Magdalene is a chamber opera in thirteen movements: a wild meditation on transformation and desire scored by the collective voice of thirteen women. Set to Marie Howe’s Magdalene poems, the opera invites an audience into the interior world of Magdalene, a woman alive now who strives to heal the unyielding split between the sacred and the sexual. Encountering her life in flashes - wandering through a hotel, lighting birthday candles, taking pills, making love in the ocean - Magdalene finds transcendence in the mundane to finally become the subject of her own story.
Co-created by Danielle Birrittella and Zoe Aja Moore
Music by Leila Adu, Ruby Kato Attwood, Danielle Birrittella, Christina Courtin, Gabrielle Herbst, Molly Joyce, Emma O'Halloran, Gemma Peacocke, Bergrún, Snæbjörnsdóttir, Annika Socolofsky, Gyda Valtýsdóttir, Sheena Wenger, with additional music by Ellen Reid
Poetry by Marie Howe
Directed by Zoe Aja Moore
Featuring Danielle Birrittella
Music direction by Mila Henry & Marc Lowenstein
Scenic Design by Hana S. Kim & Keith Skretch
SONNETS TO ORPHEUS
Sonnets to Orpheus is a multidisciplinary song cycle for voice, string quartet, ukulele and harmonium, set to Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s cycle of poems which has been called an “utter acceptance of everything that is alive and earthly… the wholeness, the transfigured body of these poems, is a return to the simplest human experiences of seeing and breathing, beyond thought.”
The cycle is scored by 13 composers: Aoife O’Donovan, Jherek Bischoff, Ellen Reid, Qasim Naqvi, Christopher Rountree, Andrew Rowan, Bobby Halvorson, Tim Carr, Danielle Birrittella, Greg Uhlmann, Kyle Sanna, Sheena Wenger, Areni Agbabian and Derek Stein.
Only in a city such as Los Angeles would we be able to conceive of a project that holds space for exploring the lines between theatre, film and concert. We are creating an immersive sonic and visual environment that transcends the form of the song cycle.
L A X F E S T I V A L
Sonnet 4, And it was almost a girl.
Composition: Danielle Birrittella;
String arrangement: Derek Stein
ALL THE PRETTY LITTLE HORSES
A contemporary performance project between a dancer, musician and fine artist that contemplates the expectation of motherhood, the reality of daughterhood and the actuality of mothers not being able to be “mothers" - the elastic relationship of roles between parent and child - the memory and presumption of intimacy, and the reality of distance.
We explore how new technologies play a role in creating invisible walls that offer the guise of connection but may, in fact, be the architecture of control and separation in the rapidly shifting landscape of family dynamics.
We juxtapose our own text messages and email exchanges with the vulnerability of lullaby, the materials of domesticity and those of ephemeral reflectiveness, the loss of physical versus emotional control, and the adaptive relationship to the mother through movement. Working across mediums of dance, music and theatre, we are exploring the universal themes of memory, history and inheritance through the lens of our personal stories.
K L O W D E N M A N N
Performance Stills from Klowden Mann Residency
A chamber ensemble consisting of voice, cello, viola, brass and electronics.
Performances are inspired by unexpected arrangements of existing pieces and collaborations across mediums of poetry, dance, and fine art.Informed by the eclectic musical backgrounds of each of its members, we find a convergent language between classical music, jazz, folk and new technologies.
An international sandcastle competition, the Portuguese sailor music of fado,cabecudos, gigantone, almajoa, astrology and the occult come together to explore the various incarnations of male-female love.
With source material from Fernando Pessoa's The Book of Disquiet, Joseph Campbell, and oddly nostalgic Neil Diamond records, two performers attempt to navigate the world of saudade.
"I have cultivated several personalities within myself. I constantly cultivate personalities. Each of my dreams, immediately after I dream it, is incarnated into another person, who then goes on to dream it, and I stop."
- Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet