A Burden Far Beyond What Soul Can Cry
opera scene on poems of Redwing by Katharyn Howd Machan
Ithaca College, April 2006
Ben Henry-Moreland and Nicholas Hebert perform in A Burden Far Beyond with Juventas New Music Ensemble's production of unMET: Opera for the 21st Century; Photo Credit: Scott Bump
Maggie Finnegan is Abigail Moss in A Burden Far Beyond with Juventas New Music Ensemble's production of unMET: Opera for the 21st Century; Photo Credit: Scott Bump
October 2005, revised December 2011
Four-hand piano version dedicated to Lidiya Yankovskaya
A Burden Far Beyond What Soul Can Cry was written in response to a project by my professors Dana Wilson and Gregory Woodward during my senior year of study at Ithaca College. We were challenged by writing department professor Katharyn Howd Machan to set some of the poems from her Redwingcollection to music. The collection is fascinating, as each poem is titled with the name of a person: thus, each of these poems gives a short glimpse into one emotional facet of these peoples’ lives. I have set the poems for Abigail Moss, Samual Ward, Byron Moss, and Louisa Ward. Rather than set them one-after-the-other, I have interwoven them, so that the four poems might more appropriately shed light on each other, giving a dramatic arch to these individual ruminations.
The work was originally scored for four marimbas and premiered at Ithaca College in October 2005. The four-hand piano version is dedicated to Lidiya Yankovskaya, who premiered it with Boston’s Juventas New Music Ensemble in February 2012.