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Collage performs works by three on MIT faculty

Sunday, Jan. 13 will be "MIT Night" at Suffolk University's C. Walsh Theatre as Boston's Collage New Music showcases works by three composers on the MIT music faculty: Edward Cohen, Elena Ruehr and Peter Child.

The concert features the world premiere of Cohen's one-act chamber opera, "The Bridal Night." Based on Frank O'Connor's tale of love and obsession, "The Bridal Night" depicts the descent into madness of young Denis Sullivan, played by David Kravitz.

Kravitz, named "outstanding singer of the 2000 season," by the Boston Globe, will be joined by soprano Janet Brown, mezzosoprano Janice Felty and bass-baritone David Ripley. The setting, a remote location on the Irish Sea, provides a brooding backdrop to a drama that finds redemption in an unexpected act of generosity.

Grammy award nominee and longtime Collage pianist Christopher Oldfather kicks off the concert with three compositions for solo piano: Elena Ruehr's "Swing Set," excerpts from Peter Child's "Doubles," and William Albright's "Queen of Sheba" from "Three Original Rags." The title of Ruehr's piece hints at its two juxtaposed influences--the popular American musical genre of the 1930s and '40s, and the use of mathematical set theory as a basis for musical composition.

Child's "Doubles" is a collection of character pieces for piano, framed by a prologue dedicated to Olivier Messaien and a ragtime-style epilogue in memory of Child's former teacher, William Albright, a prolific performer and composer of ragtime who died in 1998.

Now in its 30th season, Collage New Music is a chamber group comprising Boston Symphony Orchestra and freelance musicians, dedicated to the performance of 20th-century works.

C. Walsh Theatre is at Suffolk University behind the State House on Beacon Hill. For tickets or information, call Collage New Music at (617) 325-5200. Tickets are also available at the door for $20, or $7 for students. MIT students can obtain free tickets to all Collage concerts by presenting a valid ID at the door on the night of the concert.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 9, 2002.

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