Tori Amos is a truly captivating performer. Example: I made the mistake of keeping the youtube track running as I was coming up with this intro and quickly forgot how to form words in my brain and type them, as her voice overrode my mental circuits. Amos runs the vocal gamut in Yes Anastasia, which is also quite a compositional feat, positively Schubertian in the cyclical nature of its material. As SNL’s Stefon would say, this song has everything: spectral Russian duchesses, a two minute piano solo, symphonic strings out of nowhere, gut-punching irony. I don’t claim to be entirely sure what it’s about, but when I heard it for the first time as a teenager I know I received some kind of message, about the infinite possibilities offered by songwriting and the dangers of being a woman in this world. We’ll see how brave you are.
Tori Amos: Yes Anastasia
select author’s name to read all of their posts
Kate Soper is a composer, performer, and writer whose work explores the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure, the slippery continuums of expressivity, intelligibility and sense, and the wonderfully treacherous landscape of the human voice. She has been hailed by the Boston Globe as “a composer of trenchant, sometimes discomfiting, power” and praised by the New Yorker for her “limpid, exacting vocalism, impetuous theatricality, and mastery of modernist style.” Her large-scale works include the song cycle/monodrama Voices from the Killing Jar, the opera with original libretto Here Be Sirens, and the chamber music theatre piece IPSA DIXIT, which was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. Upcoming projects include Missing Scenes for soprano and chamber orchestra and a new opera with original libretto, The Romance of the Rose. Since 2006, Kate has been a co-director and vocalist for Wet Ink, a New York-based new music ensemble.
Hear Kate perform excerpts from The Romance of the Rose in NYFOS Next: Kate Soper & Friends on March 28 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music.