The song cycle Penelope (for voice and sextet) by Sarah Kirkland Snider will have its German premiere on August 21, 2022 at Podium Esslingen at Kloster Bebenhausen. The piece will be performed by Podium Ensemble and mezzo-soprano Isabel Pfefferkorn.
Inspired by Homer's epic poem, the Odyssey, Snider’s Penelope is a meditation on memory, identity, and what it means to come home. The song cycle, written in 2009 for Shara Nova (previously Worden) and Ensemble Signal, is based on a music-theatre monodrama written by Snider and playwright Ellen McLaughlin for the J. Paul Getty Center in 2008. In the work, a woman's husband appears at her door after an absence of twenty years, suffering from brain damage. A veteran of an unnamed war, he doesn't know who he is and she doesn't know who he's become. While they wait together for his return to himself, she reads to him from the Odyssey, and in the journey of that book, she finds a way into her former husband's memory and the terror and trauma of war.
Sarah Kirkland Snider has recently been named one of the "Top 35 Female Composers in Classical Music" by the Washington Post.