Music for Voice: Cycles, Mashups, and Machinic Rhapsodies
Metropolis Ensemble with BabX
Music for Voice: Cycles, Mashups, and Machinic Rhapsodies
Metropolis Ensemble with BabX

with Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano, Kiera Duffy, soprano, David Babin from BabX, Mohammed Fairouz, composer & Andrew Cyr, conductor

Thu January 1st, 1970


Main Space

Minimum Age: All Ages

Doors Open: 6:00PM

Show Time: 7:00PM

Event Ticket: $10 / $15 / $30 / $75

event description event description

Join Metropolis Ensemble’s celebration of song and contemporary lyricism in a concert featuring 3 extraordinarily talents from a new generation of star singers, Kate Lindsey, Kiera Duffy, and David Babin (along with members of his celebrated band from Paris, BabX). Music for Voice will be an unforgettable evening of kaleidoscopic textures, soaring melody, and elegiac poetry.
David Babin: Why Birds** (world premiere)
-Singer-songwriter David Babin and BabX (with Metropolis Ensemble) perform their new pocket opera arranged by Clovis Labarrière about the life of scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla.
Hector Berlioz: Les Nuits d’Ete* six re-imaginations for chamber ensemble, electronics (V), and voice — world premiere featuring soprano Kiera Duffy
I: Villanelle (Vivian Fung)
II: Le Spectre de la Rose (Ryan Francis)
III: Sur les Lagunes (Caroline Shaw)
IV: Absence (Brad Balliett)
V: Air: Morbidly Tender (Au Cimetière) (Nicholas Britell)
VI: L’Ile Inconnue (Sayo Kosugi)
*Metropolis Ensemble Commission
Mohammed Fairouz: Audenesque* (world premiere)
-A new song cycle for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra, featuring Kate Lindsey, Audenesque sets elegiac poems by W.H. Auden and Seamus Heaney.
*Commission by ROKI for Kate Lindsey and Metropolis Ensemble
**Metropolis Ensemble commissions
Mohammed Fairouz’s Audenesque sets W. H. Auden’s celebrated poem In Memory of W. B. Yeats and the title text, an elegy by Nobel Prize-winning contemporary Irish poet Seamus Heaney that also references Joseph Brodsky, who died on the anniversary of Yeats’s passing. “Seamus and I first spoke about his poem when we were discussing poetry for a different collaboration,” says Fairouz. “It became clear to me that setting his poem with Auden’s in a cyclical form would present an irresistible arch of influence; a conversation linking Yeats, Eliot, Brodsky and Heaney.”
VIP Opera Box: $75 / $50 (for Metropolis members/patrons)
Table Seats: $30/ $20 (for Metropolis members/patrons)
Standing/Bar: $15
Students (Standing/Bar): $10
Table seating for all seated shows is reserved exclusively for ticket holders who purchase “Table Seating” tickets. By purchasing a “Table Seating” ticket you agree to also purchase a minimum of two food and/or beverage items per person. Table seating is first come, first seated. Please arrive early for the best choice of available seats. Seating begins when doors open. Tables are communal so you may be seated with other patrons. We do not take table reservations.
A standing room area is available by the bar for all guests who purchase “Standing Room” tickets. Food and beverage can be purchased at the bar but there is no minimum purchase required in this area.
All tickets sales are final. No refund or credits.

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Music for Voice: Cycles, Mashups, and Machinic Rhapsodies
Metropolis Ensemble with BabX

Metropolis Ensemble is a professional chamber orchestra and ensemble dedicated to making classical music in its most contemporary forms. Led by conductor Andrew Cyr, Metropolis Ensemble gathers today’s most outstanding emerging composers and young performing artists to produce innovative concert experiences. Founded in 2006, Metropolis Ensemble has commissioned and premiered over 75 works of music from a dynamic mix of composers and has appeared at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival, The Wordless Music Series, Celebrate Brooklyn, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, (Le) Poisson Rouge, and The Brooklyn Academy of Music. Join the community at www.metropolisensemble.org

Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano

This season, rising star mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Annio in Clemenza di Tito and to the Los Angeles Opera as Angelina in La Centerentola,, appears on tour with the Cercle de l’Harmonie in Europe, and makes her debut at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival as Kompanist in Ariadne auf Naxos. She has already appeared in many of the world’s prestigious opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Bayerische Staatsoper, the Aix-en-Provence, Festival, Lille Opera, and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Her growing repertoire includes Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Idamante in Idomeneo, Hansel in Hansel und Gretel, and Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. She also created the title role in the premiere of Daron Hagen’s Amelia at the Seattle Opera.

An accomplished concert singer, Ms. Lindsey sang the premiere performances of a new commission by John Harbison with James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has also appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Met Chamber Orchestra (in Carnegie Hall), and at the Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart festivals, and has worked with many of the world’s most distinguished conductors including Emmanuelle Haim, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, David Robertson, and Franz Welser-Möst In recital, she has been presented by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Rockefeller University in New York City.

Ms. Lindsey recently starred in the Metropolitan Opera’s HD broadcast of its new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann. She was also featured in its broadcast of The Magic Flute which was subsequently released on DVD.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Ms. Lindsey holds a Bachelor of Music Degree with Distinction from Indiana University and is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Her many awards include a prestigious 2011 grant from the Festival Musique et Vin au Clos Vougeot the 2007 Richard F. Gold Career Grant, the 2007 George London Award in memory of Lloyd Rigler, the 2007 Lincoln Center Martin E. Segal Award, and a 2006 Sullivan Foundation Grant.

August 2012
Photo Credit: Dario Acosta

Kiera Duffy, soprano

American soprano Kiera Duffy is recognized for both her gleaming high soprano and insightful musicianship in repertoire that encompasses Handel, Bach, and Mozart to the modern sounds of Berg, Glass, and Zorn.

For the 2012 – 2013 season, Kiera Duffy makes her Metropolitan Opera debut as a Flower Maiden in the new production of Parsifal under Daniele Gatti, which will also be an HD broadcast, and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. On the concert stage, she returns to the Atlanta Symphony under Donald Runnicles in Debussy’s La damoiselle élue and New World Symphony in Mahler’s 4th Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas. She also debuts with the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig in Carmina Burana under Kristjan Järvi and records the same work with Sony Records. She will also be seen at the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center in a program of George Crumb and a New York City recital debut with Roger Vignoles at Rockefeller University.

Ms. Duffy’s 2011-2012 season included her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Handel’s Messiah, as well as joining the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in their new original baroque fantasy The Enchanted Island. She returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) under music director Gustavo Dudamel for performances in Los Angeles and on tour in Caracas, which was simulcast in movie theaters across North America. She was also heard under Michael Tilson Thomas in David del Tredici’s Syzygy with the New World Symphony in Miami and San Francisco Symphony in San Francisco, then on tour to Ann Arbor and Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York. In the summer, Ms. Duffy returned to the LA Philharmonic in Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate under Dudamel and Berio’s Recital for Cathy in their Green Umbrella Series. Ms. Duffy’s first commercial recording “Richard Strauss: The Complete Songs, Volume 5” with legendary pianist Roger Vignoles was just released on Hyperion Records, following her very successful Wigmore Hall debut with Vignoles in 2010. Ms. Duffy began her prolific concert career with her New York Philharmonic debut in Pierre Boulez’s Pli selon pli: “Improvisation II sur Mallarmé” under the baton of Lorin Maazel, then returned as Venus in the critically acclaimed performances of György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre under Alan Gilbert. She has gone on to sing György Ligeti’s seminal works, Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures for her first performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has since returned in Pierrot Lunaire and Unsuk Chin’s Cantatrix Sopranica. Ms. Duffy debuted with the San Francisco Symphony in Messiah and returned in Mozart’s Requiem and Feldman’s Rothko Chapel, both under Michael Tilson Thomas. She made her London Symphony Orchestra debut singing Cunegonde in Candide under Kristjan Järvi, Atlanta Symphony debut with Mozart’s Coronation Mass under Roberto Abbado, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra debut in Carmina Burana with Andreas Delfs, and sang Berg’s Lulu Suite with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein at Bard Summerscape. Ms. Duffy has appeared with much success at the Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Despina in Così fan tutte, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, and the US premiere of Elliot Carter’s What Next?, all under the baton of James Levine. In addition to her varied work in modern music, Ms. Duffy excels in baroque music and has worked extensively with the baroque ensemble Apollo’s Fire, most notably for performances and a recording of Handel’s music written for the British monarchy and in Michael Praetorius’s Christmas “Vespers”. Other concert appearances have included engagements with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra for her Carnegie Hall debut, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Fort Smith Symphony, Palm Beach Symphony, California Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, and the Metropolis Ensemble at New York’s newest destination: The Times Center.

Ms. Duffy was a finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is featured in the film “The Audition” which has recently been released on DVD by Decca. On the operatic stage, Ms. Duffy has been seen as Queen Tye in Philip Glass’ Akhnaten and Despina in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at Atlanta Opera, Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Elvira in the L’italiana in Algeri, as well as the Dew Fairy in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Ghita in Vicente Martín y Soler’s rarely performed opera Una cosa rara at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Violet Beauregard in the European premiere of The Golden Ticket and Florestine in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles at the Wexford Festival, and the Center for Contemporary Opera’s new production of Morton Feldman’s only “anti-opera” Neither at the Brut Wien. Her varied operatic repertoire has also taken Ms. Duffy to New York City Opera’s VOX Showcase for John Zorn’s monodrama La machine de l’être, the Spoleto Festival for Pascal Dusapin’s To God, and Arizona Opera as Fatmé in Grétry’s Zémire et Azor.

Kiera Duffy was an accomplished pianist before pursuing singing and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. Ms. Duffy is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition from such esteemed organizations as the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Competition, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and the Young Concert Artists International Competition.

David Babin from BabX

“Don’t talk to him about his mass of black hair, though it’s hard to separate the zig zags of curls from the idea that they are the sparks from the electricity going on in his mind. His appetite for creation and to bring his music to all forms of art has been a constant for David Babin since he was a teenager .

Singer/ songwriter/arranger/ pianist, he broke into the recording industry in under the pseudonym, BabX, releasing 2 acclaimed albums, “BabX” in 2006 and “Cristal Ballroom” in 2009 (in which he collaborated with Francophile guitarist, Marc Ribot, and the master sound engineer, Oz Fritz). The first was recorded almost by accident. He had been working on other projects, notably writing original music for a theater troop in which he was also an actor. This led to writing his first songs. The ambiance of the theater and cabaret has creeped into his music giving it density and intemporality.

From the beginning, he knew that he wanted to keep his independence as an artist and that prompted him to co-create a label, Karbaoui Records. His albums were licensed to Warner Music France.

Born in 1981, David Babin grew up surrounded by music: the practice of it and the study of it. His grandfather was a conductor and his mother a pianist and musicologist. The piano has always been his main instrument, but he plays the saxophone, keyboards and enough guitar to get by. He was a student at L’Ecole des Enfants du Spectacle which permitted him to dedicate himself to music while going to school. He also studied at the Bill Evans Piano Academy where he learned jazz.

This fan of Bob Wilson and Tom Waits started earning a living in music at the age of 17, giving lessons to children and directing an adult choir. The experience gave him the tools to become a producer and arranger.

After touring in Europe and in Quebec, Babin put his career as a singer on hold. He returned to the theater writing the music to “Noctiluque” with his “alter ego”, the guitarist Gregory Dargent, for the Japanese choreographer and dancer Kaori Ito (James Thierré, Philippe Découflé,Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui…) .

During this time, Babin also wrote music for short films and documentaries. He created “Cristal Automatique” at the Parisian theater, Les Bouffes du Nord. The idea was to adapt the writings of the “punk poets” of literature, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Rimbaud or Baudelaire, to stage. What interested Babin was to express “the electric side of their poetry”.

David Babin’s love of recording and production brought him back into the studio to produce 2 critically and commercially acclaimed albums for 2 rising female stars in France: the eponymous “Camelia Jordana” and “Initiale” by L. The albums went gold and platinum.

Winner of many prestigious prizes such as Le Prix Charles Cros and le Prix Lucien Barrière, he also got a nod from Les Victoires de la Musique, le Prix Constantin and was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition whose jury members included Robert Smith, McCoy Tyner, Tom Waits and more…

Today, David Babin’s desire to explore opera has brought him to his new project with Metropolis Ensemble who he discovered thanks to his faithful accomplice, the French film and video director, Armel Hostiou.

It will be a contemporary opera based on the life of Nikola Tesla, modern pioneer of commercial electricity. Babin has always been attracted to the “architecture” of opera. The idea that “emotions are expressed in musical themes and that if you take away the words, the comprehension and the emotion stays intact”. This idea has always been the basis for the way he writes his songs.

His 3rd album, “Drones personnels” will be released in February 2013 on the label Cinq 7.”

Mohammed Fairouz, composer

Mohammed Fairouz, born in 1985, is one of the most frequently performed, commissioned, and recorded composers of his generation. Hailed by The New York Times as “an important new artistic voice,” his distinctive musical language melds Middle-Eastern modes and Western structures to deeply expressive effect. His large-scale works, including four symphonies and an opera, engage major geopolitical and philosophical themes with persuasive craft and a marked seriousness of purpose. His solo and chamber music attains an “intoxicating intimacy,” according to New York’s WQXR.

A truly cosmopolitan voice, Fairouz had a transatlantic upbringing. By his early teens, the Arab-American composer had traveled across five continents, immersing himself in the musical life of his surroundings. Prominent advocates of his instrumental music include the Borromeo and Lydian String Quartets, the Imani Winds, The Knights Chamber Orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, violinists Rachel Barton Pine and James Buswell, clarinetist David Krakauer, and conductors Gunther Schuller, Fawzi Haimor, and Yoon Jae Lee.

He has been recognized as an “expert in vocal writing” by the New Yorker magazine and as a “post-millennial Schubert” by Gramophone Magazine. Among the eminent singers that have promoted his wealth of vocal music are Kate Lindsey, Sasha Cooke, Lucy Shelton, D’Anna Fortunato, David Kravitz and Randall Scarlata.

Commissions have come from the Borromeo Quartet, Imani Winds, New York Festival of Song, Da Capo Chamber Players, New Juilliard Ensemble, Cantus Vocal Ensemble, Cygnus Ensemble, Counter)induction, Alea III, Musicians for Harmony, and many others. Recordings of his music are available on the Naxos, Bridge, Dorian Sono Luminus, Cedille, Albany, GM/Living Archive, and GPR labels.

Mohammed Fairouz is the subject of a documentary by BBC World Service TV, has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and BBC/PRI’s The World, and has been profiled in Symphony, Strings, New Music Box, and the Houston Chronicle, among others.

His principal teachers in composition have included György Ligeti, Gunther Schuller, and Richard Danielpour, with studies at the Curtis Institute and New England Conservatory. His works are published by Peermusic Classical. He lives in New York City.

photo credit: Samantha West

Andrew Cyr, conductor

Grammy-nominated conductor Andrew Cyr is a leader in the rapidly growing contemporary music scene. His passion for creating platforms for outstanding emerging composers and performing artists to make new music led him to found Metropolis Ensemble in 2006. A multifaceted musician, Cyr has led performances with a number of internationally known musical artists who defy classification, including Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Deerhoof, and Babx. Recent engagements include his debut with the Colorado Symphony in 2013, his off-Broadway debut at New Victory Theatre conducting a new opera by David Bruce, and his debut at Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall as part of Philadelphia’s International Festival of the Arts. Cyr’s latest studio album with Metropolis was released in July on Nonesuch Records, featuring the music of Timo Andres. A native of Fort Kent, Maine, Cyr holds music degrees from Bates College, the French National Conservatory, and Westminster Choir College.

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