Through her operas, electronic and vocal music, Alice Shields explores socio-political events by creating stories rich with the language, music and theatrical techniques of different cultures, and different times. Her opera Criseyde, which she re-wrote in Chaucer's medieval English as a heroic feminist tale, was performed by the New York City Opera singers and orchestra (VOX Festival, 2008) and called "intense, richly scored" by the New York Times. The mini-opera Komachi at Sekidera, inspired by a Japanese Noh play, was performed at the National Opera Center in Manhattan in 2015 – "eloquent, touching" (New York Times). Alice's work has been called "mind-boggling art" (Associated Press), "...a startling extension of the consciousness of India" (SRUTI, India), and "...eerily evocative, holds the listener spellbound" (Musical America).
Current projects include:
- The Wind in the Pines (2018), for soprano and 6 instruments, is a commission from Chamber Music America to create a work for Seattle's Eurasia Consort. Based on a Noh play about a poor peasant woman, the piece will be premiered in Seattle in January, 2019 and then presented in NYC.
- Zhaojun – A Woman of Peace (2018), is a new one-act chamber opera for 2 singers and 8 instruments, which will be premiered in concert by the Association for the Promotion of New Music in NYC in June 2018. Based on the life of Wang Zhaojun, a famous Chinese woman who established peace between China and Mongolia two thousand years ago, the opera attacks militarism, environmental destruction and predatory finance.
- In May 2018, Shields' Quartet for Piano and Percussion (2016) will be performed by Iktus Percussion in NYC.
- In June 2017 Mioritza – Requiem for Rachel Corrie, for trombone and fixed audio media, written to commemorate political activist Rachel Corrie, was performed by trombonist Haim Avitsur for the NYC-Electroacoustic Music Festival at Abrons Art Center in Manhattan: "a stunning and moving musical tribute to Rachel Corrie" — Embassy and Consulate General of Norway
Other projects in 2017 have included White Heron Dance (2017) for computer music, dancer and video, which premiered in April 2017 at the National Opera Center in NYC, presented by the Association for the Promotion of New Music; and then presented by the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival in July 2017, at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, with Noh dancer Mayo Miwa and video artist Tom Barratt.
For more information please see www.aliceshields.com
Alice Shields 2016