Composer: Zack Settel
Composer Bio: Zack Settel was born in 1957 and raised in the New York area. He received a BFA in Music Composition from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he studied composition with Leonard Stein, Morton Subotnick, Mel Powell, and Morton Feldman. Keenly interested in the use of technology in music production/performance, Settel moved to Paris in 1986, with a Fulbright Scholarship for computer music research and composition at the Institute for Research and the Coordination of Acoustics and Music (IRCAM), headed by Pierre Boulez. After a two-year composing residency there, Settel remained at IRCAM until 1995, working full-time in the music production and music research groups. In 1997 Settel returned to North America, where he was a professor at McGill University in Canada for two years, chairing the Music Technology area, and teaching courses and graduate seminars in computer music. He also was a visiting professor of composition at the University of Montreal in 2001-02. . In addition to composing full time, Settel now is an associate professor in music composition at the UDM. He is also in (arts/science) collaboration with the Center for Intelligent Machines at McGill, working on immersive audio/music. Since 2003, Settel has directed the immersive audio research group at the Societé des Arts Technologiques (La SAT) in Montreal. Some of Settel's music includes the use of advanced live interactive electro-acoustic systems. He has composed chamber works, studio works, as well as music for film, video, television, theater, dance, and opera. His music is published by Editions Ambrioso (Paris), recorded on the CENTAUR, ICMA, MIT Press, and Empreints Digitales labels, and is performed regularly in North/South America and in Europe and Asia. Settel has composed music for Television and Film, and has worked with various performing ensembles including the Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris), Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (Montréal), Zeitgeist (Minneapolis), the California Ear Unit (Los Angeles), and Chants Libres (Montréal).
Librettist: Yan Muckle
Other Artistic Personnel: Pauline Vaillancourt, Artistic Director
Premiere Date: Not available.
Producing Company: Chants Libres
Description: Alexandra David-Néel. A small woman, who lived for more than a hundred years (1868-1969), she was in turns an anarchist, an opera singer, a journalist, a freemason, a feminist, a free thinker, a reporter and lover of the Orient, a writer, an explorer and a philosopher.

She dared to travel to the other side of the world at a time when very few women had the freedom to do so. Her journeys were as varied as her talents.

A spiritual journey as she chose Buddhism and discovered a passion for Hinduism, a personal journey, receiving instruction from a Tibetan Master in the far reaches of the Himalayas of the Upper Sikkim, and an arduous journey as she made her way along difficult routes in sometimes extreme conditions, from Nepal to Japan, from Korea to the interior of China, form India to the mysterious, and at that time forbidden, Tibet.

She was the first Western woman to enter Lhassa in 1924, after an incredible and secretive trek accompanied by a young citizen of Sikkim, Aphur Yongden, who became her adopted son in 1929. Beyond her writings and her exploits, Alexandra has left us a universal message of courage, of will, of righteousness and of wisdom.
Length: 01:00
Musical Style: Chamber Opera
Contact: Henry Gauthier, Chants Libres
The Opera Fund Awardee Information
Award Category: 2009 Canadian Opera Creation F Development
Project Name: Alexandra
Awardee: Chants Libres
Director: Pauline Vailiiancourt
Award Category: 2011 Canadian Opera Creation F Development
Project Name: Alexandra
Awardee: Chants Libres
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