Call for scores

Dear composers/artists/creators of sound,

I am looking for songs/scenes/pieces that embody what the winter holiday season means to you. I am looking to celebrate our traditions – whatever they may be.

Over the past 12 months, I have attended conferences and events discussing equity, diversity, civic impact, inclusion, and community engagement. Each time I came home from one of these events, I felt inspired to share and engage – share stories, share culture, share communication, and engage with my/our communities.

I have purposely picked a vague “theme” for this call. I want creators to feel as though they can send anything at all that is a work representative of how they feel during/about the winter months — whether that be through a holiday celebration, a time of reflection/sharing/solitude, a lack of enthusiasm for cold weather(ha!), or other.

There are no limitations on this call. Arrangements of traditional works (holiday or other) are also accepted and welcomed. While the scope of this concert doesn’t include guaranteed commissioning fees, I am more than happy to work with composers to partner on creation and commissioning grants for new works.

For this project, I am primarily interested in works from composers/creators from North America/Turtle Island (but will consider other submissions as well).

Works selected will be performed as part of my Crossing Borders recital series. To familiarize yourself with Crossing Borders here are previous posts on my website: HERE, HERE, and HERE (search “Crossing Borders” on my website) or check out my YouTube channel, FB page, and Twitter account.

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HOW TO SUBMIT

Please submit scores/proposals to

Deadline for submission: Jan. 31, 2017. 

Recordings welcomed, but not necessary.

Scores selected for performance will be purchased (submitted scores via email are for perusal only).

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INSTRUMENTATION

works for soprano/mezzo and piano

a capella works for soprano/mezzo

solo piano works

spoken word

works with voice, piano, and electronics

works with multimedia

works with 1-2 other instruments, or a very small chamber ensemble, will be considered on a case-by-case basis

Let me share your stories :)!

NB: I might not be able to respond to everyone’s individual email submissions right away. Please know that if I am considering performing your music, you will be contacted at some point after the deadline. Thank you to all who submit, for considering this call, and thank you for your music.

~Maureen

Exciting News!

It’s been a great start to 2016! My grant writing is paying off, and two Canadian operas that I was in got great Opera Canada reviews!

After a successful tour with Crossing Borders, it’s time for more contemporary music– and, this time, OPERA :)! Read more about my upcoming show in Toronto with Essential Opera HERE.

For photos of the Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred tour in Philly and Toronto CLICK HERE.

I’m also thrilled to announce that my project Lady of the Lake with Simon Docking, Jon-Paul Décosse, Fiona Ryan, and Leaf Music Inc. got the #FACTORFunded seal of approval! We record this project in October and I could not be more excited! In other grant news, the SOCAN Foundation has funded four recent and upcoming projects! Thank you, SOCAN!

NEW OPERA CANADA REVIEWS:

Time of Trouble by Elizabeth Raum, libretto by Rex Deverell, with Maritime Concert Opera, October 2016.

Composer Elizabeth Raum and librettist Rex Deverell, both with connections to Mount Saint Vincent University, were intrigued by the history of the institution and the Order of the Sisters of Charity who founded it. They composed a dynamic, sometimes quite humorous, opera with a fully developed plot and real personalities.

Soprano Maureen Batt, as Mary McGuire—later to become Sister Francis and then Mother Francis—filled the church with her rich, warm sound and masterful acting. 

Aunt Helen by Monica Pearce and Serva Padrona by Pergolesi with Opera Nova Scotia, May 2015.

Soprano Maureen Batt sang the role of [Helen] Creighton, a prominent folklorist who published books on Nova Scotia lore and collected more than 4,000 traditional songs and stories. The character of Aunt Helen is alone on stage, now in her 70s and talking about her life to an unseen interviewer. The original score, with some Nova Scotian folk music interspersed through it, is attractive, and Batt brought a warm and very pleasing voice to her performance. 

The third opera was Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, with Batt returning to the stage as Serpina, the receptionist who would like to rule the company and its boss, bass-baritone Jon-Paul Décosse. The music was enjoyable and the singers quite impressive. 

Reviews by Daphna Levit

Maureen during her Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred tour

Maureen during her Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred tour. Photo by Monica Pearce

 

 

She’s the One with Essential Opera!

This Friday, April 8, 7:30 PM at the beautiful Heliconian Hall, nestled in Yorkville:

She’s the One – a collage of contemporary opera

She’s the One is celebrating and exploring women’s lives through Canadian and American contemporary opera.We’re (Essential Opera) very proud of our mandate to showcase Canadian artists and works–great opera with great singers, at GREAT prices! Our focus is on giving you, the audience an intimate experience with the music and the stories.

I can’t believe we’re already in the second half of season 6! Thank you to Barczablog and Schmopera for promoting the show! You can get tickets at the door ($20/25), or you can buy them online: TICKETS HERE.

She's the one postcard

 

Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred

It is with great pleasure that Cheryl Duvall and I announce the composers whose works will be featured on Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred in Philly (March 13, 7:30PM) and TO (March 20, 2:30PM):

Anna Höstman*, Brian Harman, Joseph Glaser, Leila Lustig*, Rodney Sharman*, Saman Shahi*, Shelley Marwood, Dan Martin, Jenny Beck, Ross Crean*, Tony Marasco*

Featuring texts/lyrics by E.D. Blodgett, V. Lok, Leila Lustig, Rodney Sharman, Forough Farrokhzad, Maria Reva, Michael Biello, Ross Crean, Billy Collins

*World Première

Thank you, Tom Belding, for the poster design!

BUY/RESERVE TICKETS

Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred Poster

Crossing Borders: Realities Blurred Poster

CALL FOR WORKS

CALL FOR WORKS – OPEN TO ALL COMPOSERS

Update (Sept. 14): I have been pleasantly inundated with submissions from composers all over! I may not have the time to respond to each one of you individually for follow-up, but THANK YOU for introducing me to your work! Composers whose works are being considered for this particular Crossing Borders iteration will be contacted directly.

I am curating the next Crossing Borders concert (2016) and am looking for short works for soprano (or mezzo) and piano, as well as short works for solo piano. There is no age, gender, or nationality restriction on this call. Shorter works are preferred. The genre of music is open to classical art song, crossover pop, musical theatre, cabaret, and opera. Themes for this concert centre on questioning reality, gender and sexuality, and being present.

There is no official deadline for this call; scores will be considered as they are received, beginning today, September 9. The performers for this concert are Maureen Batt, soprano, and Cheryl Duvall, piano. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like any additional info.

Please email Maureen at CrossingBordersConcerts @ gmail . com with scores. Audio samples are encouraged, but not at all necessary.

***Call is for perusal. Composers of works selected will be contacted to arrange score purchase.

 

 

Crossing Borders Inaugural Tour: Recap

This gallery contains 2 photos.

A huge thank-you to those who joined me and Cheryl on the inaugural tour of Crossing Borders: A Celebration of New Music from New Mexico to Nova Scotia! We had a magnificent time in Halifax, Philadelphia, and Toronto! We’re already planning for season 2!

The day before our final concert, we found out that the SOCAN Foundation had approved our proposal and was supporting our Toronto event!! THANK YOU, SOCAN Foundation!!!

 

If you followed the event on social media […]

Inaugural Crossing Borders concert a success!

I am thrilled that the inaugural Crossing Borders: A Celebration of New Music from New Mexico to Nova Scotia was a success! We can’t wait to bring it to Philadelphia and Toronto in March! You can buy tickets to the Toronto concert HERE. This is a very special concert for me and Cheryl as we have met and worked with most of the composers presented on this programme. We do hope that you’ll be able to join us in March (if you’re not able to join us, you can still buy a ticket to support the event). Thanks for the love on this one.

Our concert in Halifax on Jan. 24, got rave reviews from Arts East:

 Rather than Maureen Batt choosing her professional passion, it seems like it has chosen her. And luckily her body, mind and spirit have listened. Though no doubt she has devoted hours and years of sweat and drive to hone her lifework, she performing seems as natural an expression as breathing or blinking.

Saturday night was a very “dark and dreary” one in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While many may have decided to hide under warm blankets rather than venture out in the pounding rains, those fortunate to have found warmth inside St. Andrew’s Church were treated to a very special recital.

Soprano Maureen Batt and pianist Cheryl Duvall presented a wide array of pieces from North American composers, established and emerging, written between 1989 and 2014. Some songs were contemplative, others funny, some so traumatic—in theme, not presentation—they moistened the eyes.

Batt exemplified the versatility demanded of an opera singer and musical theatre artist alike—vocal chops, beautiful counterbalanced with raw emotional sounds, character-driven facial expression and movement, effectual timing. Duvall’s palpable expertise and mutual fervour for music’s intricacies, made for an ideal partner. Their chemistry was most obvious during the performance of “For broken and tired am I” (Matthew Emery & Archibald Lampman), a moving piece for both the artists and audience alike.

Those sitting in watch Saturday night witnessed songs performed in Canada for the very first time; they observed shoes flying, eyes speaking, laughter singing…animals almost hopping across a piano…a transfixing, multi-layered montage created by a looper pedal and Batt’s gorgeous voice…Crossing Borders was well worth venturing out on a dark and dreary night.

Maureen Batt & Cheryl Duvall present CROSSING BORDERS again on March 27th at Heliconian Hall, Toronto.

Maureen Batt’s next Halifax performance will be on February 14th with Opera Nova Scotia.

http://artseast.blogspot.ca/2015/01/crossing-borders-review.html

The sky’s a triplet: Concert this Sunday in NS!

After a wonderfully full month of singing contemporary music and working with living composers, I’m gearing up for one last gig before some vacation. This recital, The Sky’s a Triplet, is part of the Classics by the Bay festival in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. There are concerts all weekend long, but my concert is on Sunday afternoon, 2 PM, at Trinity United Church. You can find a schedule and ticket info on the website.

The inspiration for this recital came from several places. Initially, I intended to have a full recital of Spanish/Latin influenced music. As a result, there are a number of songs with Spanish themes, and songs by Spanish or Latin American poets and composers. Then, I began to think about why I connect with Spanish/Latin music, and I realized it’s the playfulness and seduction in the music and text that I love. Its warmth, lusciousness, and evocativeness.  Of course this is true of a lot of music, including our own North American music… so I expanded the recital to include some local (living!) flavour 🙂

Click on the composers’ names for websites and more info. For Canadian composers, don’t forget to search the CMC website for works that you can purchase and borrow. 

The first composer I want to mention is Stephen Bachicha (USA). I am singing two selections from his song cycle, New Mexico Fragments (poetry by Valerie Martínez, composed for Susanne Mentzer): The sky’s a triplet and Why have you come. We’ve never met in person, but I feel like we have (that counts, right?); and I’m looking forward to singing more of these works, as well as more of his other works. I foresee many future collaborations here.

Aunt Helen, by Monica Pearce (CAN), is receiving its third performance on this program. It was premiered last August in Halifax as part of the Opera from Scratch program, and I sang it earlier this month at the CMC in Toronto. This opera short projects snapshots of folklorist Dr. Helen Creighton, a pioneer in collecting our folksongs. I am delighted to be able to perform this work again, and for an audience of Maritimers, no less. Monica and I have worked together before; and, I very much cherish our collaborations.

While I was in Vancouver earlier this month, I met emerging composer, Matthew Emery (CAN). He was gracious enough to send me his work For broken and tired am I, which I had heard a colleague perform during the VISI program. I truly cannot wait to sing this piece for you.

Of the more established North American composers on the program, I am performing works by Imant Raminsh (CAN), John Greer (CAN), and Jake Heggie (USA). I have had the pleasure of working with both John Greer and (very recently) Jake Heggie. I’m thrilled to perform their works, Si os partieredes al alba (Three Spanish Lyics), Elegy for a Calf (A Sarah Binks Songbook) , and A Lucky Child (At the Statue of Venus).

After my rehearsal with my collaborative pianist today, my friend and colleague, Tara Scott, I am feeling very, very grateful for the beautiful music we have at our disposal. Many of you know that it is my personal mandate to help promote emerging composers and their works, so please feel free to share this post/information–I know that these composers would love others to perform their works, too! Contact them!

Go go gadget contemporary music–music for us, by us, and about us.

 

Songfire Series Emerging Artists: Songs of our Time and Place

Tonight marks the end of a week of Contemporary Performance Studies at the Vancouver International Song Institute.

I have had the extreme pleasure of working directly with composers Joseph GlaserJake Heggie, and Jeffrey Ryan. I have workshopped works by all three of those composers, as well as works by John Greer and Monica Pearce.

After a week of magnificent, inspiring coachings and masterclasses with Martha GuthErika Switzer, Carla HuhtanenKarl PaulnackJake HeggieCorey HammSteven Philcox, and Heather Pawsey, the singers and pianists are presenting a concert:

Songs of our Time and Place

June 10, 8 PM

Roy Barnett Recital Hall

UBC Music Faculty 6361 Memorial Rd.

Free admission

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For my Toronto friends, I would love to see you at the CMC on June 13th at 5:30 PM. Get tickets here.

Go, go gadget contemporary music–music for you, and music about you!

Public masterclasses start tomorrow at VISI for CPS!

I arrived in Vancouver on June 1 for a week of Contemporary Performance Studies at the Vancouver International Song Institute. Sunday was a quick orientation and rehearsal day. Monday, Tuesday, and today were filled with inspiring workshops, coachings and sessions (I hesitate to call them lectures because they’ve really been interactive discussions). So far I have had the pleasure of working with composers Joseph Glaser and Jeffrey Ryan. I have also had (extremely helpful and insightful!) coaching sessions with Martha Guth, Erika Switzer, and Carla Huhtanen.

Upcoming public masterclasses (for me) are as follows:

Thursday 10 AM – Karl Paulnack (where I’ll be singing Monica Pearce‘s Aunt Helen)

Friday 4 PM – Jake Heggie

Saturday 10 AM – Corey Hamm

Sunday 10 AM – Steven Philcox

Sunday 4 PM Heather Pawsey

Our program-end performance is on Monday night, June 10, 8 PM at Roy Barnett Recital Hall.

I can’t believe it’s already been 4 days!!! Vancouver is beautiful and so is this week’s music!