Experiments in Opera and Restless NYC Present: Rainbird
An opera collaboration between director/librettist Mallory Catlett and composer Aaron Siegel, Rainbird is an adaptation of the novel Yellow Flowers in the Antipodean Room by the celebrated New Zealand author Janet Frame. Rainbird tells the story of a middle-aged family man in New Zealand named Godfrey Rainbird who gets hit by a car and is pronounced dead. After the funeral arrangements have been made and his belongings have been cleared from the house, he wakes up in the morgue. What ensues is the emotional struggle of the Rainbird family, not in accepting Godfrey’s death, but, rather, his resurrection. Now a symbol of death, he is ostracized by his community and his family destroyed.
Mixing improvised arias over minimal loops, original folk songs and textural spaces to create a sense of disorientation and emotional intensity; this performance features the premiere of the concert version of this work, with video contributions by Andrew Denton and a full cast of five singers and three instrumentalists. An early performance of songs from Rainbird was featured in an Experiments in Opera concert at Roulette in November 2018.