new music festival

20th Annual New Music Festival: Re-Imagining Opera in the 21st Century
Dr. Pamela Madsen, Artistic Director
April 15-May 15, 2021


Featuring Composers: Chaya Czernowin, Anne LeBaron, Jack Van Zandt, Missy Mazzoli, Vera Ivanova, Pamela Madsen; Collaborative Artists: Quintan Ana Wikswo, Jen Kutler; Performers: Renee Tatum Brightwork New Music Ensemble, Stacey Fraser, Jane Rigler, Beyond Opera Collective, West Edge Opera, CSUF New Music Ensemble, CSUF Composition Faculty and Students, CSUF Alumni Composers and more!

Weekly presentations and concerts by guest artists premiered and posted each Thursday 3PM and Friday 3PM and streamed until the following Wednesday, 3PM.

Note: the links below are in effect beginning at the times give above the link buttons. If you visit the link before the start time you will see a 10-second "placehoder" which will be replaced by the video at the start time of each event.

Week I:
Celebrating Extraordinary CSUF Opera Alum, Renée Tatum

April 16th:
3PM Pre-concert talk with Ren é e Tatum

Watch hereOpens in new window

4PM Concert: Songs of Love, celebrating alumni

Pamela Madsen: From the Garden (2003)
From We are All Sibyls opera created in collaboration with visual artist Judy Chicago

Amy Beach: Three Browning Songs (1899-1900)

George Crumb: Three Early songs (1947) 
Text by Robert Southey, Sara Teasdale 

1. Night
2. Let It Be Forgotten
3. Wind Elegy

Philip Lasser: License of Love
On the poems of Paul Langley, this cycle of four songs explores a post-modern love story.

1. The Voice 
2. Speak of Love
3. The Wind and the Sea
4. Twilight Hour

Pamela Madsen: Proof and Disproof  (2021)
World Premiere
An Opera for One-based on set of 10 poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Watch hereOpens in new window

ProgramPDF File Opens in new window


Ren é e Tatum

Noted for her “gleaming vocalism” (Opera News), mezzosoprano Renée Tatum is an incredibly important artist of her generation.

The 2019-20 began as Flosshilde in Wagner’s   Götterdammerung   with The National Taichung Theater in Taiwan, followed by her role debut as Kundry in   Parsifal, under the baton of Maestro Arthur Fagen.

In the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Tatum sang in Nico Muhly’s   Marnie   at the Metropolitan Opera, followed by her debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra as the Mother in   Amahl and the Night Visitors. Ms. Tatum also returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Waltraute and Flosshilde in Der Ring des Nibelugen, under the baton of Philipe Jordan. She sang Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with the Cecilia Chorus at Carnegie Hall, was the alto soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with The Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and closed the season as Waltraute in Die Walkürie with The Boston Symphony Orchestra. Recent engagements included Flosshilde in Das Rheingold with Tanglewood Music Festival; Flosshilde in Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung and Waltraute in Die Walküre with San Francisco Opera; Jenny in Threepenny Opera with Boston Lyric Opera; Flower Maiden in Parsifal at The Metropolitan Opera, Penderecki’s Credo with the Indianapolis Symphony, Durufle’s Requiem with the Back Bay Chorale, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with The Cecelia Chorus of NYC, Concerts with Warren Jones at the Manchester Music Festival, and Gabriele Bertolier for the Romantic Century’s production of Van Gogh’s Ear at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City, and Das Rheingold in concert with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.

websiteOpens in new window


Week 2: Opera on the Edge-Chaya Czernowin

April 22nd
3PM (PDT) Symposium: Opera on the Edge: Chaya Czernowin, composer presentation

Watch hereOpens in new window

April 23rd
3PM (PDT) Pre-concert discussion by musicologist Joy Calico

Watch hereOpens in new window

4PM (PDT) Screening of The Infinite Now Opera by Chaya Czernowin

Watch hereOpens in new window

April 26th

6PM (PDT) Composer Chaya Czernowin in Dialogue with CSUF Advanced Contemporary Techniques Class (Live Facebook event)

Watch hereOpens in new window

nois ensemble

Chaya Czernowin  

Chaya Czernowin was born and brought up in Israel. After her studies in Israel, at the age of 25, she continued studying in Germany (DAAD grant), the US, and then was invited to live in Japan (Asahi Shimbun Fellowship and American NEA grant) Tokyo, in Germany (a fellowship at the Akademie Schloss Solitude) and in Vienna. Her music has been performed throughout the world, by some of the best orchestras and performers of new music, and she has held a professorship at UCSD, and was the first woman to be appointed as a composition professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria (2006–2009), and at Harvard University, USA (2009 and on) where she has been the Walter Bigelow Rosen Professor of Music. Together with Jean-Baptiste Jolly, the director of Akademie Schloss Solitude near Stuttgart and with composer Steven Kazuo Takasugi, she has founded the summer Academy at Schloss Solitude, a biannual course for composers. Takasugi and Czernowin also teach at Tzlil Meudcan, an international course based in Israel founded by Yaron Deutsch of Ensemble Nikel.

WebsiteOpens in new window


Week 3: New Frontiers: Beyond Opera Collective with Jack Van Zandt and Anne LeBaron 

April 29th
3PM Symposium

Jack Van Zandt, Anne LeBaron: Beyond Opera Collective in association with West Edge Opera. The Art of Collaboration: Music, Text and Performance.

Panelists: Jack Van Zandt with librettist Jill Freeman; Anne LeBaron with librettists Mark Campbell and Chiori Miyagawa; moderated by Juliana Snapper

Watch hereOpens in new window

April 30th
3PM Concert

Program bookPDF File Opens in new window

Jack Van Zandt: Siúil a rún Opens in new window

Jack Van Zandt and Jane Rigler: Co-Composers 
Máire Ní Chéileachair, vocal 
Jane Rigler, Flutes, electronics and multitrack voices 
Jack Van Zandt, Synthesizers, samplers, sound design and computer processing

Jack Van Zandt: Two Character Songs from The New Frontier: An Atomic Age Opera
1.      Half Life (The Ghost of Ethel Rosenberg)
2.      The New Frontier: (1960s underground shelter saleswoman)
Libretto by Jill Freeman
Stacey Fraser, soprano
Nadia Shpachenko, piano and keyboards
Yuri Inoo Miyoshi, percussion
John Kennedy, Bass

Jack Van Zandt: Two Arias from the dramatic madrigal     On the Shores of Eternity

1. Understanding (To Pass Away)
2. A Dance Beyond Death
Text by Rabindranath Tagore

Stacey Fraser, soprano
Jane Rigler, flutes
Jack Van Zandt, electronics and all other instruments

Jack Van Zandt: A E T H E ROpens in new window

Carmen Flores, viola
Tim Bassford. Filmmaker
Jack Van Zandt, electronics
CSUF New Music Ensemble 

The Guest House
from Radiant Depth Unfolded: Five Settings of Rumi

Music by Anne LeBaron
Chelsea Fingal DeSouza, soprano
CodyRay Caho, baritone
Michael Lewis, pianist
Ellen Jackson, director

Three Scenes from 
a hyperopera

Music by Anne LeBaron
Libretto by Douglas Kearney

Ashley Faatoalia, tenor
Cedric Berry, baritone
Lillian Sengpiehl, soprano
Mark Lowenstein, Music Director
Yuval Sharon, Director
Produced by The Industry

The Princess Aria from
Music by Anne LeBaron 
Libretto by Mark Campbell and Chiori Miyagawa

Alexa Anderson, soprano
Keisuke Nakagoshi, pianist
Jonathan Khuner, Music Director 
in collaboration with West Edge Opera

Huxley’s Last Trip from

Music by Anne LeBaron
Libretto by Gerd Stern, Ed Rosenfeld, and Anne LeBaron

Lucy Shelton, soprano
Partch Ensemble with Isaura Quartet
Chris Rountree, Conductor
Brian Carbine, Director

Watch hereOpens in new window

Anne LeBaron: Three selections from the opera Crescent City

1. An Ill Wind Blows
2. Good Man’s Song
3. Homesick Woman’s Aria

Douglas Kearney, librettist 
Ashley Faatoalia, tenor
Cedric Berry, baritone
Lillian Sengpiehl, soprano
Mark Lowenstein, Conductor of Crescent City Orchestra
Yuval Sharon, Director
Produced by The Industry

Anne LeBaron:  Final scene and aria from LSD: Huxley’s Last Trip 

Huxley's Last Trip

Gerd Stern, Ed Rosenfeld, Anne LeBaron - librettists
Lucy Shelton, soprano
Partch Ensemble with Isaura Quartet
Chris Rountree, Conductor
Brian Carbine, Director

Anne LeBaron: From the opera This Lingering Life

The Princess

Mark Campbell and Chiori Miyagawa, librettists
Alexa Anderson, soprano
Keisuke Nakagoshi, pianist
Jonathan Khuner, Music Director 
Produced by West Edge Opera

Anne LeBaron: From Radiant Depth Unfolded: Five Settings of Rumi 

The Guest House

Chelsea Fingal DeSouza, soprano
CodyRay Caho, baritone
Michael Lewis, pianist
Ellen Jackson, Director

jack van zandt

Jack Van Zandt

new music ensemble

Anne LeBaron

Jack Van Zandt (b. 1954, Honolulu) is a Los Angeles and Ireland-based composer of music for concerts, public spaces, gallery installations, television, film, and advertising. He studied composition at Cambridge University with Alexander Goehr; the Dartington Summer School of Music with Peter Maxwell Davies; and at University of California Santa Barbara with Thea Musgrave, Peter Racine Fricker, and electronic music with Emma Lou Diemer. He was Alexander Goehr’s teaching, personal and musical assistant from 1978-1984. He has composed more than 300 works. His concert music has been performed in the USA, Canada, Asia and Europe, and his commercial music is regularly heard on broadcast, internet, and cable TV. He has scored documentary and silent films, and his electronic music has been used for installations, multimedia presentations, TV, and meditation videos and workshops. He is a co-Grammy winner in the Best Classical Compendium category for his piece “Sí an Bhrú” for solo piano and electronics on pianist Nadia Shpachenko’s CD “Poetry of Places.” 

websiteOpens in new window

A West Coast experimentalist who is an innovative performer on the harp as well as a composer embracing unusual challenges, Anne LeBaron’s compositions have been performed around the globe. Venues in Italy, Mexico, Sydney, Vienna, Sweden, Kazakhstan, New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere have programmed her works for chamber groups, opera, cantatas, and presented her as a performer. Her operas celebrate legendary figures such as Pope Joan, Eurydice, Marie Laveau, the American Housewife, and Aldous Huxley. Her current opera-in-progress, LSD: Huxley’s Last Trip, was awarded one of the first Discovery Grants from Opera America. The orchestra includes instruments built by American composer and inventor Harry Partch. Excerpts have been performed at three LA venues: at the Wallis Annenberg Theater in Beverly Hills, at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, and at the REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles. 

websiteOpens in new window


Week 4: Brightwork new music, Stacey Fraser, soprano and music technology: Pamela Madsen, Vera Ivanova, Ian Dicke, George Crumb, Somei Satoh, Annie Gosfield 


Program BookOpens in new window

May 6th 
3PM: InterArts Collaboration: Quintan Ana Wikswo, Jen Kutler, Pamela Madsen, Opera and Technology-multi-media, electronics 

Watch hereOpens in new window

May 7th

3PM Concert

Dream Sequence (Images II)
by George Crumb
for violin, cello, piano, and percussion
[with offstage glass harmonica]

Electrostatic Whale
by Vera Ivanova
for bass clarinet and sound track

Birds in Warped Time II
by Somei Satoh
for violin and piano

by Ian Dicke
for flute, vibraphone, and live audio processing

Selections from Eleven Eleisons-from East to West
by Pamela Madsen
for soprano, piano, bass clarinet, electronics, video

I. Echo: Empathy Superimposition
for soprano, piano, with CSUF New Music Ensemble, electronics and video

II. The Necessary 
for spoken voice, piano, electronics, and video Pamela Madsen, piano

III. Owl’s Breath 
For bass clarinet, electronics and video

IV. The Birds Here 
for soprano, piano, spoken voice, electronics and video

Brightwork Ensemble is Sara Adon - flutes, Aron Kllay - piano, Maggie Parkins - cello, Nick Terry - percussion, Shalini Vijayan - violin, Brian Walsh - clarinets

Watch hereOpens in new window

brightwork new music

Brightwork New Music

Stacey Fraser

Stacey Fraser, soprano

Brightwork newmusic was founded in 2013 by pianist Aron Kallay. The mission of the 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation is to enliven and expand contemporary classical music with a focus on West Coast composers and performers. The members of our in-house ensemble, Brightwork, are among the best chamber musicians in the world. The ensemble strives to find new and exciting ways to connect with audiences in the United States and abroad by presenting friendly and exciting concerts in both traditional and non-traditional spaces. Our flagship concert series Tuesday @ Monk Space presents world-class musicians along with the most promising up-and-coming local, national, and international musicians. Through our educational outreach program, Project Beacon, we work closely with young musicians and composers across Southern California. Our goal is to empower the next generation of artists through residencies with youth orchestras and universities, student composer readings, masterclasses, and workshops.

websiteOpens in new window

Described as having a “wonderfully controlled soprano voice” by Alex Ross of the New York Times and “an astonishing presence” by Jennifer de Poyen of the San Diego Union Tribune, Canadian soprano Stacey Fraser’s eclectic musical interests have led her to sing on international operatic, concert and theatre stages across the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe. She has appeared as a soloist for the San Diego Opera, the Tony Award winning La Jolla Playhouse, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Taipei National Concert Hall in Taiwan, ISCM Taiwan, the Musicasa Concert Hall in Tokyo, Japan, the Thailand Composition Festival, the Americké Jaro Festival in Prednasek, Czech Republic, Red Square Gallery Hong Kong, the Festival Eduardo Mata in Oaxaca, Mexico, Vancouver Symphony, Kazan Co-Op Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, South Dakota Symphony, La Jolla Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Banff Centre, Tanglewood Music Center, Asia Society NYC, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and the world renowned La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York City.

websiteOpens in new window


WEEK 5: The Future of Opera—CSUF Students and Alumni 

May 12th

3PM: Composer workshop with Missy Mazzoli, with Stacey Fraser, soprano and Alastair Edmonstone, pianists, and CSUF student composers

Watch hereOpens in new window

May 13th

3PM: Panel - The Art of Storytelling—Composer to Composer Dialogue

With guest artists:  CSUF Students and alum -Opera of the future-Curated by CSUF Student  Nina Crecia, Moderator,

Student composers: Grant Escandon, Victor Gutierrez, Lorna Katz. Guest Alumni composers, Andrew Wilcox, Geoffery Munger 

Watch hereOpens in new window

May 14th

3PM: The Future of Opera -Alumni Concert

Works by CSUF Alumni

Curated by CSUF student Victor Gutierrez.

Featuring CSUF Alumni composers: 
Jon Brenner, Chase Chandler, Craig Michael Davis, Steven Homestead, Kristian De Leon, Geoffery Munger, David Stevens, Cassandra Venaglia, Andrew Wilcox, Jordan Wainwright. 

Watch hereOpens in new window

Program BookOpens in new window

May 15th

4PM: CSUF composer Nina Crecia’s Opera premiere “The Little Prince” (Live Facebook event)

Watch hereOpens in new window

Program BookPDF File Opens in new window


The following student composition recitals will be live streamed on the School of Music facebook page.  

The live-stream will appear in the timeline approximately 5 minutes before start time.

A facebook account is not required to view the live-streams.

May 17th

6PM: Composers Forum, Ken Walicki, Director

May 18th

8PM: Eric Fregoso, Composition Recital

May 19th

8PM: Sean-Paul Guow, Composition Recital

May 20th

8PM: Victor Gutierrez, Composition Recital

May 21st

8PM: Grande Coles, Composition Recital


missy mazzoli

Missy Mazzoli

Recently deemed “one of the more consistently inventive, surprising composers now working in New York” (NY Times), “Brooklyn’s post-millennial Mozart” (Time Out NY), and praised for her “apocalyptic imagination” (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), Missy Mazzoli has had her music performed by the Kronos Quartet, LA Opera, eighth blackbird, the BBC Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Scottish Opera and many others. In 2018 she became, along with Jeanine Tesori, one of the first woman to receive a main stage commission from the Metropolitan Opera, and was nominated for a Grammy award in the category of “Best Classical Composition”. She is currently the Mead Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and from 2012-2015 was Composer-in-Residence with Opera Philadelphia. Her 2018 opera Proving Up, created with longtime collaborator librettist Royce Vavrek and based on a short story by Karen Russell, is a surreal commentary on the American dream. It was commissioned and premiered by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha and Miller Theatre, and was deemed “harrowing… a true opera for its time” by the Washington Post. Her 2016 opera Breaking the Waves, commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and Beth Morrison Projects, was called “one of the best 21st-century American operas yet” by Opera News. Breaking the Waves received its European premiere at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival; future performances are planned at LA Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and the Adelaide Festival. Her next opera, The Listeners, will premiere in 2021 at the Norwegian National Opera and Opera Philadelphia. In 2016, Missy and composer Ellen Reid founded Luna Lab, a mentorship program for young female composers created in partnership with the Kaufman Music Center. Her works are published by G. Schirmer. 

websiteOpens in new window