2020 Songbook

View the 20 unique world premiere videos presented by LBO as part of our newest UnGala the 2020 Songbook.


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As We Breathe by Theresa Wong

A composer, cellist and vocalist currently living the San Francisco Bay Area, Theresa Wong has created a piece that deals with the breath, and how that ties together so many parts of 2020 including the pandemic, the wildfires and the oppression of Black citizens.

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Roots in the land by Shahab Paranj

Born in Iran, now based in L.A., Shahab's piece is excerpted from an opera in development about the personal life and events of the deposed Shah of Iran and his wife.

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by your side by Sonja Mutić

Currently a PhD candidate at Harvard, Sonja's piece processes her own isolation and struggle to create music during the last year in a detached and under-resourced environment.

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Polarity Op. 43, No. 2 by George N. Gianopoulos

An LA based composer, George's art song deals with the profound polarity of the contemporary American experience through poetry of Claude McKay.

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Feet to Roots Eyes to Air by Bethany Younge

Currently working on her DMA at Colombia in NYC, Bethany's piece reflects with gratitude on the beauty and continuity of earth, breath, and life amidst the effects of the wildfires in Oregon.

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The Museum of the Lost and Found by Olivia Shortt

An Anishinaabe, Nipissing First Nation Canadian based artist, Olivia's piece explores all things lost and found and brings attention to the ongoing tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirited people.

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Moving Surfaces by Niloufar Shiri

Trained in Persian classical music in her native Iran, Niloufar tells of the plight of female musicians in Iran who are forbidden to sing, and the struggle against this oppressed expressive art.

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Clouded Dusk by Anahita Abbasi

An Iranian born San Diego based composer, Anahita piece reflects on distance and separation including her personal experience with the travel ban for Iranians.

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Block Party by Marcus Norris

An LA based composer, Marcus' strophic ballad showcases the social connections that may or may not be able to occur during lockdown.

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Aksobya by Leila Adu-Gilmore

Hailing from New Zealand, Britain and Ghana, Leila's piece explores themes of environmentalism as seen through multiple lenses of her own cultural background, the Buddhist faith and our country's indiginous people.

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Breathing by Jessie Cox

Growing up in Switzerland with roots in Trinidad and Tobago, Jessie's piece looks at breathing, and how that relates to both the pandemic and the contemporary Black experience.

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Home Song by Phillip Golub

A New York City based composer, Phillip's work reflects on a Financial Times op-ed about underclasses rising up during pandemics, and will be scored with sounds of his own home.

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thoughts before drowning by Benjamin Beckman

An undergraduate at Yale and native of L.A., Benjamin's piece explores the burden his generation bears from prior generations’ inattention to climate change and rising tides.

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Orbis by Aida Shirazi

Born and raised in Tehran, Aida's stop motion animated video piece will be based on a quatrain of classical poet Omar Khayyam on the paradoxical duality of the human condition.

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Somewhere in this Global Garden by Tomeka Reid

A Chicago based composer, improvisor and professor, Tomeka's piece for unaccompanied voice to the poetry of Ugochi Nwaogwugwu speaks directly to the Black American experience of racism.

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I Once Felt Safe by Hunter Prueger

A Salt Lake City based composer, Hunter's piece details the 2020 decision by officials at Brigham Young University to allow same sex relationships, only to reverse the decision later in the year.

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expected face by Katherine Young

A composer, teacher and bassoonist based in Atlanta, Katherine's piece is about navigating and processing the realities of a relationship unraveling during this strange time of quarantine and confinement.

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This Just Don't Make No Sense by Clifton Joseph Guidry, III

Based in New York City, Clifton's piece deals with the effects of bipolar disorder, and the bottomless destabilization it causes, shown in parallel with the destabilization experienced by many others during the pandemic.

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Ghâl 2 by Bahar Royaee

An Iranian born composer, Bahar's piece features the amplification of quiet and suppressed sounds paired with contemporary iranian poetry and shadow puppetry.

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Without Us by Carla Kihlstedt

A New England based composer, improviser and performer, Carla's piece reflects on the incredible silence she noticed during the initial stages of lockdown, and the many reflections and experiences of silence, chosen or imposed.

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National Endowement for the Arts    California Arts Council Arts Council for Long Beach City of Long Beach Art Works Opera America KUSC

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at cac.ca.gov
Supported in part by a grant from the Arts Council for Long Beach and the City of Long Beach.
Long Beach Opera events are supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission