Honors in Music for Faculty, Student

Rohde Featured for Composing Floating Opera, Undergrad Gets Youngarts Award

Composer on stage lighted in pink
Rohde in a previous performance. He was recently featured in an architectural publication for The Floating Opera. (Courtesy photo)

Kurt Rohde's floating opera featured in architectural publication

Professor Kurt Rohde and his collaborators on a floating opera were interviewed for Urban Omnibus, a publication of the Architectural League of New York.

Rohde, (composer) was profiled along with Marie Lorenz (sculpture artist) and Dana Spiotta (writer). The team won a Creative Capital grant in 2021 to create the work. The full performance is scheduled to premiere in 2023.

The opera is envisioned as a travel diary, presented on the Newtown Creek itself with both audience and performers traveling along the water amid floating stages. The Newtown Creek separates the border of Queens and Brooklyn, and has a history of being one of the most polluted waterways in the country. Themes of the piece include climate change, environmental justice, and civic responsibility. The audience will travel on boats, and the performers will be on land, according to a preview.

“I think the opera is going to be beautiful,” said Rohde in the article. “The more connected I am to the actual space and the more exposure I have to it, the more I get my own articulable understanding of why this is beautiful to me….There is something arresting about being on the creek. But without anyone telling you—that there’s something wrong with the water. And yet, it’s serene, it has its own type of calmness, and it’s alive. There are all sorts of contradictions side by side.”

Below is a preview of the opera, named Newtown Odyssey

Rohde and the project have also been profiled in Solar Journal.  

More information about the floating opera project here.

Undergraduate Tiara Abraham receives Youngarts award

Tiara Abraham, 16, a senior at UC Davis majoring in vocal performance at the Department of Music, has received a 2022 YoungArts award in Classical Voice.

YoungArts identifies the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, and performing arts, and provides them with creative and professional development opportunities and support throughout their careers. 

As a YoungArts award winner, Abraham joins a distinguished group of accomplished performing and literary artists that includes Daniel Arsham, Terence Blanchard, Camille A. Brown, Timothée Chalamet, Viola Davis, Amanda Gorman, Judith Hill, Jennifer Koh, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Andrew Rannells, Desmond Richardson, Hunter Schafer, and Kerry Washington.

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