Composer: Kitty Brazelton
Composer Bio: Kitty Brazelton (D.M.A. Columbia University 1994) rejoices in the keener expression she gets by infusing vernacular American dialects into deep, complex structures. Her full-length opera, Fireworks, commissioned by American Opera Projects and directed by Grethe Barrett Holby, concerns an extraterrestrial discovering the 4th of July. She leads exploded rock bands (her second CD with the nonet DADADAH, Love Not Love Lust Not Lust, was hailed by Rolling Stone as an "album of impressive nerve") and composes dynamic orchestral works (Sleeping Out of Doors (1998), her piano concerto commissioned and premiered by conductor Kristjan Järvi's Absolute Ensemble, featured electric bass and amplified classical guitar). Her chamber music ranges from the N.Y.S.C.A. - commissioned cyber-punk fantasia 5 dreams; marriage (premiered by her unique quartet, WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A BAT? with interactive computer composer Dafna Naphtali, at Sound Sumposium 2000 in Newfoundland) to innovative works for the Manhattan Brass Quintet and the California EAR Unit (heard on her recent CRI Emergency disc, Chamber Music for the Inner Ear).

Danny Felsenfeld, in his April 2002 Time Out New York review of Chamber Music for the Inner Ear, explains it this way: "Brazelton is a totalist composer, part of a generation that believes that there's more than one way to compose and that all musical genres are available for use, from high modernism to downtown funk."

Ever since, in her bands such as Hide the Babies, Dadadah, Hildegurls (with co-composer Eve Beglarian, Lisa Bielawa and Elaine Kaplinsky) and Bat?, in electronic compositions prepared at the Columbia Computer Music Center, and in special projects such as those for pianist Kathleen Supové, duos twisted tutu and Double Edge, choreographers Jody Oberfelder and Gina Gibney, ensembles Kitchen House Blend and Relâche, and operas with Grethe Barrett Holby.
Librettist: Billy Aronson
Librettist Bio: Billy Aronson's plays have been produced by Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 1812 Productions, SF Playhouse, Amphibian Productions, City Lights Theater, and Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre; published in five volumes of Best American Short Plays (Applause Books), Best Stage Scenes 2003 (Smith and Kraus), Ten Minute Plays From the Actors Theatre of Louisville (Samuel French), and Plays From the Woolly Mammoth (Broadway Play Publishing); and awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant. His play First Day of School was named Outstanding Original Script 2009 by the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. Plays published by Playscripts, Inc. are Light Years, Light Years Part One: Freshman Year, Little Red Riding Hood, and The News. His writing for the musical theater includes the original concept and additional lyrics for the Broadway musical Rent, and the book for the Theatreworks USA musical Click Clack Moo (Lucille Lortel nomination for best musical). His writing for television includes scripts for Beavis & Butt-head (MTV), Courage the Cowardly Dog (Cartoon Network), and Wonder Pets (head writer, Emmy Award). He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lisa Vogel and their children Jake and Anna.
Other Artistic Personnel: Wendy Cavett (Conductor)
Grethe Barrett Holby (Director)
Nate Merchant (Stage Manager)
Kelly Hanson (Set/Costume Designer)
Manu Corazzini (Sound Designer)
Randy Glickman (Lighting Designer)
Original Cast: Ann Hoyt (soprano)
Isabel Leonard (mezzo-soprano)
Crystal Williams (alto)
Michael Lee (tenor)
Scott Pattison (baritone)
Ivan Thomas (bass)
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: July 02, 2002
Producing Company: American Opera Projects, Inc.
Description: An intergallactic De Tocqueville drops in a typical park on July 4th to figure out what all the excitement's about. And boy is there excitement! The alien's arrival sets off a chain of wild misconceptions more rapid-fire than the fireworks exploding overhead. An operatic farce, Fireworks celebrates the galaxy's most bizarre, brash, and provocative idea: Democracy.
Character List (Major): 6 singers
Length: 02:00
Total Acts: Not Available
Orchestration: flute, clarinet (Bb), bass clarinet, alto & baritone saxophones - trumpet, trombone - percussion: marimba & vibes, drum kit, congas, maracas, cowbells - keyboards: harpsichord, calliope - guitars: electric & acoustic - harp - violins, violas, cellos, bass
Contact: Charles Jarden, Managing Director, American Opera Projects, Inc.
Address: 138 South Oxford Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
E-mail Address:
Phone: 718-398-4024
Composer Web Site:
Librettist Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Fireworks (Brazelton)
Tuesday, July 2, 2002 - American Opera Projects
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