February 18th, 2022 was the premiere of my Passion Cantata, Black Wolf, about the life of a wolf in Juneau, AK who befriended the town and romped and played with the domestic dogs, and delighted the inhabitants of this city, nestled in a beautiful fjord in South East, Alaska.
Libretto was written by Dave Hunsaker, a screenwriter from Los Angeles, who also has a house in Juneau. I was fortunate enough to take my fiancee, Abbie; we stayed with Dave and his wife, Annie Calkins. They live upon a cliff looking out over the Lynn Canal. There were humpback wales breaching and feeding, orcas playing, sea lion’s roaring, snow falling, even a little sun shining… simply, a glorious time. Juneau and its inhabitants have always inspired me, and given me more than I could ever repay, but this time, it was particularly special to be able to share the beauty of the fjords, glaciers, its people, and this world premiere with my fiancee, Abbie.
Friends were plentiful, Sean Dowgray had just finished playing Corigliano’s percussion concerto, Conjurer, the prior weekend and passed his doctoral comps, only to fly to Juneau to play my cantata. Franz Felkl was concertmaster- we had been at UAF together. Katy Giorgio who produced mine and David’s opera, Princess Sophia, was there to give us the tour of the capitol building and the inside scoop on the state political landscape. Tess Altiveros and Jose Rubio were both there from the PNW, (we ran into each other at Jerry’s Meats- one of THE places to get great smoked salmon bellies and collars, and glorious black cod). Of course we met up with William Todd Hunt, who commissioned and conducted the entire concert, and Sara Radke Brown the conductor of Vox, the chamber choir who premiered it.
Publicity from the Juneau Empire:
Here are some excerpts from the live performance. And here are program notes: