Todd Mathistad won a bid at Western Plains Opera Company’s fundraising gala in March of 2022 to have Emerson Eads write a song with a text of his choice, and this commission was gifted back to the opera company by Eads. The gala featured the tenor, David Cangelosi who hails from Chicago but performs internationally in the world’s great opera houses and on the most popular concert stages.
As Eads worked with Todd over the summer of 2022 to fashion the text for this song, it became clear that this song would be a moving tribute to the love of Todd’s parents and upbringing on a farm in North Dakota, and, more broadly, as a nostalgic reminder that we have more that brings us together than what separates us. The metaphor of “the table” that Todd uses represents that commonality, that space between us, that, instead of dividing us, is a place of safety and equanimity, where honesty and empathy are on one tether.
After completing the setting of the music, Eads reached out to David Cangelosi who was to return to Minot, ND for the Western Plains production of Die Fledermaus and sent him the score of the new song. Cangelosi studied the score and agreed that he’d sing the premiere, but added that the addition of choral forces would really help the song speak. Eads set to work on the choral version and Cangelosi agreed to premiere it with the Minot State University Concert Choir.
Eads’ publisher has published Todd’s Song, and the Minot State University Concert Choir, with Briana Schwan playing piano, featuring tenor, David Cangelosi, performed the song for Todd and assembled guests. This recording will be forthcoming.
Score is published and available here: