Cantanti Project presents
Tabla Rasa: A New Jazz Opera
Felix Jarrar, Composer
Bea Goodwin, Librettist
Tabula Rasa is a new jazz opera by award-winning writing duo Felix Jarrar and Brittany Goodwin that tells the story of Kiki de Montparnasse and her liberating escapades with artists throughout the 1920s in the Montparnasse quarters of Paris. Tabula Rasa explores the sensual and ardent nature of her relationships with the fictional character of ‘Man,’ an artist representing Kiki’s dreams and desires, at the expense of her freedom and image as the modern woman.
Tabula Rasa will add Kiki’s name to the ongoing discussion of notable historic women whose names and messages have been forgotten. The political bent of the libretto and diverse musical styles of the score result in a politically-informed and socially compelling work about the most iconic woman in surrealist art. The 80 minute work is scored for soprano (Kiki), baritone (Man), female chorus, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. Goodwin’s libretto emphasizes the feminist aspects of Kiki’s character and critiques the hyper-masculinity of Man. Kiki’s vivacity, complexity, and “je ne sais quoi” spirit are examined through a series of tableau as she breaks free from the constraints imposed on her by Man and finds she can define herself on her own terms.
Tabula Rasa is presented by Cantanti Project, arts organization committed to supporting the development of emerging artists and fostering collaboration. Founded on the principle that singers are active innovators and creators, Cantanti Project honors the traditions of classical music while reinterpreting what it means to be a classical artist today. Tabula Rasa launches the organization’s newest initiative, Contemporary Projects, which will bring the work of living composers to life with an emphasis on celebrating diversity and expanding the definition of classical music.
Sara Lin Yoder
Frank D. Fainer