Robert Browning Associates in partnership with Flamenco Festival presents Esperanza Fernández & Gonzalo Rubalcaba.
Esperanza Fernández, one of the flamenco world’s leading singers, and Havana-born pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, “one of the greatest musicians in jazz” (New York Times), come together for Oh Vida!, an evening dedicated to two legendary figures: Cuban singer-bandleader Beny Moré, known as El Bárbaro del Ritmo, and the Gypsy flamenco singer Manolo Caracol, known for his duende-fuelled voice. Fernández, born in Seville into an important Gypsy family of artists, is deeply rooted in the singing traditions of Lebrija and Triana and has lent her rich, soulful voice to performances with such luminaries as Mario Maya, Camarón de la Isla, and Enrique Morente.
Grammy award-winning Rubalcaba, acclaimed for his solid technique and originality, has developed his own distinctive voice and challenged the traditional musical classifications of the day.
“invigorating…Ms. Fernandez’s mezzo-soprano has a gritty sound that is indispensable for this passionate, earthy music” – New York Times
“a pianist of almost supernatural abilities” – New York Times
Tickets: $40; students & seniors $36
Commissioned by The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
Jen Shyu (composition, vocals, gayageum, Taiwanese moon lute, piano) Satoshi Haga (choreography, dance) Mivos Quartet:Olivia De Prato (1st violin) Leah Asher (2nd violin) Victor Lowrie (viola) Mariel Roberts (cello) Jade Tongue:Thomas Morgan (bass), Dan Weiss (drums), and others TBA
This new full-length composition, Song of Silver Geese, is a multilingual, ritual music drama, composed for dancer-improviser Satoshi Haga, Jen Shyu’s core ensemble Jade Tongue, and the Mivos Quartet, and Shyu on vocals, dance, gayageum, Taiwanese (Shyu’s father’s birthplace) moon lute, and East Timorese (mother’s birthplace) lakadou. The work is inspired by Shyu’s 12-plus years of study of traditional music from four specific countries: epic storytelling (Pansori) and East Coast shaman music (DongHaeAhnByeolShinGut), both from Korea; music from subdistricts Aileu and Ataúro from East Timor; Hengchun Folk Song with moon lute from Taiwan; Ledhekan, which combines Javanese dance with improvisational singing (Sindhenan) from Indonesia.
Dancer Satoshi Haga is Shyu’s foil, as they switch and blur the roles of male and female in their portrayal of four main characters: the Timorese female warrior Ho’a Nahak Samane Oan, who disguises herself as a man to defeat a rival king; “Baridegi” from Korean folklore, known as the first shaman, whose journey story is strikingly similar to that of of Ho’a Nahak Samane Oan; the half-blind, nomadic Taiwanese moon lute virtuoso Chen Da, who defined Hengchun Folk Song, becoming a national icon for Taiwanese independence from China; a universal character, who cannot accept death and begs for rebirth, based on Javanese shadow puppeteer master and friend who, at the age of 30 in 2014, died in a car crash with his wife and 11-month old baby. Through both narrative and abstract, integrative music-movement methodologies, these four characters will interact as a microcosm of the parallels that exist in the universe and the great necessity for empathy among cultures, thereby defying assumptions that currently divide humanity.