Song from the Uproar, a multimedia opera by celebrated Brooklyn composer Missy Mazzoli, is a unique combination of live musical performance and original films inspired by the life and writings of early-20th-century explorer Isabelle Eberhardt. Through a series of surreal vignettes, the audience witnesses key moments in Eberhardt’s life; from the death of her family, through her journeys in the North African desert, to her ecstatic religious conversion, and ultimately to her tragic drowning in a flash flood at the age of 27. Song from the Uproar was created in collaboration with filmmaker Stephen Taylor, librettist Royce Vavrek, stage director Gia Forakis, conductor Steven Osgood and NOW Ensemble, with mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer and a vocal ensemble of some of NYC’s finest singers.
Isabelle Eberhardt was born in 1877 in Geneva, Switzerland. At age 19, after the death of her father, mother and brother in quick succession, she travelled alone to Algeria. She dressed as a man, converted to Islam and joined a Sufi order, roamed the desert on horseback and fell in love with an Algerian soldier. After surviving an attempted assassination and a failed suicide pact with her lover, Isabelle drowned in a desert flash flood at age 27. Her journals were salvaged from the wreckage.
This is her song.
Commissioned by Linda & Stuart Nelson, Chris Ahearn & Marla Mayer, and Beth Morrison Projects. Supported by a grant from the MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. World premiere at The Kitchen in 2012 and West Coast premiere with LA Opera in 2015.
“Live performance and video fused with unusual potency…a haunting multimedia performance piece.”
“Both powerful and new.”
“Shimmering, surging post-Minimalist flow.”
“A Visually and aurally ravishing chamber opera… a captivating multimedia spectacle.”
01 / 05