Program note for Aftermath
Aftermath (1973), a dramatic cantata for three singers and large chamber ensemble, is my one foray in the direction of opera. The text, which I wrote under the influence of Eliot and Beckett, relates in disjointed fashion the unraveling of a love triangle. The 25-minute work is in two parts with a short interlude. The premiere took place in 1973 at a Harvard-Fromm concert in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Christine Whittlesey, soprano, D’anna Fortunato, alto, Allen Shearer, baritone, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and the composer conducting. The performance was minimally staged in Beckettian manner: the singers were entrapped in boxes throughout, with a plain background illuminated in shifting colors.