February 23-25, 2023 at 8pm / February 26 at 2pm
Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble is proud to announce the world premiere of BABA: The Life and Death of Stana, authored, composed and directed by Karmina Silec. BABA is a new opera inspired by the lives of sworn virgins of the Balkan Highlands, women who live as men after taking lifelong vows of celibacy. Sworn virgins’ motives for gender transformation are social responsibility and family honor, as opposed to sexual preference or feelings of being male by nature.
For more than four decades, Kitka has shared a vast repertoire of traditional and contemporary music from Eastern Europe, while also creating adventurous original work inspired by the polyphonic vocal sonorities rooted in this part of the world. Kitka’s commitment to supporting new music has been borne out through collaborations with such distinguished composers as David Lang, Chen Yi, Eric Banks, Pauline Oliveros, Mariana Sadovska, Richard Einhorn and Meredith Monk.
Karmina Silec, the artistic director and conductor of Carmina Slovenica, New Music Theater Choregie and Ensemble Kebataola!, has brought freshness and originality to the world of vocal music and theater. As a conductor and director, she has led projects with numerous theater companies, opera houses and ensembles worldwide. Silec has received two Music Theatre NOW awards, the Robert Edler Prize for Choral Music and, together with her companies, the Golden Mask and more than 20 other international awards. In the United States she may be best known for Toxic Psalms, which had its premiere at the 2015 Prototype Festival in Brooklyn, New York. “Vibrantly theatrical, genre-blurring, unusual in its techniques, eclectic in its musical style and politically charged,” exclaimed The New York Times.
BABA presents a multidisciplinary and non-narrative take on Balkan epic storytelling traditions, while exploring themes of gender, custom and the complexities of interpreting the category of the sworn virgin through a liberal Western gaze.
Presented by KITKA Women’s Vocal Ensemble.
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