Vidas Perfectas, Crash, and The Trial of Anne Opie Wehrer at the 2014 Whitney Biennial

3 OPERAS BY ROBERT ASHLEY
DIRECTED BY ALEX WATERMAN
AT THE 2014 WHITNEY BIENNIAL

April 10-26, 2014
 
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE AND INFORMATION
ABOUT ALL 3 OPERAS CAN BE FOUND
 HERE
 

Robert Ashley

We're deeply saddened by Robert Ashley's passing on March 3rd, 2014.
The production of these operas has taken on a new meaning: to honor Bob, his singular voice, and all of the people who have influenced — and been influenced by— his work. 
We will celebrate his life and genius at the Whitney Biennial. 

Alex Waterman on Robert Ashley at NYU's Sound and Cinema Colloquium

SOUND & CINEMA COLLOQUIUM
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28TH
721 BROADWAY, 6TH FLOOR
MICHELSON THEATER
DEPARTMENT OF CINEMA STUDIES
NYU TISCH SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
 
Alex Waterman participates in the Sound & Cinema Colloquium at NYU's Department of Cinema Studies with his talk, Yes, But is it Edible?: Robert Ashley and the Impossible Landscape of Television Opera. The talk focuses on Robert Ashley's use of television as an exploration of landscape and character, as well as his unique notational style, which is the subject of Waterman's upcoming publication Yes, But is it Edible, with artist Will Holder.   The colloquium, organized by Allen S. Weiss, explores various convergences between music, performance, art and film. Also speaking in the colloquium is Gelsey Bell, singer, songwriter, scholar, and performer in Robert Ashley's CRASH, directed by Alex Waterman, which will premiere at the 2014 Whitney Biennial. 
 
The event is free and open to the public. 

Kickstarter Campaign for Whitney Biennial Operas

3 OPERAS. 30 ARTISTS. 3 WEEKS.

OUR CAMPAIGN TO BRING 3 OF ROBERT ASHLEY'S OPERAS,
DIRECTED BY ALEX WATERMAN
TO THE 2014 WHITNEY BIENNIAL 

To make this ambitious project a reality, we've started a 30-day Kickstarter Campaign to raise the funds to pay the more than 30 performers, designers, producers, engineers, and technicians involved in this collaboration, as well as the sound and light rentals, recording, filming, and production costs fundamental to a production of this size.

Perfect Lives Featured in NY Times’ Picks of Standout Opera of Recent Decades

TOMORROW'S VALHALLA: CRITICS WEIGH IN ON STANDOUT OPERAS OF RECENT DECADES

by Steve Smith in The New York Times, January 3, 2014
 

Make Room in the Repertory
“These are songs about the Corn Belt and some of the people in it, or on it.” That simple declaration turns up near the start of each episode of “Perfect Lives,” intoned as part of a near-ceaseless narrative delivered by the work’s composer, Robert Ashley. Is “composer” the right word? After years of revisiting, contemplating and enjoying this unusual opera, I’m still not entirely sure.

Vidas Perfectas @ the Serpentine Pavilion

Vidas Perfectas: Three episodes

September 28, 2012 - 6PM

at the Serpentine Pavilion, London

 

The Serpentine Gallery presents VIDAS PERFECTAS in a new and expanded staging, at the Serpentine's 2012 pavilion, designed by Herzog De Muron and Ai Weiwei.

Frieze on Perfect Lives and Vidas Perfectas

AMERICAN OPERA

by Dan Fox in Frieze #145 (March 2012)

Vidas Perfectas – with ‘R’ and Buddy now in residency in La Vidas Perfectas Lounge – is an ambitious new Spanish-language version of Perfect Lives, directed by Alex Waterman (who, with Will Holder, is currently working on a study of Ashley’s practice, due to be published at the end of this year) from a translation by Javier Sainz de Robles. Produced under the auspices of ISSUE Project Room and Ballroom Marfa, Vidas Perfectas is, like the original Perfect Lives, designed for television, and will grow steadily in phases over the course of the next two years. Three episodes were staged in December 2011 at the Irondale Theater in Brooklyn – ‘El Parque’ (The Park), ‘La Iglesia’ (The Church) and ‘El Patio de Atrás’ (The Backyard) – with further episodes to be produced in Marfa, Texas, this summer, and a pilot version planned for the end of the year. It is a slow, carefully evolving project, because: ‘we don’t serve fine wine in half-pints, buddy.’

BOMB Magazine: Robert Ashley interviewed by Alex Waterman

Robert Ashley by Alex Waterman

BOMB Magazine, Winter 2011

When Robert Ashley talks about opera, he is referring to characters in a landscape telling stories musically. The landscape is represented either on television or on stage, and it is as expressive a feature in the music as any of the characters. In his operas, landscape becomes another piece in the puzzle of the grand cosmology of the American language.