My First Recording


That's a litle over-statement, since my contribution to Mark Adamo's new release is minor. Don't worry. I don't sing. I do narrate a sublime piece composed by Mark in honor of those who died in the plague years in San Francisco, "Late Victorians". The text is by Richard Rodriguez. Here's the description of the piece:

Acclaimed as ‘one of the best opera composers of the moment’, American composer-librettist Mark Adamo has also ventured into symphonic composition and other fields in each of which his theatrical sensitivity, political commitment and musical mastery are equally evident. The vivacity of his Overture to Lysistrata accentuates the play’s anti-war theme, while Alcott Music rethinks the music from his hit opera Little Women. Regina Coeli pays tribute to the Queen of Heaven and Late Victorians is dedicated both to the memory of those who have died and to those who have survived AIDS.

As a proud survivor, I found Mark's work painfully moving, and am honored to have narrated it. He writes about it here. You can buy it here and here as a download. Amazon's four-star review:

"Late Victorians" is a great piece about a terrible thing. It is a sonic essay commemorating the losses of the AIDS plague in late 80's San Francisco. Composer Adamo evokes this in a theatrical collage of spoken word, operatic poetry, and bittersweet music. The narrative voice, based on Richard Rodriguez's essays, carries the tone of his spare, wise, sad clarity. Hardwon, wounded, a stark certainty come to from quiet, persistent, painful shifts. Stripped down to life and death, each moment becomes an epiphany, each memory a parting gift. Andrew Sullivan deftly narrates in harmony alongside soprano Emily Pulley, who instills melodic ease into unflinching lines from Emily Dickinson. Pulley in particular delivers a delicate balancing act of operatic beauty, witty phrasing, and topical modernity.