Discussion: Cities of Salt: Zaid Jabri (composer), Rosalind Morris & Yvette Yvette Christiansë (librettists)

Mon, April 21, 2014 8:00 pm at 754 Schermerhorn Extension

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Studio @ and the Media Working Group present:

Zaid Jabri (composer) & Rosalind Morris & Yvette Christiansë (librettists) speak about their new opera CITIES OF SALT

Monday, April 21 | 8:00 p.m. | 754 Schermerhorn Extension |
Columbia University (directions)

Free and open to the public

Cities of Salt is a large-scale opera with full orchestra, 12 solo voices and mixed choir. Based on the first novel of Abdelrahman’ Munif’s trilogy, Cities of Salt, the opera is set in 1932, at the time of the discovery of oil in the Gulf States. It narrates the transformation of the world via the experiences of a Bedouin family as its members are forced to move from their oasis to an industrial port city where refineries fill the sky with fire and smoke. Epic in scope, the story of Cities of Salt is nonetheless neither a tragedy nor a romance. Its culmination in a strike that may portend the future emergence of the Arab Spring explores both the attachments of family and the often ironic complicities of old and new powers in the pursuit of fabulous wealth.

The opera is the result of a collaboration between Syrian composer, Zaid Jabri (Krakow Academy of Music), and librettists Rosalind Morris (Professor, Anthropology, Columbia) and Yvette Christiansë (Professor, Africana and English, Barnard). On April 21, the three creators will discuss the history of their collaboration, their choice of musical and linguistic strategies, and their aspirations for the opera as well as the complexities of working together across languages, national boundaries, and disciplinary differences. They will also screen a video of a workshop based in excerpts from 3 scenes.

Organized with support from Alwan for the Arts.

For more information about Studio@ and the MWG:

Last updated: 2014-04-17 10:24:52

754 Schermerhorn Extension

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