Premiere New York Premiere
Production Language English
Country of Origin United States, Indonesia
Description An iconoclastic composer, an encounter with a secluded island, and a discovery set to the effervescent strains of Balinese gamelan music are the subjects of A House in Bali, a bold new opera by Evan Ziporyn and directed by Jay Scheib. Based on the memoirs of trailblazing composer Colin McPhee, A House in Bali re-imagines the true story of one man's sojourn to Bali through the contemporary lens of our globalized present.
The sounds of a 16-member Balinese gamelan orchestra-deftly paired with the pulsating post-minimalism of the Bang on a Can All-Stars-fill the air as McPhee immerses himself in the island's culture, conferring with fellow émigrés anthropologist Margaret Mead and painter Walter Spies. Engrossing images from 1930s Bali-many taken by Mead herself-merge with live video, mesmerizing music, and traditional Balinese art forms to tell of one man's musical enlightenment, and the cultural awakening it inspired.