World-Renowned Turkish Musician Added to AOP's January Performances

World-Renowned Turkish Musician Added to AOP's January Performances

AMERICAN OPERA PROJECTS (AOP) is excited to collaborate with acclaimed Turkish-American Composer Kamran Ince on his latest work and operatic "first", Judgment of Midas. The opera will be presented on January 10th at 8:00 p.m. in a premiere workshop performance to be held at South Oxford Space: 138 South Oxford Street Brooklyn, NY 11217. A second performance will be held at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center on January 12 at 8:00 p.m. Kamran Ince will be available after each concert for discussion about his creative process and musical inspirations, as part of AOP's First Chance initiative- a program that promotes interaction between audience and composer, as the musical work is revealed to the public for the first time. Internationally renowned musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek will give a special musical presentation featuring a variety of Turkish folk instruments. Tickets are $20 and available at

J. David Jackson (Metropolitan Opera) conducts an international cast featuring Lynn Trepel Caglar (Istanbul State Opera and Ballet), Matthew Morgan (New York City Opera), Gregory Gerbrandt (Boston Lyric Opera), Jason Papowitz (Prague State Opera), and the Metropolitan Opera's Philip Horst and Mikhail Svetlov. Also featuring Heather Michele Meyer, Hannah Fuerst, Melissa Collom, Margaret O'Connell, Brandon Snook, and Adam PatRick Cromer. Mila Henry accompanies on piano, with the participation of Turkish instrumentalists.

Loosely based on Ovid's mythical drama Metamorphoses in a libretto by Miriam Seidel, Judgment of Midas details an epic musical battle between gods Pan and Apollo. With King Midas as the witness, Pan, maker of "street music" and Apollo, maker of the god's music, compete for supremacy as the foremost divine musician. What follows is a musical battle of diverse orchestration that showcases Ince's unique talents and genius as a composer. Mixing together an assortment of world, ethnic, popular and folk music, Ince uses his versatile compositional talents to depict the mythical musical duel of the gods. Recognized nationally and internally, Kamran Ince finds in Judgment of Midas, a vehicle for a classic mythic story and a musical triumph.

Hailed by The Los Angeles Times as "that rare composer, able to sound connected with modern music and yet still seem exotic," Kamran Ince is a force on the cutting edge of contemporary composition, bridging musical idioms of the East and West. His numerous prizes include the Prix de Rome, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Lili Boulanger Prize. His Waves of Talya was named "one of the best chamber works of the 20th Century by a living composer" by Chamber Music Magazine. In 2010 Naxos released four new albums of Kamran Ince's music which include new recordings of the composer's Music for a Lost Earth, Symphony No. 5-Galatasaray, Hammers & Whistlers and Symphony No. 2-Fall of Constantinople. Ince's most recent work, The Invasion, for chamber orchestra, premieres at Gallipoli, Turkey on April 25, presented by the Canberra International Music Festival to mark the centennial of the First World War battle of Gallipoli.

Judgment of Midas will continue Ince's interest in composing works based on the history of his native country. The opera being developed at American Opera Projects under a commission by eminent archaeologist Dr. Crawford H. Greenewalt Jr. will mark the 50th anniversary of Sardis/Lydia excavation in present-day Turkey, near where the divine musical battle is said to have taken place. The excavations at Sardis revealed a series of mosaics featuring the mythical contest, possibly dating from as far back as the 6th century B.C. The opera will travel to nearby Ankara, Turkey in Summer 2011 for a CD recording, before returning to the states for concert presentations in partnership with Berkeley West Edge Opera and Present Music and Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee, WI.

For over 20 years, American Opera Projects (AOP) has been creating, developing and presenting exclusively new American opera and music Theatre Projects that have appeared at the Royal Opera House, London, the Lincoln Center Festival, Skirball Center at NYU, the Guggenheim Museum, Symphony Space, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and many other national and international venues. AOP, based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, has presented over 15 world premiere operas including Lee Hoiby's This Is the Rill Speaking (2008), Stefan Weisman's Darkling (2006), and Paula Kimper's Patience & Sarah (1998). Upcoming and recent productions of AOP-developed projects include Séance on a Wet Afternoon, the first opera by Stephen Schwartz, at New York City Opera in April 2011 and the world premieres of Jorge Martín's Before Night Falls at Fort Worth Opera in 2010 and Tarik O'Regan's Heart of Darkness at The Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio in 2011.