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The UCSB Department of Music presents Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. This Opera interpretation of one of the Bard’s most popular works features a composition by Professor Joel Feigin. Produced by Benjamin Brecher and directed by David Grabarkewitz, Feigin’s version of Twelfth Night has been given much recognition by the opera community, having been chosen for the 2003 New York City Opera VOX Workshop (where it was conducted by the company’s music director, George Manahan) as well as for the New Works Presentations at the 2006 Opera America Conference in Seattle in 2006. The premiere of the chamber version was praised by the Raleigh News and Observer for “many striking passages, hushed and shimmering for lovers, sparkling and cheeky for the comic figures." And the Classical Voice of North Carolina summarized their reaction by saying that “Feigin succeeded admirably".
The composer writes about the new work, “Twelfth Night has been a long time in the making. I’ve always loved the play, and already, in 1995, I had set the two songs of the fool, “O Mistress Mine” and “Come away, come away, death”, for baritone, cello and piano. (The first was adapted for the opera; the second was replaced by another setting of the same song.) When, after the success there of my first opera Mysteries of Eleusis, the Opera Studio of the Moscow Sate Conservatory asked me to write another opera, I suggested Twelfth Night and they were delighted. Unfortunately, in the end it proved impossible to present the opera there, but Long Leaf Opera commissioned a chamber orchestra version, which they premiered in 2005.”
Joel Feigin is a composer whose works have been widely praised for their "very strong impact, as logical in musical design as they are charged with emotion and drama." (Opera Magazine). His first opera Mysteries of Eleusis was performed at the Moscow Conservatory and the Russian-American Operatic Festival. Commissions include a Fromm Commission for Aviv: Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, written for Yael Weiss, as well as piano works for Margaret Mills and Leonard Stein, two orchestral works for the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, and many chamber works. His CDs include the North/South Recordings 2-CD set, Transience, as well as two major piano works performed by Margaret Mills in Meditations and Overtones on Cambria Master Recordings. Feigin’s latest CD, Lament Amid Silence, is on the MSR label (MS1413), and features violist Helen Callus. A Professor of composition at the University of California Santa Barbara, Dr. Feigin studied with Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau and with Roger Sessions at The Juilliard School. His website is at http://www.joelfeigin.com.