Encore Michigan

World premiere of multi-media work on Robert Mapplethorpe at UMS March 15, 16

Preview February 22, 2019 Encore Staff

ANN ARBOR—UMS offers the world premiere of a co-commision, Triptych (Eyes of One on Another), composed by Bryce Dessner, with a libretto by Korde Arrington Tuttle, featuring words by poets Essex Hemphill and Patti Smith, directed by Kaneza Schaal and with music direction and conducting by Brad Wells, on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16 at the Power Center.

Thirty years after photographer and visual artist Robert Mapplethorpe’s death, this new performance piece, music, poetry, and photography come together in a theatrical context, exploring the impact of the work Mapplethorpe had on the lives and careers of composer and Cincinnati native Bryce Dessner (The National) and librettist Korde Arrington Tuttle.

Their exposure to the explosive protests surrounding Mapplethorpe’s work rooted a lifelong kinship to his pivotal body of work and its power to upend our beliefs about black/white, female/male, queer/straight, art/porn, sacred/profane, classical/contemporary, low art/high art, and political/personal.

This major collaboration with director Kaneza Schaal, featuring the poetry of Tuttle, Essex Hemphill, Patti Smith, and others as well as the choral group Roomful of Teeth, revisits the formative impact of Mapplethorpe’s work, inviting the audience to simultaneously experience Dessner’s music against the most electrifying and divisive words and images the world has ever known.

Through music and large-scale projection of Mapplethorpe’s images, this unprecedented work allows an audience to peer inside Mapplethorpe’s bold, voracious view of how human beings look, touch, feel, hurt and love one another.

This work may contain a frank discussion of sexuality and may include images depicting sexuality and nudity.

There will be a free post-performance Q&A on both evenings.

Tickets are available online at ums.org.

Week of 10/14/2019

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