Alexa Babakhanian will be artist in residence at Lincoln Center this Spring performing her original songs and exerpts from her work Lady Liberty and a premiere of her new work inspired by Shakespeare.
She will collaborate with Lori Parquet (The Public Theater and Susan Iadone (The Met)
Babakhanian presented her original libretto and orchestral score for her Opera "Lady Liberty And The Women Of Don Quijote" with Teatro Real and performed excerpts in Madrid at the residence of The U.S. Ambassador for members of Teatro Real and other notables.
Miguel Zanetti (Teresa Berganza) encouraged Babakhanian upon hearing her song cycle "Las Damas De Don Quijote", deeming it worthy of being part of the Spanish Song Repertoire.
Babakhanian recently sang and performed her original music with members of Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble at Lincoln Center.
Babakhanian's Dramatic Song Cycle "Las Damas De Don Quijote" inspired by the women from Cervantes' masterpiece was performed in New York City at Lincoln Center's Bruno Walter Auditorium. It received rounds of standing ovations to a full house.
Here is a nice review:
It was also recently discussed and performed in Madrid in a program entitled "Women in Music."
Here is a positive review of the Madrid concert and her work:
Babakhanian's new work is based upon the notion that Amelia Bassano was Shakepeare's "Dark Lady" featured in his Sonnets.
“I am fascinated by Amelia Bassano, a Venetian “Mullato” hidden Jew and a member of the Bassano Family (who were the musicians of The Elizabethan Court.) She was the first woman poet to be published in England and highly regarded. Orphaned at age seven, Bassano was taken in by Lord Willoughby’s sister, Lady Bertie and at 13 became Mistress of Lord Hunsdon, Queen Elizabeth’s half brother and the illegitimate son of Henry the 8th. Lord Hunsdon was patron of Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the acting group of the royal court of which Shakespeare was a member. She is widely considered to be Shakepeare’s Dark Lady portrayed in his famous Sonnet.
Some think she may have written some of Shakespeare’s work. The Globe Theater recently commissioned a play “Emilia!” played entirely by women in which her character accuses Shakespeare of stealing her ideas. She was a fascinating figure in her own right.
I look forward to immortalizing her life and work in my Opera!"
Babakhanian was recently featured on WFDU singing and performing her original songs on Lynn Crystal's program "Carnival of Song."
I will be featured on WNYC's NEW SOUNDS podcast as well as WQXR...stay tuned!
Originally performed by Mezzo Sopranos Carina Vinke and Rose Kue and Pianist and Composer Alexa Babakhanian in Granada,Spain. The song cycle was presented to Miguel Zanetti, collaborative pianist and coach to Teresa Berganza and others. Zanetti considered Las Damas De Don Quijote worthy of being part of the standard Spanish Song Repertoire. Each song is inspired by actual women characters from Cervantes' novel. Cervantes was a visionary and a feminist and it is the women who truly reign and shine in his novel. I tried to capture the melodrama, humor, campiness and poignancy of his brilliant portrait painting in my original text and music.