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Sawyer: Our American Cousin / Gil Rose, Boston Modern Orchestra Project

Album Summary

>Sawyer, Eric : Our American Cousin
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Our American Cousin" is a monumental work of American contemporary opera, which draws upon the tragic events of Abraham Lincoln's assassination. A collaborative invention of composer Eric Sawyer and librettist John Shoptaw, the opera juxtaposes past with present, comedy with tragedy, musical period references with operatic genre pieces, all within a language of lyrical extended tonality. Featuring Janna Baty, Alan Schneider, and Aaron Engebreth in the principal roles, "Our American Cousin" beautifully conveys the theme of forgiving and forgetting and echoes Lincoln's plea for reconciliation: "With malice toward none, with charity for all... let us strive... to bind up the nation's wounds."

"Particularly effective is mezzo-soprano Baty, a vocally and interpretively commanding presence as the principal actress of the company. Hers is a rich voice, well placed and solid through the range. Just as strong and commanding is the forceful Booth and Tom O'Toole. There is plenty of serious intent in his characterization, strongly sung." - Charles H. Parsons (American Record Guide)

"This is one of the freshest, most ambitious new American operas I've heard in ages. Instead of taking up once again some cinematic or literary retread, it actually dares to use original material. And it also dares to take up historical events and musical tropes without succumbing to mere costume drama." - Robert Carl (Fanfare)


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Works Details

>Sawyer, Eric : Our American Cousin
  • Conductor: Gil Rose
  • Ensemble: Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Running Time: 124 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 2007