Blog Categories
  • Visit our Indiegogo campaign!

  • Support the IAF!

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation needs your support. Click here to donate and become a Friend of the IAF!

  • @InterstitialArt

  • About the IAF

    The Interstitial Arts Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the study, support, and promotion of interstitial art: literature, music, visual and performance art found in between categories and genres – art that crosses borders. Find out more!

  • Latest IAF News


    Thanks to 277 generous backers for our Interfictions Indiegogo Campaign, we raised $10,318 by the time our campaign ended at midnight, July 14th, 2014.  When we launched on June 3rd, we were staggered to find donations doubling almost daily, until after about 3 weeks we had reached our original target goal of $8,500, and were able to move on to our Stretch Goal of $10,000.

    Which means we not only get to publish Interfictions Online for another year, but we can pay our contributors at higher rates now, rates more in line with the effort and talent that innovation requires. Thank you, each and every one of the 277 generous donors who stepped forward to say that interstitial art is valued and valuable. The number of people is as important as the number of dollars raised. We are awed by your generosity.
    Now [...]

    INTERFICTIONS issue #3 is up online!

    The editors of Interfictions Online are happy to announce the birth of the journal’s latest issue, on May 22, 2014!

    The Spring 2014 issue’s non-fiction offerings include Mark Craddock’s poignant collage in Aerial Acrobatics and Gender Reassignment Surgery – A How-To Guide, while Inda Lauryn’s Parallels and Transitions splices analysis of contemporary female vocalists into a graduate school memoir. Isabel Yap’s Life Is Not a Shoujo Manga speaks for itself. And in an interview with Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss, the two creators discuss their illustrated guide to writing, Wonderbook.

    The fiction offerings remix tropes from ghosts to automata, with new work by Richard Butner, Su-Yee Lin, Kat Howard, Tade Thompson and S. Craig Renfroe Jr.

    Several of the poems in this issue reimagine older narratives: Sridala Swami’s AI Winter draws on the Mahabharata, Sonya Taaffe’s Double Business on Hamlet, and Mary Alexandra Agner’s Hypothesis Between Your Ribs on the brief life of Charles Darwin’s daughter.


  • Featured IAF News

  • Events

    Interstitial Indy

    Sunday, Nov. 25

    Interstitial Indy

    Indiana Writers’ Center
    812 E 67th Street
    Indianapolis, IN
    (off College Ave. just behind The Indianapolis Art Center in the Cultural Complex Building)

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

  • Recommendations: Center for Contemporary Opera
    by InterstitialArts | March 16th, 2010 |
    CCO logo

    I recently attended a gala for the Center for Contemporary Opera, a small but valiant opera company which dedicates itself to presenting new, mostly American, opera in English, and was struck by the interstitiality of the evening, which offered tidbits from the company’s current season. Now if ever there was a genre with highly specified borders and devout artists and audiences guarding them, it is opera. In the popular mind, at least, opera is sung in German or Italian or French on grand stages like the Met to people dressed in tuxes and evening gowns peering through opera glasses. (Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman come to mind.)

    Of course, it’s been a long time since that was the only kind of opera in town, and there have been a number of great American operas in the last 100 years, but the question of what is real opera, what is music theater, what is performance art, and what is all this other stuff, persists enough in the field so that when a small company like CCO defines itself, it is still obligated to explain that yes, it is offering that wildly innovative thing, contemporary opera in English.

    What struck me about the evening was how eclectic it was (and not even all in English, at that). They offered selections from four diverse works. Both Anaïs, by Susan Hurley, based on the diaries of Anaïs Nin, and The Secret Agent, by composer Michael Dellaira and librettist J.D. McClatchy, based on Conrad’s work, delved into the tragic emotional territory traditionally held by opera. But the excerpts from both works drew on a broad, flexible American musical language, and used singers with contemporary, fluid voices, and were not bound by expectation or idiom. The company also presented The Opium Song, a powerfully beautiful work written by American composer Eric Salzman to a French translation of lyrics by German writer Bertolt Brecht. Performed by master accordionist William Schimmel, it was a truly interstitial work, I think, in that it reflected and transcended so much music and social history.

    The evening ended with Review, a very short opera by librettist Patricia Marx (adapted from her own short New Yorker story) and composer Jeremy Beck, performed by the James Madison University Opera Theater. In the old days, battles might have raged as to whether it was opera or music theater; but as things seem to be moving on and people are finding other battlegrounds, it seems to me it was lively good fun, and unlike many operas I have seen, I found it much too short.

    Andrew Lloyd Webber is supposed to have said (and it may well be apocryphal) that the difference between opera and music theater is that when you are asking for a grant, it is opera, and when you show it to a producer, it’s music theater. But in an ideal world, it would interstitially be whatever it needed to be, on whatever stage served it best. It seemed like that night at CCO it was getting a little closer to that, and it was a very successful evening, even if nobody had opera glasses.



    Anais (Photo © Richard Marshall)

    Anais (Photo – Richard Marshall)

    Review (Photo © Richard Marshall)

    Accord/Discord (Photo © Richard Marshall)
    finish line

    One Response to “Recommendations: Center for Contemporary Opera”

    1. Jermar Inman Says:

      Enjoyed the article and quote from Webber. Refreshing that the artists are moving forward in that direction.

    Post a Comment