Fall 2016
For Immediate Release
Kathryn King
(831) 620-1332
Kathryn King Media
American New Music Champion Susan Narucki
Commissions, Directs and Records Chamber Opera

Cuatro Corridos to be Released by Bridge Records in November
Photo: Joe Henson
The upcoming release of the chamber opera Cuatro Corridos by Bridge Records [BRIDGE 9473] in November represents the capstone of a major creative undertaking by the extraordinary American soprano Susan Narucki. The Grammy-winning Ms. Narucki is known not only for the quality of her singing but for her lifelong devotion to American music and especially music of our time. Cuatro Corridos, a one-hour work in four scenes with a libretto by the famed novelist Jorge Volpi, was commissioned by Ms. Narucki in 2011. Ms. Narucki stars in the opera and also serves as its Artistic Director. The world premiere was held at the Conrad Prebys Music Center in San Diego in 2013 and has been followed by 12 additional performances in both the U.S. and Mexico. 

The subject of Cuatro Corridos is human trafficking and is based on the true stories of girls and
young women tricked and trapped into lives of sex slavery and prostitution across the U.S./Mexico border. Ms. Narucki was eager to explore this difficult subject from a bi-national
perspective, and so, instead of collaborating with a single composer to write the music, in a bold and unusual move chose four composers instead, one for each scene. Two of the composers are based in the U.S. - Arlene Sierra and Lei Liang ; and two are based in Mexico - Hilda Paredes and Hebert Vázquez . The instrumental forces employed by the composers consist only of piano, guitar and percussion - a deliberate attempt to maximize portability and ease of production of this important work. The musicians chosen by Ms. Narucki for the world premiere recording - Aleck Karis , piano; Pablo Gómez , guitar; and Ayano Kataoka , percussion - also played an essential role in the creation of the opera, from its earliest workshops in Putney, VT. 

At its world premiere and in many productions of Cuatro Corridos since, related workshops including panel discussions with the composers, forums featuring respected regional experts on human trafficking, and joint fund-raising events with human rights organizations have been mounted as well. "Once I became aware of the shocking nature and scope of the human trafficking taking place right under our noses in Southern California," says Ms. Narucki, "I felt I had to do something to raise awareness of this issue. I knew that if I chose the right collaborators, an opera could be an incredibly powerful medium to bring this message to the public." Project details and an excerpt of the opera can be found here:   Cuatro Corridos.

This is not the only time that Susan Narucki has enlisted the power of music to address pressing social issues. She is producing another chamber opera, Inheritance, which examines gun culture in the U.S. through the lens of Sarah Winchester's life. She is collaborating on the work with composer Lei Liang, poet/librettist Matt Donovan, and production designer/artist Ligia Bouton. With major support from the Creative Capital Foundation,   Inheritance will have its premiere in 2018.

At the University of California at San Diego where Ms. Narucki has served on the faculty since 2008, she is the founder and director of kallisti, a performance program now established as part of the curriculum which brings together students from UCSD's graduate program in Contemporary Music Performance with distinguished guest artists and composers. Its aim is to mentor young singers and to commission and present new works, along with the great vocal music repertoire of the 20th and 21st centuries ( kallisti).

With luminous tone and distinctive artistry, Susan Narucki has earned international acclaim for almost three decades. She has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Netherlands Opera, San Francisco Symphony, MET Chamber Ensemble, on  Great Performers at Lincoln Center and at Carnegie Hall with conductors such as Boulez, Levine, Salonen, Tilson Thomas, de Leeuw and Knussen. A dedicated advocate of the music of our time, Ms. Narucki has given over one hundred world premieres, and has enjoyed close collaborations with composers including Andriessen, Kurtág, Carter, Dusapin and Crumb. Recent appearances include Opéra national de Montpellier (Carter's What Next? and Mathis Nitschke's Jetzt), the International Fesival Cervantino, and the West Coast premiere of Andriessen's Die Materie with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Reinbert de Leeuw ("Soprano Susan Narucki, who has long been associated with the role, was a Hadewijch of refined but unmistakable passion."- Los Angeles Times).

Her extensive discography includes the recording of George Crumb's Star-Child (Bridge 9095) which won the Grammy for Best Classical Composition in 2001 For another Bridge CD (9111), of works by Elliott Carter, Ms. Narucki's performance of Tempo e Tempi was nominated for a Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Performance in 2002. Her recording The Light that Is Felt: Songs of Charles Ives (New World 80680) with pianist Donald Berman was selected as Editor's Choice of BBC Music Magazine. In addition to the Grammy Award, Ms. Narucki's recordings have earned broad critical acclaim, as well as the Cannes Award ( Best Recording of Works of a Living Composer), L'Académie du Disque Lyrique's award for Best Recording of 21st Century Opera (for James Dillon's Philomela, on Aeon), and others. Her most recent CD is a stunning collection of songs by Aaron Helgeson, Poems of Sheer Nothingness (innova 901).

Over the years Susan Narucki's creative projects, which introduce modern music to audiences outside traditional concert hall settings and illuminate broader issues in society, have become recognized and increasingly valued by both the artistic and philanthropic communities. For example the Cuatro Corridos production earned generous support from the MAP Fund for the Performing Arts, UC MEXUS, Yellow Barn, UC San Diego and the National Endowment for the Arts. The recording of Cuatro Corridos was supported in part by the Alice M. Ditson Fund for Recorded Music, the University of California and NewMusicUSA. 

Ms. Narucki made her professional debut at the 1986 Ojai Festival in the West Coast premiere of György Kurtág's Messages of the Late R.V. Troussova with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by conductor Kent Nagano. Since that time, she has made over fifty commercial recordings of music of the 20th and 21st centuries in a wide array of styles.

For more information about Susan Narucki, visit kathrynkingmedia.com
and susannarucki.net, and call 831-620-1332.

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