Laura Kaminsky: Masterclass on Modern Chamber Operas (April 27, 2017)

Louis P. Ciminelli Recital Hall, Buffalo State College

Photo courtesy of the Artist

Composer Laura Kaminsky met with students to discuss composing music and and the journey that her to compose chamber operas. Kaminsky discussed elements of the development process that include theme/storyline; music and lyrics; identifying creative partners; securing funding, etc.

Kaminsky is a composer of orchestra and chamber works, and vocal and choral music performed in the U.S. and abroad. Her scores address social and political issues, the natural environment and climate change, identity, AIDS, visual art concepts, and specific artists.

Kaminsky has recently begun composing operas, although she says she "doesn't like opera." She is currently composing her third chamber opera, Today It Rains, an original idea based on a real event. Co-commissioned by San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle and Brooklyn’s American Opera Projects (for 2018/2019), the opera’s story starts on April 29, 1929 when Georgia O’Keeffe boards a train in New York bound for Santa Fe, leaving behind her husband, Alfred Stieglitz. As she travels with her friend, Rebecca (Beck) Strand, O’Keeffe reexamines the past to prepare for a more fulfilled life as an artist when they arrive at their destination four days later.

This masterclass is part of a three-day multi-media residency by composer Kaminsky and visual artist Rebecca Allan entitled, The Inspiration Between Music and Art, April 27- 29, 2017. The residency is being held in conjunction with the Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and The West traveling exhibition which is on view at the Burchfield Penney Art Center thru May 28, 2017. Writer, social activist, and arts aficionado, Mabel Dodge Luhan was renowned for her influence in building communities, supporting artists, and generating a voice for modern art forms. To pass on that spirit to emerging learners, Kaminsky and Allan’s residency is designed to forge creative exchanges between artists and students.