Hart Songs

Hart Songs is a new song cycle for soprano and string trio, with text from Monica Ferrell's set of poems Eleven Steps to Breaking up a Hart, which is in her first book of poetry Beasts of the Chase. This set of poems examines a relationship seven years after it has ended, the narrator wading through her memories as she confronts moments from their time together, projecting these images through the lens of mythology. Grief and anger are balanced with reverence here, and Monica's words, now given melodies in the soprano that are echoed and supported by the string trio, haunt deeper and deeper with each reading. Premiering this season in NYC. 

The Moirae Ensemble is a musical collective based in New York City that interweaves classical music with themes of social responsibility. Drawing from a roster of some of New York’s finest and most innovative young musicians and composers, the ensemble focuses on contemporary classical music, commissioning works that push the boundaries of what it means to be a traditional chamber music ensemble. The Moirae Ensemble performs and commissions socially relevant works that address a wide range of humanitarian concerns, with a particular focus on women composers and social issues that particularly affect women. The Moirae Ensemble has performed at The Sulzberger Parlor at Barnard University, The Gershwin Hotel, new music venue Spectrum, The Tank, The Underground, The Juilliard School, and The Koenig Gallery in Boston, MA. The Ensemble also collaborates with Sing for Hope, and has performed at hospital and hospice bedsides throughout New York City.

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Born in New Delhi, poet and novelist Monica Ferrell earned a BA at Harvard University and and MFA at Columbia University. Her allusive poems often seem to molt, revealing vulnerable, raw skin caught mid-transformation. Reviewing Beasts for the Chase for Shenandoah in 2009, Kristina Marie Darling observed, “Fascinated by the shifting context in which cultural traditions are continually enacted, Ferrell skillfully manipulates and revises form to explore the rapidly changing social and artistic landscape that she inhabits.” Ferrell’s debut poetry collection, Beasts for the Chase (2008), was chosen by Jane Hirshfield for the Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize. Ferrell’s novel, The Answer Is Always Yes (2008), was named a Borders Original Voices selection and was one of Booklist’s Top Ten First Novels of 2008. Her honors include a Discovery/The Nation prize and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. Ferrell lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and teaches in the creative writing program at SUNY-Purchase.

British-American Soprano Catherine Hancock has established herself as a versatile artist, equally comfortable in multiple genres and styles ranging from Renaissance music to opera and performance art. She recently gained attention for her debut with Toledo Opera as Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), where the Toledo Blade stated “The highlight of the evening was the cocky pants role Cherubino (Catherine Hancock). Not only was the suave swain an excellent comic relief, but her second act Voi Che Sapete was simply exquisite.” Catherine resides in New York City where she performs regularly and is sought after particularly for her interpretations of early and contemporary repertoire. Recent career highlights include performances at BAM, MoMA, Alice Tully Hall, and with The Mark Morris Dance Group, Sandcastle New Music Collective presented by The Metropolis Ensemble, The New York Festival of Song, Glimmerglass Opera and the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. She recently made her European debut under the baton of Richard Egarr singing Valletto (L’inoronazione di Poppea) at the Snape Malting Proms as a Britten-Pears young artist. Other favorite opera performances include the roles of Orindo in Cavalli’s La Doriclea, Lucia in Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner, Nella in Gianni Schicci, and Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte. Noted concert performances include Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and String Quartet No. 2, Berio's Sequenza, Kurtag’s Kafka-Fragmente, Handel’s dramatic cantata La Lucrezia, and Ravel’s Chansons madécasses.