Holed-up in a cheap desert motel room, amid empty pizza boxes and beer cans, a man comes spectacularly unglued. In this fiercely contemporary reimagining of Wilhelm Müller’s poetry cycle “Winterreise”—most famously set by Schubert—composer Douglas J. Cuomo and director Jonathan Moore transform Müller’s lovelorn winter wanderer into a demon-haunted Everyman. The “radiant, communicative tenor” (Opera News) Tony Boutté gives a searing, intense performance as a man desperate for atonement. This 21st-century art song features Alan Johnson on piano, Frank London (of Klezmatics) on trumpet, and Cuomo himself on guitar. The work is a mix of fully notated music (for the singer and piano) and partially notated and improvised music (for the guitar and trumpet). The result is a spare and haunting landscape, shot through with colors from jazz and rock, along with Cuomo’s atmospheric electronics.
Image courtesy of David Bachman.