MARCH 8, 2015 AT 8PM

45 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012

Tickets: $17 advance/$20 at the door


Hotel Elefant presents the works of an all-female cast of composers, featuring PAOLA PRESTINI. Program includes Prestini's Yoani, with a libretto by Royce Vavrek, including a brand new movement from the work, and Inngerutit; the world premiere of LAINIE FEFFERMAN's Hotel Elefant-commissioned piece Impostor Syndrome; the world premiere of LEAHA MARIA VILLARREAL's This Is How We Love; and ALEX TEMPLE and JENNY OLIVIA JOHNSON's It's hard even to say it.


Christa Van Alstine, clarinet
with electronics by Paola Prestini
and video by Carmen Kordas


Caitlin McKechney, mezzo-soprano
Solange Merdinian, mezzo-soprano
Sugar Vendil, piano
Caleigh Drane, cello
Hannis Brown, electric guitar
with electronics by Paola Prestini
and film by Carmen Kordas

Impostor Syndrome

Sugar Vendil, piano/voice
Andie Tanning Springer, violin/voice
Caleigh Drane, cello/voice
Jascha Narveson, sound reinforcement

It's hard even to say it.


This Is How We Love

Caitlin McKechney, mezzo-soprano
Sugar Vendil, piano
Andie Tanning Springer, violin
Caleigh Drane, cello
Jascha Narveson, processing
Meg Zervoulis, conductor

Paola Prestini (featured composer)

Named a “composer-impresario” by the New Yorker and a “Visionary-in-Chief” by Time- Out New York, Paola Prestini’s compositions have been deemed “radiant”[and] amorously evocative” by The New York Times. In 1999 she co-founded VisionIntoArt, an interdisciplinary production company that has created over 100 multimedia productions worldwide. She was recently named director of the Brooklyn based new venue and non-profit, Original Music Workshop. Newest projects include works for the Los Angeles Philharmonic (for 21c Liederabend), The Kennedy Center, BAM’s Next Wave Festival, The Walker Arts Center, and the Krannert Center. She has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall and The New York Philharmonic, and is currently working on Gilgamesh, an opera with Cerise Jacobs presented by Boston Celebrity Series in a Beth Morrison Projects production. She received her B.M. and M.M. at the Juilliard School in composition.

Lainie Fefferman (commissioned composer)

Exploring the personal and the idiosyncratic aspects of music-making, Brooklyn composer Lainie Fefferman’s most recent commissions have been from ETHEL, Kathleen Supové, TILT Brass, James Moore, Eleonore Oppenheim, and Dither. Her recent evening length piece Here I Am for Newspeak and Va Vocals, the culmination of her residency at Roulette for the 2013–14 season, described as “[an] immersive and moving evening of utterly new sounds,” was warmly received by a sold out audience in May. Starting in April 2015, she will join the HERE Arts Center as a resident fellow, where she will create a multimedia opera based on ancient mathematical texts for sopranos Mellissa Hughes, Caroline Shaw, and Martha Cluver, with Mantra Percussion and lighting designer Eric Southern. Fefferman is the founder and co-director of Exapno, a New Music Community Center in Downtown Brooklyn, lead-organizes the New Music Bake Sale, and is co-founder of the New Music Gathering, a national new music event.

Jenny Olivia Johnson (composer)

Jenny Olivia Johnson is a composer and sound artist currently teaching at Wellesley College. Her music—which has been described as “gorgeous, ominous, and hypnotic” by the Boston Globe; “stunning in its simplicity and power” by the Boston Musical Intelligencer; and “iridescent, shimmering, and evocative” by Time Out New York—is often concerned with abstract representations of overwhelming emotional experiences. Her scholarly work on synaesthesia, musical memory, and trauma has been published in Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture and the Transcultural Music Review. Recent creative works include Glass Heart (Bells for Sylvia Plath), an interactive sound installation scheduled for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 2017, and a debut solo album of emotional chamber songs titled Don’t Look Back, forthcoming in 2015.

Carmen Kordas (video artist)

Born in Germany, Carmen Kordas has been living in New York since 1999. Coming out of video installations and painting, Kordas has exhibited her work in Europe and the U.S. In 2001, she has developed work in a widely range of different disciplines for multimedia art and video projection for theater and opera. Her goal was to collaborate with different artist. These collaborations gave an open space for multimedia imagery, a fusion between installation and video projection. In 2006, she became a collaborator with the award–winning interdisciplinary performing collective, VisionIntoArt (VIA). Her work has been displayed at Chelsea Art Museum, PS 122; Joe’s Pub; Galapagos Art Space; The Stone; Performing Arts Residency at the Whitney Museum; Bemus, Serbia; The Kitchen; HIFA Harare Zimbabwe; BAM; Bay Chamber Concerts; River to River Festival; Atlas Performing Arts; Washington D.C.; and Krannert Center of the Performing Arts.

Alex Temple (composer)

A sound can evoke a time, a place, or a way of looking at the world. Alex Temple writes music that distorts and combines iconic sounds to create new meanings, often in service of surreal, cryptic or fantastical stories. She’s particularly interested in reclaiming socially disapproved-of (“cheesy”) sounds, playing with the boundary between funny and frightening, and investigating lost memories and secret histories. In addition to performing her own works for voice and electronics, she has collaborated with performers and ensembles such as Mellissa Hughes, Timothy Andres, the American Composers Orchestra, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, and Spektral Quartet. She received her B.A. from Yale University in 2005 and her M.A. from the University of Michigan in 2007. She’s currently working on her D.M.A. at Northwestern University and writing a podcast-opera about TV production company logos and the end of the world.

Royce Vavrek (lyricist)

Royce Vavrek is a Brooklyn–based writer of opera, musical theater, and concert works known as “an exemplary creator of operatic prose” (The New York Times) and “a favorite collaborator of the postclassical set” (Time Out New York). His notable lyrics/libretti include Dog Days and Am I Born with David T. Little; 27 with Ricky Ian Gordon; Song from the Uproar with Missy Mazzoli; The Hubble Cantata with Paola Prestini; and Stoned Prince with Hannah Lash. Upcoming projects include JFK with David T. Little for Fort Worth Opera/American Lyric Theater; the Beth Morrison Projects tour of Dog Days to Fort Worth Opera and Los Angeles Opera; O Columbia with Gregory Spears for HGOco; and Breaking the Waves with Missy Mazzoli for Opera Philadelphia/Beth Morrison Projects. Vavrek is the co-artistic director, along with soprano Lauren Worsham, of the opera-theater company The Coterie.

Leaha Maria Villarreal (composer)

Composer Leaha Maria Villarreal brings a contemporary focus to classical music. With works described as “visceral” (Lucid Culture) and “propulsive” (Bachtrack) her output includes music for dance, film, opera, and concert hall. Villarreal has worked with organizations and ensembles such as Wild Rumpus, JACK Quartet, Experiments in Opera, W4, Ear Heart Music, Boston New Music Initiative, BODYART, The Box is Empty, & PUBLIQuartet. Past composition teachers include Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Reynolds, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, and Chinary Ung. Villarreal holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and studied at New York University with Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon. In addition to her work as a composer, she is an avid supporter of the performing arts. She is a co-founder & the artistic director of New York-based contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant and a teaching artist associate for the New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Bridge Program.

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