Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University assistant professor of music, Dr. Kristen Sienkiewicz, is playing an important role in a unique spin on the classical music tradition of opera.
Set for release on October 1st, “Deus Ex Machina,” is a new graphic novel steampunk opera by award-winning composer Robert J. Bradshaw. The electroacoustic work features a diverse collection of vocal talent, including soprano Gillian Hurst, baritone Gary Wood (Salem State University) and tenor Brendan P. Buckley.Adding to the uniqueness of the post-victorian era opera is brass quintet Bala Brass, of which Sienkiewicz is a member. Joining Sienkiewicz, who performs on horn, is trumpeter James Ackley (University of South Carolina), trumpeter Seelan Manickam (Keene State College), trombonist Robert Hoveland and tubist John Bottomley (University of Massachusetts Amherst).
Completing the cast, which is comprised of performers from around the nation and world, is percussionist Megan Arns (University of Missouri) performing on Timpani.
“The entire opera is performed to the main character’s clockwork heartbeat and the sounds of steam engines (all synced with the music),” Bradshaw said. “It was important that every aspect of this project be choreographed as the soundscape are ever-present until the tragic demise of the main character.”
The CD was recorded in Beverly, Massachusetts’ historic Cabot Cinema. Heard from the stage, the Cabot offered both beautiful acoustics and a vintage space to help the singers inhabit their character for the sessions. The release of the recording includes sophisticated packaging with beautiful photography, extensive biographical information and libretto booklets.
To contact the APSU School of Music, visit www.apsu.edu/music, or call 931.221.7818. Dr. Kristen Sienkiewicz can be reached at , or 931.221.7770.