Ensemble Dal Niente proudly presents Piece Her Together, featuring soprano soloist Amanda DeBoer Bartlett in a fully-staged theatrical production of two mono-dramatic works: Eliza Brown’s The Body of the State, a portrayal of Juana of Castile’s imprisonment at the hands of her family, with a libretto co-written by graduate students at the Indiana Women’s Prison, and Katherine Young’s When stranger things happen, a noir meditation on loss, myths of femininity, and the potential of the imagination.
This show marks the first production in Dal Niente’s 2017-2018 STAGED series of collaborations with theaters, directors, dancers, singers, and designers. Collaborators on Piece Her Together include Emmi Hilger (Director); Meriem Bahri (costume design); Kera MacKenzie (video design); Nicholas Schwartz (scenic design) and Jessica Doyle (lighting design). In the production, instrumentalists stay onstage alongside the singer, adding a theatrical dimension to the instrumental performances. Interested patrons can purchase either a single ticket or a STAGED season ticket.
Brown says she chose the story of Juana of Castile for “the scale of its drama, its emotionally fraught scenarios, the family power plays that affect thousands of people—and as a composer I was interested in the opportunity to allude to and subvert the operatic trope of the madwoman.” Meanwhile, Young’s when stranger things happen is inspired by Kelly Link’s story “The Girl Detective,” whose investigation takes her up trees, into dreams, and down into an underworld where lost things accumulate, generating lists of misplaced, missing, found, and untethered objects. Young asks members of Dal Niente to catalogue their own lost items, which become “preparations for traditional instruments, sonic objects in and of themselves, or metaphorical representations of less concrete concepts.”