Composition and theory PhD student Nicolás Aguía’s artistic collaboration The American Poetry Choral Cabaret received its premiere performance in the summer of 2021 in Bogotá, Colombia. Aguía created the work, which he describes as a “drag oratorio-cabaret” with transdisciplinary artist Alfonso J. Venegas and received a grant for the premiere from the U.S. Embassy in Colombia. Aguía sets poems by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Frances Ellen Watkins, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and Phillis Wheatley for vocal soloist and choir. These settings are connected by poetic and spoken word, cabaret-style performances, and instrumental interludes performed by members of the CAIDSG G. Sebastián Romero LGBTI community center. The choral settings and interludes explore themes of love, death, labor, and identity. The performance was led by Daniel S. González and featured soprano Ana María Ruge, tenor Camilo Colmenares, and the Orfeo choir.
Congratulations to Nicolás on the premiere of this important new composition!
Excerpts from The American Poetry Choral Cabaret