©2019 by Nicholas Reeves Music.

MELODIA

Known for programming a vast range of contemporary repertoire with a tenacious approach to detail, the Goeyvaerts String Trio is an ideal ensemble to premiere a new composition.  Melodia is a multimedia work written specifically for the Goeyvaerts exploiting the symphonic potential of their chamber instrumentation (Violin, Viola, and Cello). The first performance, in early 2020, will be given in Belgium at the Passages VII festival. 

PULSE

After the successful premiere in October of 2018 at Adelphi University, Vladimir Gorbik will once again lead the Capital Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Pulse.  The title, Pulse, indicates the driving force behind this composition’s thematic material as well as its structural contours: the human heart rate.  This work is a rhapsody scored for violin solo and string orchestra.

BETTY'S NOTEBOOK

 What appeared to be a normal afternoon  for a teenaged girl turned out to be one of the most significant findings in the aftermath of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance. Based on a radio transcription from 1937, Betty’s Notebook utilizes the historical accounts of Betty Klenck Brown, who, as a fifteen year-old girl, wrote down what she believed to be the distress call of Amelia Earhart. After years of being dismissed, Brown’s notebook finally has been given the serious historical consideration it always deserved.  The disappearance of  Earhart remains an unsolved mystery to this day motivating many to keep seeking answers to a question which eludes as much as it inspires. Under the enthusiastic direction of Sam Brukhman, the Verdigris ensemble will premiere Betty’s Notebook in Dallas at multiple venues this February (8,9,10).

ALL-NIGHT VIGIL

The custom of morning the loss of the departed at their burial site while awaiting their resurrection is a custom found from ancient times in the Gospels and re-experienced many times throughout the centuries right up to present times. The original Greek word ἀγρυπνία denotes wakefulness or a time of watching and this anticipation in the night for the light of the risen Christ is the hope and joy  found in the All-night Vigil. Taken from the offices of the Orthodox Church, this setting of the Vigil encompasses the vast richness of chant traditions (and their original languages) currently used by the Eastern Orthodox.  The expanse of cultures employed is reflected in the size of the ensemble; the All-night Vigil is scored for two six-part choirs and an ensemble of Byzantine chanters. The William Jewell choir Cardinalis under the direction of Anthony Maglione continues to premiere movements of this work in progress. 

ARVO PÄRT PROJECT

From the fall 2011 through the Spring of 2014, Reeves and Peter Bouteneff created the Arvo Pärt Project, a collaboration borne out of the deep connection between the composer Arvo Pärt and the spiritual tradition that grounds his music. The Project is designed to shine a light into the previously unexplored depths of Pärt’s work through a lasting collaborative relationship in three forms:

  • Concerts and lectures

  • Publication Projects

  • Academic Collaboration 

    Recent events include concerts in 2018 and 2017 as part Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, in 2016 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a series of performances in 2014 at the Kennedy Center, the Phillips Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Carnegie Hall.  The Grammy award winning conductor Tõnu Kaljuste led the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir in a 2014 performance described by the New York Times as “emotionally devastating, traversing expressions of grief, bitter anger and hope.”  The concerts also provided audiences a rare opportunity to see Pärt attend performances of his own music in the United States; his last visit to New York was in 1984.  

To see more about this project please visit http://arvopartproject.com/

VICIOUS

In 2010, the Oslo Opera festival invited Reeves to have a scene from his first opera, Vicious, workshopped.  As a dark comedy, Vicious focuses on Anti Social Personality Disorder and its effects on a Karaoke singer:

Sliding down a hilarious whirlpool of exploitation, jealousy, and ambition, a small town singer is forced by her mother to become a pop sensation by winning a Karaoke competition.  What was supposed to be a regional talent search explodes into a mortal exchange of poison, EpiPens®, and hair care products.  This modern-day morality play takes the audience on a steep decline to the abyss, but laughing all the way.


Libretto Synopsis

Scene 1 – an apartment in some present-day small American town, in the morning 

Introduction/Overture
The opera begins with a short musical introduction.  Strobe lights are flashing as the tempo picks up to a club beat. Musical themes and lighting effects are heard and seen that will return later at the Karaoke competition, Scene 2.  This beginning captures the frenzied experiences Molly has almost every night as a club rat and open-mic lizard lounge.  


Voicemail with a Hangover
Molly hungover in a bathtub receives unwanted voicemail and a still more unwelcome call from her mother.


Online Psychic
Molly hurries to work online as animal Psychic: Secretionis, the revealer of animal secrets.   She is rudely confronted by her nemesis, Spooner and Shute.

           

Duet Rehearsal
Her doting duet partner for the competition, Chad, leaves in a tiff as Molly does not take the rehearsal seriously.


Alone
Molly is stunned and offended that Chad rejects her, Spooner and Shute insulted her and that her Mother threatened to cut her off financially.


End of Scene One

           

Scene 2 – in a Karaoke Bar, later that evening

Karaoke Competition
Molly and Chad compete against Spooner and Shute in a Karaoke competition with the audience choosing whom will advance to the next round.


A Vicious Circle
Molly sets in motion a vicious circle: Samantha is poisoned by Molly, Shute is stabbed by Chad with an EpiPen®, and Chad suffocates on hairspray provided by Molly.

           

The Aftermath
Molly is alone once again and assess the carnage, but instead of repenting of or regretting her decisions, she steals from the recently deceased and exits.


A Moral or amoral?
The cast reflects on the actions of Molly and if there is a place in society for her type.


           

END OF OPERA


Vicious is not only a contemporary in its structure, but also in its realization; current forms of multimedia (video projection, spatialized sound sources, and lighting effects), popular music, and audience participation are utilized to amplify the drama. Chamber by design, yet symphonic in scope, this opera is meant to accommodate the restraints and expectations of both collegiate productions as well as regional opera houses. Vicious is in its final editorial phase and further workshops are anticipated.