Two audiovisual operas by Stanford DMAs in Composition, '22 — Julie Herndon and Davor Vincze — are paired together on the new Infrequent Seams release, Fight or Surrender. Each opera tells a story of powerful women who must choose at critical moments if they will fight or surrender—and the consequences of those actions. Davor Branimir Vincze’s XinSheng speaks of the present, or perhaps the near future, and is set in a quasi-dystopian world of tangled relationships, cutthroat competition, and medical malpractice. Julie Herndon’s At That Time draws its narrative from history, presenting a richly nuanced retelling of the lives of modernist writer Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas. But while these two works diverge in their choice of subject matter, they also converge around common themes, including the clash of personal feelings with professional obligations, the sacrifices demanded by love, and the paradoxical intersections of intimacy and distance.
The works were directed by Heinrich Horwitz, performed by the Decoder Ensemble, and curated by the artistic director and composer Margareta Ferek Petrić for the Zagreb Music Biennale. | Find out more at Riot Act Media.