Streams From The Wake World Opera

As we announced a couple weeks ago, John Zorn’s Tzadik Records is releasing a recording of The Wake World, an opera by composer David Hertzberg, inspired by Aleister Crowley’s fairy tale of the same name. It was original produced for a limited run at Philadelphia’s Barnes Museum. Listen here:

“Is That You My Love?”

“Feast of Forms”

“Ventriloquizing The Fairy Prince”

Tzadik Records presents the debut recording of THE WAKE WORLD, a hallucinatory choral fantasy by Los Angeles-based composer David Hertzberg.

The Wake World premiered to wide critical acclaim on Opera Philadelphia’s inaugural Festival O17 in an intimate, visceral, site-specific production by director R.B. Schlather at The Barnes Foundation. The work went on to win the Music Critics Association of North America’s Best New Opera award. MCANA critics Alex Ross, John Rockwell, Heidi Waleson, and George Loomis discuss The Wake World in this video.

Tzadik founder and executive producer John Zorn now presents the opera in high definition, recorded and mastered by Grammy Award-winning engineers Andreas Meyer and Scott Hull, for the general public.

Inspired by the mystical fairy tale of the same name by the infamous occultist, magician, and enfant terrible Aleister Crowley, the story describes the smoldering internal journey of Lola, as she is lead through the magical palace of her Fairy Prince to an ecstatic awakening.

Of the work, Hertzberg writes: “The Wake World represents a deeply personal vision, an attempt to render in lurid detail the strange, frightening, inarticulable mystery of the imagination, into which I poured every iota of my creative being. To craft this recording and distinctive presentation in collaboration with Tzadik and this superlative team of artists has been inexpressibly gratifying and moving.”

The recording stars soprano Maeve Höglund as Lola and mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as The Fairy Prince, as well as a virtuoso ensemble of singers drawn from members of The Crossing and the Opera Philadelphia Chorus, and seven instrumental soloists from the Curtis Institute of Music, conducted by Opera Philadelphia Chorusmaster Elizabeth Braden.

In the fall of 2021, The Wake World will be seen in a new, tour-ready production by Catapult Opera, in partnership with Peak Performances at Montclair State University, conducted by artistic director Neal Goren, and directed by Mary Birnbaum.

Hertzberg is currently at work on his next opera, for the Los Angeles-based company The Industry.

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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