Multimedia Opera

Music & Libretto by Carson Kievman

Autobiographical and partially based on the Orpheus and Eurydice legend

Commissioned by the Tanglewood Music Festival and the Fromm Foundation at Harvard

World-Premiere concert staging at The Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music 1978

World-Premiere full staging at the Public Theater, NY 1979. Joseph Papp, producer

After being strongly moved by Marcel Proust’s "Remembrance of Things Past," I became interested in the state of mind which occurs only at the moment after sleep and before consciousness. This work was initially written in the mornings (at the MacDowell Colony) to try and capture that magical place where the mind intuitively might understand that which we “normally” cannot. Instead of falling out of bed at two in the afternoon, I awakened at seven-thirty in the morning every day for several months. By doing so I was able to capture that peculiar consciousness which only occurs just before waking up. The myth of Orpheus has been substantially reinterpreted in order to make it a vehicle for a journey to recover from modern loss. My entire life was changed by this confrontation. The freedom gained from a child’s insight is symbolized by morning. Carson Kievman

Reviews and Introduction - Cast & Crew at The Public Theater - Biography - List of Works

August 11, 1978 / Richard Dyer, critic
The Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music
”Soundrama causes stir at Fromm Festival! The Soundrama actually take place in a single moment-the moment that hovers between one thing and its opposite. Keats talked about it in a line; Joyce expanded it into Finnegan’s Wake. Our Orpheus has a crowded mind early in the morning, and in it childhood memory, present loss, and future resolution are simultaneous presences. Like the primordial beginnings of Wagner’s Das Reingold it recalls the dawn garglings of Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe. Why, one wonders, should the Fromm Foundation subsidize someone’s therapy - On the other hand, great art is supposed to therapeutic for those who make it and for those who respond to it. And it was hard not to respond to this piece. Conflicting and compelling personality emerge from it. I was fascinated and oddly moved.
June 5, 1979 / Leighton Kerner,
The Public Theater NYC
”Itchily innovative composers still can work in New York’s popular musical theater. Exhibit A: Stephan Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Uris. Exhibit B: Carson Kievman’s triple bill of The Temporary & Tentative Extended Piano, Multinationals & The Heavens, and Wake Up, It’s Time To Go Bed! at the Public. There may be others. I hope so. Nevertheless, taking into account the recorded samplings I’ve heard from the competition, I have to salute these two shows and none other for fighting the good fight against music-theater solely of, by, and for the tired businessman. As a builder of music-theater constructions, Kievman is a wizard!