About the Grant

$30,000 to support Song From The Uproar (MAP 2011), a 70-minute, multimedia opera conceived by composer Missy Mazzoli and filmmaker Stephen Taylor in collaboration with librettist Royce Vavrek and stage director Gia Forakis and performed by the acclaimed NOW Ensemble, mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer and a four-person chorus.

About the Project

The text for Song From the Uproar is based on the journals of explorer Isabelle Eberhardt (1877–1904), one of the most enigmatic and unusual women of her era. At age twenty, following the tragic deaths of her parents and brother, she left her native Switzerland and adopted a nomadic and unfettered existence in the lonely and hostile landscapes of North Africa. While traveling on horseback across deserts and mountain ranges, she documented her travels through extensive journals and short stories that evoke both the Spartan landscape and the vibrant cultures she encountered. In 1901, she fell in love with an Algerian soldier named Slimene Ehnni and they began a chaotic relationship marked by dramatic fights, long separations, and passionate reunions. Isabelle defied the conventions of her time: she dressed as a man, traveled alone, drank, smoked, and joined a Sufi brotherhood that typically excluded women. At age 27, Isabelle—having survived illnesses, deportations, heartbreak, and even an attempt on her life—drowned in a flash flood in the desert. Pages from the journals that make up much of the libretto were pulled from the wreckage of this flood. Song From the Uproar will have its premiere in the Spring 2012 at The Kitchen in New York, New York.

Related Websites

The Kitchen


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