Prof Smey's Concert Calendar

New Opera by Missy Mazzoli: Proving Up
Sept 26 + 28 at 8:00pm

Of all the things possibly happening in the near future, this is the one I am most excited about. This is a new opera by relatively young composer Missy Mazzoli (born 1980). The libretto is based on a short story by Karen Russell, about American settlers trying to establish a homestead in the state of Nebraska. (Here is a blog review of the story itself.) Bad things happen - so much so that one reviewer suggested that this is a "horror opera."

Missy Mazzoli writes in a style that is influenced by the Minimalist movement (first introduced by composers such as Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich). It's a style that focuses on being very simple, repetitive, and easy to understand. Mazzoli's generation tends to be a little less extreme in their minimalism, relaxing a bit and adding a little more information back into the music. In class these days I use this piece as a representative of the "Post-Minimal" style.

Tickets range from $40-75, but with their student discount (which they also extend to anybody under 25) that's $24-$45.

New York Times: A New ‘Horror Opera’ Opens Miller Theater’s Next Season

Miller Theater Page: Proving Up, Wed Sept 26 at 8:00
Miller Theater Page: Proving Up, Fri Sept 28 at 8:00

Venue Information: Miller Theatre at Columbia University
2960 Broadway (at 116th St.), Manhattan

Miller Theatre is a small concert hall at Columbia University, which specializes in "new music" (i.e. music composed by living composers) and a few other things.

Student Tickets

Full price for tickets tend to be $20-$40, but students (as well as anybody under 25) get 40% off, making it $12-$24. The place is small, so cheap seats in the balcony still feel pretty close to the stage.

You can buy tickets on their website and they have a full-time box office at the theater as well. Call 212-854-7799 for box office hours etc.

The Scene

Concerts here have a casual neighborhood / campus vibe. No need to dress up or anything.

Full Disclosure!

OK, so here's the deal: My wife Melissa Smey is the executive director for Miller Theater. As a result, this calendar has a definite bias towards Miller events and you could even argue that we benefit a tiny, tiny amount if you go to one of these shows. But I do think it's a nice, low-pressure place for young people to hear interesting things and I'm only going to plug shows that I think Baruch students might want to go to.

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