O'Regan: At Work

O'Regan: At Work
On 4 March, Yale's Schola Cantorum, directed by Simon Carrington, premieres The Ecstasies Above, their commission to Tarik O'Regan. Scored for solo octet, chorus, and string quartet, the work is based on a phrase from Edgar Allan Poe's poem "Israfel."

O'Regan elaborates, "Through his creative description of the angel, Israfel, and the heavens, Poe creates a virtuous image of the supernatural. Poe compares this heavenly vision to the harsh reality of human existence. While the beauty of Israfel's voice and lyre can silence even the moon and the stars in the heavens, Poe suggests that if Israfel were placed in an earthly environment, he would not sing with such zest..."

Following the premiere, the National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Miami features O'Regan and the Cantorum in three performances of The Ecstasies Above.

On 3 March, the Britten Sinfonia presents O'Regan's Raï, a new work for ensemble that he calls "an exploration of the Algerian pop-folk genre." On the 4th, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir, conducted by Clark Rundell, performs Triptych, his recent work for choir and strings based on Andalusian rhythms.

Upcoming: O'Regan is composing Stolen Voices, a 20-minute secular choral oratorio, in collaboration with poet Melanie Challenger — joint editor, along with Zlata Filipovic, of the soon-to-be-released volume Stolen Voices (a collection of children's diaries written during times of war). The oratorio will premiere later in 2007 to mark The International Day of Peace in conjunction with the United Nations.
Daguerreotype of Edgar Allen Poe: W.S. Hartshorn, 1848