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Daniel Okulitch - The New American Art Song

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Friday Apr 5, 2013
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Daniel Okulitch came to the attention of the opera world with his debut in Baz Luhrmann’s 2002 production of "La Boheme." He has since been frequently seen both on international stages and concert halls, equally at home with traditional roles and new works. His 2011 recording, "Daniel Okulitch: The New American Art Song," newly re-released on GPR Records, features the bass-baritone performing over two dozen modern art songs by some of today’s most notable composers, including Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie, Glen Roven, and Lowell Lieberman.

The lyrical sources for the material performed by Okulitch are a refreshing mix of poetry, including "Interior" and "Lullaby," written by Dorothy Parker and composed by Gordon ("The Grapes of Wrath" with Michael Korie, "My Life with Albertine"), and poems by Milton, Whitman, Auden and Shelley comprise part of the fifteen pieces composed here by Roven, who also serves as co-producer of the project. The two songs composed by Heggie ("Three Decembers") come from a particularly intriguing source: the poetry of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, former porn star, and noted author of homoerotic poetry and the scandalous book, "In The Flesh."

Okulitch’s continually increasing credits have included featured performances in Benjamin Britten’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" and "Peter Grimes," the title role of Joseph de Rocher in Heggie’s "Dead Man Walking," and premieres of Howard Shore’s "The Fly," and David Dichiera’s "Cyrano de Bergerac."

All the recordings are accompanied by the composers themselves, giving the selections a heightened investment of intensity and interpretation. Lovers of the genre will find this recording a welcomed addition to their collection.

"Daniel Okulitch: The New American Art Song"
Daniel Okulitch / Ricky Ian Gordon / Jake Heggie
CD and Digital formats
GPR Records

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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