The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Nicole Paiement: Young Caesar: New Directions in Contemporary Opera

Nicole Paiement (Santa Cruz, Music) Faculty

This project proposes to produce Lou Harrison’s last opera: Young Caesar.  The opera will be performed as part of a three day symposium on the Directions in Contemporary Opera.  Young Caesar ultimately addresses many of Harrison’s interests, which are in phase with many contemporary issues today – the Pacific Rim and its exotic colors, new theater, homosexuality and the study of the human condition.

About the Artist: Conductor Nicole Paiement has been the Artistic Director of Ensemble Parallèle (EP) since its foundation in 1994 – a professional ensemble, dedicated to contemporary chamber opera and multidisciplinary projects. With this Ensemble, Paiement has recorded many world premieres performances, commissioned many new works from composers of various countries, and toured in various countries including Australia and Korea. The Ensemble recently presented west coast premiere of John Rea’s reorchestration of Berg’s Wozzeck at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. Upcoming projects include the San Francisco premiere of Philip Glass’ opera Orphée, the world-premiere performance of the chamber version of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, and the premiere performance of a commissioned opera by composer Dante de Silva on the life of Gesualdo.

Paiement is also the Artistic Director of the BluePrint Project – a series focused on building new music for the city of San Francisco. These contemporary music events, sponsored by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, have highlighted many American living composers and culminated in various CD recordings. Since 1999, Paiement has been the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music New Music Ensemble. With this Ensemble, Paiement has recorded and commissioned many works.  Paiement is also the Director of Ensembles at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she conducts the Orchestra, the Chamber Singers and the large opera productions.

Paiement’s interest in both vocal and instrumental music has led her to conduct and record many world premieres of operas. She made her Korean debut conducting in 2004 the world premiere of Chan-Hae Lee’s opera Back to the Origins and Nicola Le Fanu’s Old Woman of Beare. Since then, she has returned to Korea on many occasions. In her interest to work on interdisciplinary projects, she has collaborated with many dancers and media artists.  Through these collaborations she toured with EP in Australia in Summer 2005 and participated in the Asian-American-Australian Sound-Dance and multi-Media Connections.  Paiement is also an active guest conductor.

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