Watch: John Adams on Composing 'Girls of the Golden West'

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"Right from the start, the very first notes sound almost like a pickaxe going against rock and then against that the singing has a certain quality that I think has that same simplicity of affect," composer John Adams says of his 2017 opera, Girls of the Golden West, in a new Boosey & Hawkes video marking the work's recently released first recording. "All of that comes together in this opera in a way that I think only opera can actually address, because it addresses you on an intellectual level, but it also fundamentally touches you on an emotional level." You can see what else he had to say here.

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"Right from the start, the very first notes sound almost like a pickaxe going against rock and then against that the singing has a certain quality that I think has that same simplicity of affect," composer John Adams says of his 2017 opera, Girls of the Golden West, in a new video from his publisher Boosey & Hawkes marking the work's recently released first recording. "All of that comes together in this opera in a way that I think only opera can actually address, because it addresses you on an intellectual level, but it also fundamentally touches you on an emotional level." You can see what else he had to say here:

This recording of Girls of the Golden West is Adams' eighth music theater work to be released by Nonesuch. It tells the story of the California Gold Rush not through familiar time-worn myth, but in the words and deeds of real people. Longtime Adams collaborator Peter Sellars drew from original sources from the era—letters, journals, newspaper articles, and familiar song lyrics—to create the libretto. The composer leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in this recording made in Disney Hall, with the Los Angeles Master Chorale led by Grant Gershon and a cast featuring Davóne Tines, Julia Bullock, Paul Appleby, Hye Jung Lee, Elliot Madore, Daniela Mack, and Ryan McKinny. You can get it and hear it here

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John Adams on composing 'Girls of the Golden West'
  • Thursday, June 6, 2024
    Watch: John Adams on Composing 'Girls of the Golden West'

    "Right from the start, the very first notes sound almost like a pickaxe going against rock and then against that the singing has a certain quality that I think has that same simplicity of affect," composer John Adams says of his 2017 opera, Girls of the Golden West, in a new video from his publisher Boosey & Hawkes marking the work's recently released first recording. "All of that comes together in this opera in a way that I think only opera can actually address, because it addresses you on an intellectual level, but it also fundamentally touches you on an emotional level." You can see what else he had to say here:

    This recording of Girls of the Golden West is Adams' eighth music theater work to be released by Nonesuch. It tells the story of the California Gold Rush not through familiar time-worn myth, but in the words and deeds of real people. Longtime Adams collaborator Peter Sellars drew from original sources from the era—letters, journals, newspaper articles, and familiar song lyrics—to create the libretto. The composer leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in this recording made in Disney Hall, with the Los Angeles Master Chorale led by Grant Gershon and a cast featuring Davóne Tines, Julia Bullock, Paul Appleby, Hye Jung Lee, Elliot Madore, Daniela Mack, and Ryan McKinny. You can get it and hear it here

    Journal Articles:Artist NewsVideo

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