Canada in October 2019.

 

House of Words

Music Director: Miriam Charney, Asst. Music Dir: Kevin Winkler, Set Design: Chris Skeens, Costume Design: Kitty Leech, Lighting Design: Jason Brandt, Stage Mgr: Liam Maloney
Piano: Kevin Winkler, Bass: Miles Brown, Percussion: Ian Antonio
CAST:
The Writer: Jacob Margolin, The Dreamer: Lauren Dennis, The Man From Negua: Jesse Hathaway, Woman with umbrella: Amy Gironda, The Glass Eater: Chris Giarmo,

The Homemaker: Jo Williamson, The Archeologist: Jonathan Kehoe

Dreams/Ensemble: Monica Hunken, Laryssa Husiak, Alexa Kryzaniwski, Paul Lange, Sarah Moore, Hana Rosenburg, Mitsu Salmon, Juliana Sanderson

georgina H. Escobar Bio:

Georgina H. Escobar is a multi-disciplinary artist, playwright and director from Ciudad Juárez, México. She is the maker of sci-fi femme narratives, ultra-humanistic mythos, frontera-funk stories, and Latinx Futurity that run current systems of thinking through different filters of all-immersive visual, musical, and interpretative experiences. She works textually and visually with plasticity, mobility, harmony, and perspective. Raised on deeply-rooted mystical stories of the Mexican high- deserts and along the colonial alleyways of the central highlands, Escobar continues to tell stories and paint worlds as an artist of two worlds as a way to relive the mythos and language of her native country. 

 

Her work has been produced, workshopped, and supported by INTAR (Off Broadway: Then they forgot about The Rest World Premiere), Milagro (Alebrijes! Death and The Tramp, B.i.(Be)),Clubbed Thumb(Penny Pinball Presents the Beacons, Emerging Writers Group at Wild Project), CUNY-KBCC (Penny Pinball Presents The Beacons) Lincoln Center (Sweep, Director's Lab), Two River (StoneHeart, Crossing Borders Festival), Bushwick Starr (Species:Human Starr Reading Series), New York Children's Theatre (Zoongoro Bailongo|All Strings Considered), Exquisite Corpse Company (A Ribbon About a Bomb), The Sol Project (StoneHeart), Aurora Theatre (Sweep World Premiere), Marfa Live Arts (Penny Pinball Presents The Beacons); Littleglobe (Firerock: The Musical or the project known as "Coal"), Dixon Place (The Unbearable Likeness of Jo, Semity, and Jones); Carnaval New Latinx Play Festival (Sweep), Stages Repertory Theatre (Then they forgot about The Rest, Sin Muros Festival), and recently the University of Texas at El Paso (Monsters We Create). 

 

She is a MacDowell Fellow, Djerassi Resident and recipient of the Kennedy Center Darrell Ayers Playwriting Award. Her work has been featured in the Kilroys List, The Texas Review, Los Bárbaros, McSweeney’s Anthology, and New Passport Press. Her plays have been produced across the USA and internationally in Mexico, Denmark, and Sweden.Escobar was nominated for a Drammy for Best Original Script (Alebrijes!), was a Finalist for the 2019 National Playwrights Conference at the O'Neill (StoneHeart), and has a 2019 Kilroy’s (StoneHeart). Directing credits include La Casa Azul: The Musical (The Phoenix Theatre), Bicycle Country (Aurora Theatre), Ash Tree (Duke City Rep), and many more. Escobar was the co-producer of the UTEP V:DAYSpotlight on the Women of Juárez event starring Jane Fonda, Eve Ensler, Marinita Escobedo, Sally Field, and Lila Aragón, in 2004—an event that resulted in the resignation of the Attorney State General of Chihuahua and for which she was awarded the "Outstanding Service to Women on the Border" award. 


Escobar is also co-founder and creator of the Share the Spotlight initiative to create a new arts scholarship at UTEP. She is a founding member of the Latinx Theatre Commons (LTC) where she serves on the Advisory Committee currently, a translating playwright for The Lark’s (NYC) México | US Exchange Program, a founding and active member of the Climate Commons for Theatre and Performance, and serves on the Board at Marfa Live Arts. Escobar is currently a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Monsters We Create,

Director, Kim McKean

Set Designer, Olivia Fuentes; Sound Design, Georgina Escobar; Lighting Design, Athziri Morales; Projection Designer, Nicole Bianco

Feat. Larissa Reyes-Arzate, Brian Ceely, Chris Morere, Andrea Taman, Romanti Mata, Aaron Herrera, Joseph Fernandez, and Jensen Springer

Keith Turnbull Bio:

Keith Turnbull’s career is highlighted by his commitment to contemporary and new work in theatre and opera as a director, dramaturge, and producer. 

 

In London, Canada, he founded a company producing new Canadian plays before becoming Assistant to the Artistic Directors at the famed Stratford Festival. At the age of 25, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Canada’s first and largest regional theatre. He became Artistic Director of Nova Scotia’s Neptune Theatre Second Stage and was Resident Artistic Director for their summer season. 

 

After directing three landmark productions in Canadian theatre – James Reaney’s The Donnelly Trilogy – he founded The NDWT Company, directing and producing premieres many of which toured nationally and also started a First Nations theatre company from which emerged many of Canada’s most noted indigenous performers. 

 

Keith has directed some hundred plays in theatres across Canada and developed and directed opera for Coup de Théâtre (Montreal), NEXMAP (San Francisco), Norbotten Music Theatre (Sweden), Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Montreal), Music Theatre Wales, Peteå Chamber Opera (Sweden), Taliesin Arts Centre (Wales), Tapestry New Opera (Toronto), Welsh National Opera and Vancouver Opera. 

 

He was Artistic Director and Executive Producer of Theatre Arts for The Banff Centre for the Arts, an international centre for research and production of contemporary media/performing arts, directing operas by Aperghis, Maxwell Davies, Finnessy, Daugherty, Henze, Nyman, and Vivier. He is Canada’s most experienced producer/director of contemporary opera. For Banff, he also produced works by most of Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies. 

 

Most recently, he was co-producer, dramaturge, and director of the much-acclaimed world premiere of Under Milk Wood – an opera by composer John Metcalf with text by Dylan Thomas produced by Taliesin Arts Centre (Swansea), Companion Star (New York), and Le Chien qui chante (Montréal) in association with Welsh National Opera. The production opened in Swansea followed by a tour to four Welsh cities. It was chosen by the Royal Philharmonic Society as one of the top three UK opera productions of the year, by the Guardian as one of the top ten UK opera productions, and by International Opera Awards as one of the top ten world productions. The double CD recording was selected by British Airways for their in-flight entertainment. 

 

Keith has translated seven Quebec plays four of which were published and all of which were produced. He teaches regularly across Canada.

Under Milk Wood, an opera based on the radio drama by Dylan Thomas
Composer, John Metcalf; Director, Keith Turnbull

Music Director, Wyn Davies; Production Designer, Simon Banham; Sound Designer, Michael Beer; Lighting Designer, John Bishop; Projection Designer, Ethan Forde

Producer: Taliesin Arts Centre Wales, Sybil Crouch, Stella Patrick
Coproducer: Le Chien qui chante Quebec, Companion Star New York