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Dean of the College presents

Faculty Seminars

Spring 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kyle Gann


Robert Ashley’s History of American Consciousness

“For the sake of argument, Don is Spain in 1492 and Linda is the Jews….” Robert Ashley’s vast operatic epic consisting of Perfect Lives, Atalanta, and the four operas of Now Eleanor’s Idea is intended as a history of American consciousness. It begins with the East Coast (architecture), where stories from the old country are remembered; progresses to the Midwest (agriculture), where language has splintered into mere sayings; and ends in the great future in Los Angeles (genealogy), where the Jewish energy from Europe and the Spanish energy from Central America meet up again. Both technological and vernacular, Ashley’s operas are made for television, modeled after The Honeymooners and Star Trek, though Perfect Lives is the only one that’s been realized in video format. We’ll start with the bank robbery that is the central event of all this twelve hours of mad operatic speculation, and explore Ashley’s cosmos from 1940s Ann Arbor to the farthest reaches of human history.

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. for a reception in the Olin Atrium.
The seminar follows at 7:00 p.m.
Please join us!


For more information, call 845-758-7490, or e-mail jcerulli@bard.edu.

Location: Olin, Room 102