Pine Eyes by Martin Bresnick
A dark and delightful evening-length chamber work based on Carlo Collodi's beloved The Adventures of Pinocchio, Pine Eyes is a rich mixture of music and words—a compelling adventure for the imagination that will captivate audiences of all ages. Narrator Nicholas Nelson joins Zeitgeist to create a fantastic tale of transformation and discovery with plenty of the bewitchment, adventure, and heroism so crucial to a good fairy tale.
Pine Eyes was written by Martin Bresnick for Zeitgeist in 2008, and was commissioned by and premiered at the Walker Art Center. Pine Eyes is part of Bresnick’s body of work Opere della Musica Povera (Works of a Poor Music), which explores themes of poverty, extremity, and loss. The composer uses limited visual and musical resource to create work of gorgeous simplicity, great depth, and captivating immediacy.
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Nicholas Nelson is a native Minnesotan singer and actor. This past fall he performed the roles of Stephano in The Tempest and The Duke/Valdes in Doctor Faustus with Classical Actors Ensemble. His operatic work in 2015 included performances as Sarastro in The Magic Flute with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and as Colline in La Bohème with Lakes Area Music Festival. In 2014, Nelson appeared as Larkens in La Fanciulla del West with Minnesota Opera. From 2010-13, Nelson was a Resident Artist at Portland Opera, where he performed such roles as the Mandarin in Turandot, Inigo Gomez in L'heure Espagnole, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Angelotti in Tosca, Pistola in Falstaff, and The Pope/Cardinal Barberini in Philip Glass's Galileo Galilei. Nelson has also sung roles with Tacoma Opera, Opera North and Central City Opera, and frequently appears in recital for The Schubert Club. In 2015 he performed Stockhausen's monumental Stimmung at Zeitgeist’s Early Music Festival. This fall he will be featured in Nimbus Theatre's new adaptation of The Kalevala. Nelson studied at The University of Minnesota as a student of Glenda Maurice. When not busy singing or acting, Nelson also performs as a guitarist and thereminist.
Martin Bresnick's compositions, from opera, chamber and symphonic music to film scores and computer music, are performed throughout the world. Bresnick delights in reconciling the seemingly irreconcilable, bringing together repetitive gestures derived from minimalism with a harmonic palette that encompasses both highly chromatic sounds and more open, consonant harmonies and a raw power reminiscent of rock. At times his musical ideas spring from hardscrabble sources, often with a very real political import. But his compositions never descend into agitprop; one gains their meaning by the way the music itself unfolds, and always on its own terms.
Besides having received many prizes and commissions, the first Charles Ives Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Rome Prize, The Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Koussevitzky Commission, among many others, Martin Bresnick is also recognized as an influential teacher of composition. Students from every part of the globe and of virtually every musical inclination have been inspired by his critical encouragement.
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