Tabula Rasa, my fourth opera, is the story about the life and love of Kiki de Montparnasse. Her relationship with Man Ray is the focal point of the operatic plot and dramaturgy. I drew on musical idioms inspired by the fin de siecle and jazz harmonies to create the immersive world of Montparnasse. The title is a Latin phrase from antiquity that translates to "erased slate." It has been used as titles for musical works such as a 1977 double concerto by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. The phrase aptly describes Kiki's decision to stand up to patriarchal societal conventions by leaving her man to fulfill her own destiny. She wipes herself clean of her relationship with Man. It is an opera that has been a labour of love and an ode to all of the singers who are premiering it. I specifically tailored the roles to their voices. Inspiration came to me from my friendships and collaborations with these incredible artists and Brittany Goodwin's brilliant libretto. Through this production Brittany and I have created the perfect visual and sonic world that encapsulates this wild brain child we have been working on for the past year.
Tabula Rasa runs May 4, 5, 11 and 12 at the Blue Building in Manhattan. Presented by Cantanti Project and part of NY Opera Fest. For tickets: