odysseus a theatrical polymicrotonal opera presented by the American Festival of Microtonal Music directed & composed by Johnny Reinhard featuring cello soloist Dave Eggar and choreographer / dancer DeAnna Pellecchia with 50 additional musicians
In 2008 DeAnna was commissioned to choreograph and stage the Boston premiere of Johnny Reinhard's theatrical opera ODYSSEUS, presented by the American Festival of Microtonal Music. Also dancing in the production as a soloist, DeAnna performed the narrative role of "Deliverer of the Dead" as well as "Circe the sorcerer", and "the lead Siren", opposite Grammy-nominated cellist Dave Eggar, who performed the lead role of "Odysseus". DeAnna coordinated the staging of the 50 plus musicians and singers in the performance, which included Grammy-nominated pianist Joshua Pierce and singer/songwriter/recording artist Dina Fanai.
ODYSSEUS was conceived for cellist Dave Eggar by composer Johnny Reinhard following several years of close collaboration between the two artists. The work follows the chronological journey of fabled Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey, as he returns from Troy to Ithaca, Greece. In ODYSSEUS each instrument, played by over 50 musicians, embraces a special tuning to correspond to a character or personality in the epic. Homer tells us that the Goddess Athena considered Odysseus the “Master Improviser.” Throughout the piece the entire cast improvises as both musicians and movers; bows transform into weapons, instruments become gateways. In the hands of a true master improviser, Eggar’s cello takes on the role of Odysseus.
The piece consists of an introduction, three full sections, and a coda. Instruments include an animal horn, various string instruments, French horn, bagpipes, clarinet, bassoon, mandolin, electric Just Intonation guitar, Theremin, and trombone. ODYSSEUS premiered at St. Paul's Chapel at Columbia University in 1996. The Boston premiere was at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul on Tremont Street, marking the very first ever Boston performance by AFMM, a 30-year music-icon in NYC.
johnny reinhard | composer The American Festival of Microtonal Music, Inc. (AFMM, since 1981) was founded by Johnny Reinhard to showcase past and contemporary microtonal music and to introduce microtonality to the listening public. Through both his direction of the AFMM and other individual efforts, Reinhard has almost singlehandedly revived public awareness of microtonality in the 1990's. The AFMM has become a leader in new music activity today. The AFMM produces concerts of Microtonal Music internationally. Microtonal Music is Music which is generally not based on the 12-tone equally tempered scale which is so prevalent in western music. It is not constrained to any style or time period. Concerts have included traditional music, rarely performed pieces, lots of original pieces, theatrical pieces, audience participation, ensemble work, well-known classics in original tunings, microtonal rock, hoomi singing, music for Homemade instruments, and of course lots of bassoon music.
dave eggar | cellist Dave Eggar has performed throughout the world as a solo cellist and pianist. A graduate of Harvard University and the Juilliard School, Mr. Eggar has performed and recorded with artists in many genres including the Who, Michael Brecker, Dave Sanborn, Josh Groban, Evanescence, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Kathleen Battle, Eugenia Zuckerman, Manhattan Transfer, Sheryl Crow, Breaking Benjamin, Nelly Furtado, Corrine Bailey Rae, Ray LaMontagne, Lyfe Jennings, Abbey Lincoln, Claudio Scimone, Leonard Slatkin, Ruggiero Ricci, Ornette Colemann, DJ Spooky, and many others. He has won grants and awards from ASCAP, the Leonard Bernstein Foundation, Time Magazine, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the NEA, Meet the Composer, SAISON foundation, and Harvard University for his work in contemporay music. Dave has released three solo records on the Virgin/Domo and Domo Record Group labels.