MapFund

About the Grant

$30,000 to support DIVIDE LIGHT (MAP 2007), an avant-garde opera created through collaboration between composer Thomas Edward Morgan and visual artist Lesley Dill, working in conjunction with the Del Sol Quartet and the Arts Nova Singers, which contemporizes the complete works of poet Emily Dickinson to link the ground-breaking ideas of the mid-19th century American Transcendental movement to innovations and global concerns in today's rapidly changing world.

About the Project

DIVIDE LIGHT is an avant-garde opera created by composer Thomas Edward Morgan and visual artist Lesley Dill. The project contemporizes the complete works of poet Emily Dickinson to link the ground-breaking ideas of the mid-19th century American Transcendental movement to innovations and global concerns in today’s world. Then, as now, we live in a time dominated by the darkness of human conflict and the light of increased knowledge. By creating an encounter that threads the commonalities of these two periods in time, Morgan and Dill draw audiences into an examination of the co-existing dichotomies of connectedness and conflict that are shaping our contemporary cultural experience.

The performance features Ars Nova Singers, a select number of operatic voices and the Del Sol String Quartet, percussion and electronic music. Large projections on a back screen and multiple scrims of images combine Dill’s black-and-white photographs with text from Dickinson’s poetry. Performers sing Dickinson’s words and wear them scrawled across their costumes. Poems are handed out to the audience and Morgan and Dill direct audience members in reading out loud, the poems they were given. Thus DIVIDE LIGHT musically and visually translates the language of a 19th century philosophical movement. This project is commissioned by Montalvo Arts Center.

Related Websites

Montalvo Arts Center



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