Designer & Producer: Mazzoli, Song from the Uproar
Conductor Gloria Yin and I teamed up to present a joint conducting recital & design thesis in a performance of Missy Mazzoli's 'Song from the Uproar'. It was presented at the Yale Schwarzman Center's new Dome Room (first time it was used for a performance!).
Elana Bell, mezzo
Camilla Tassi, Projection design, producer, and co-director
Gloria Yin, Conductor and co-director
Leyla Levi, Movement coach and stage director
Riva Fairhall, Lighting design
Liam Bellman-Sharpe, Sound design and electronics
Meg Powers, Costume design
For a full list of performers, visit http://tinyurl.com/mazzoliyale
About this production
When we sat down to discuss creating this production for the first time, we agreed on three things. First, that Isabelle Eberhardt was indeed a fantastically compelling historical figure whose life suited the dramatic medium of opera perfectly. Second, that the music’s timelessness (in a way that only a living composer could create) encompassed a deep feeling of conversing with the past. Third, that we wanted our production to do what the music does, in representing how we, as modern-day humans, might seek to relate to those who have led lives before us.
As a result, we have designed for our main character in this production to embody two beings: both the historical Isabelle Eberhardt and a modern-day figure who becomes curious and obsessed about Isabelle through reading her journals. Through finding connections between their lives, our modern-day figure becomes so immersed as to find herself actually living through passages of Isabelle’s life, such as discovering God, falling in love, experiencing heartbreak, and experimenting with coping methods. However, while Isabelle’s fascination with death pulls her towards the flood which kills her, our modern-day figure finds that all things must come to an end, and Isabelle’s death allows her to walk away from the past and into her own future.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic and unpredictable weather, this production has certainly been a bumpy ride. Not least, we have decided to optimize this production for video capture, particularly in the case of lighting and projection design, since we are not able to admit a live audience. Nonetheless, we are truly grateful to all those who have helped us along the way, and are excited to share our work with you today.
— Camilla Tassi and Gloria Yin, January 31, 2022