I’ve been meeting with the creative team that will be working with the Music-Theatre Group to produce my chamber opera Arjuna’s Dilemma, which will be toured to various venues during 2008. It’ll be staged by noted opera director Robin Guarino. Along with the stage action, there will be still images and video projections on a variety of visual backgrounds. The whole project is being coordinated by Diane Wondisford of the Music-Theatre Group, who has been working with me for nearly seven years to make this piece a reality.
The documentary film Crazy Love, about the bizarre and dysfunctional relationship between Burt Pugach and Linda Weiss, is now available on DVD. My score for the film features trumpeter Chris Botti and pianist Billy Childs.
Chanticleer’s And On Earth, Peace CD is getting some great reviews: "Chief among the mass’s attractions is the Kyrie of Tucson-born Douglas J. Cuomo. Bay Area-raised, the New Yorker’s equal facility with the sacred and the profane (his oeuvre extends from a sacred cantata on the Bhagavad Gita to the theme for the TV series Sex and the City) has created an irresistible work that moves from heavenly simplicity to contrapuntal complexity." —San Francisco Examiner (Jason Victor Serinus)
"In the Kyrie it was Eric Allatore whose rich bass practically set the basillic vibrating. A fine spun backdrop that evoked the slow melting of a brilliant pane of glass, the effect was rather awesome." —San Jose Mercury News
"Cuomo’s Kyrie is one of the most musically striking of the newly commissioned movements. His eclectic use of speech juxtaposed with tightly chromatic clusters is hugely effective musically, as well as awe-inspiring for the security with which Chanticleer performs it." —All Music Guide (Stephen Eddins)
A Warner Classics recording is now available for And On Earth, Peace, the Mass commissioned by Chanticleer, for which I composed the Kyrie. It can be ordered directly from the group’s website, or downloaded here. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have both run extensive articles on the disc.
The New York Times says, "Chanticleer, the San Francisco-based choir, has commissioned a new Mass, And on Earth, Peace, whose very conception raises these and other questions about music and religion. Joseph Jennings, the music director of Chanticleer, a 12-man a cappella chorus, asked five composers each to set one of the five standard sections of the Roman Catholic Mass: Kyrie, Credo, Sanctus, Gloria and Agnus Dei…. The Kyrie by the American composer Douglas J. Cuomo (who also wrote the theme song for HBO’s Sex and the City) [sounds] distinctly of this century. But a reverent spirit infuses the whole."
In the WSJ, Barrymore Laurence Scherer wrote, "The Mass is both beautiful and deeply moving. But most surprising about this ’score by committee’ is its overall stylistic cohesion and sense of historic continuity."
The Chanticleer vocal ensemble has commissioned five contemporary composers to write sections of And On Earth, Peace: A Chanticleer Mass, premiering at the Temple of Dendur at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 26. I am composing the Kyrie portion. This will be a unique opportunity to hear a collaborative work between composers with distinct cultural and musical backgrounds.
The documentary film Crazy Love, about the bizarre and dysfunctional relationship between Burt Pugach and Linda Weiss, was sold at Sundance to Magnolia Pictures and will bereleased theatrically sometime in 2007. My score for the film features trumpeter Chris Botti and pianist Billy Childs.
On May 6, Music-Theatre Group will present a 20-minute excerpt from Arjuna's Dilemma at New York City Opera's VOX On The Edge 2006 program at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University.
On July 7, WNYC featured music from Arjuna's Dilemma on their New Sounds program, hosted by John Schaefer.
I'm finishing the mixing of the recording of Arjuna's Dilemma, with the engineer Frank Wolf. It's been an extremely involved recording process of an extremely involved piece and the end is now in sight. I hope to post something detailing the unique way that we've recorded this piece and the kind of work that Frank did to make it sound the way it does.