Composer Nathan Felix Releases New Chamber Opera About the Kurds

New York, NY, September 21, 2020 --( Composer, Nathan Felix, is set to release a new chamber opera inspired by Kurdish Political Activist, Abdullah Öcalan. The opera, sung in Kurdish, features sopranist, Katrina Saporsantos and Inversion Ensemble singers Trevor Shaw and Robbie LaBanca. The album titled, Öcalan will be released and available to stream and download worldwide on all digital platforms on Thursday October 15th.

Inspired by the movement for "Freedom for Öcalan," Öcalan is an expression of admiration for the spirit of the Kurds, inspired by their resilience, resistance and belief in the joy of life. The remarkable awakening of the consciousness and political activism of the Kurdish people in recent years has been engendered by the remarkable leadership and writings of Abdullah Öcalan. Despite enduring decades of incarceration removed entirely from the world, his people and denied all human contacts, Öcalan still communicates through his words and as a living example of the essential strength of the Kurdish spirit. Felix collaborated with Kurdish refugee and poet, Jihad Hami, for the libretto in which Hami provided translation.

Öcalan, was scheduled to premiere during SXSW this year before getting canceled due to the CoronaVirus pandemic. The ensemble decided to record the opera with Erik Wofford at Cacophony Recorders, in lieu of performing, in hopes of highlighting the ongoing Kurdish struggle. The full ensemble consisted of Katrina Saporsantos (soprano), Trevor Shaw (baritone), Robblie LaBanca (tenor), Steven Long (bass), Emily Bishop (violin), Henna Chou (cello), Matt Hemenway (violin), Benji Dia (piano), Richard Castillo (piano for Penaber).

Who: Nathan Felix
What: Studio recording of chamber opera, Öcalan, inspired by Kurdish activist Abdullah Öcalan
When: Thursday October 15th
Where: World Wide on all digital platforms (i.e. Spotify, iTunes, etc)

About Nathan Felix:
Nathan Felix (born 1981) is a Mexican-American, music composer known for his immersive operas and experimental films. His music has been premiered in Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Mongolia and the United States and his music has been featured on the BBC, MTV, NPR & PBS.

Before the pandemic, Felix completed two critically acclaimed commissions for immersive opera. Alien Wanderers : Alien World : Alien Home featured soloist Katrina Saporsantos and addressed discrimination and issues surrounding the United States’ southern border, marginalized groups and reappropriation of borders, premiered at Blanton Museum on Nov 21 2019. A Dream is a Dream is a Dream is a Dream… a ‘silent’ headphone opera about fictional conversations between artist heavyweights from the Surrealist movement and Pop Art movement premiered at McNay Museum on Nov 7 2019.

His first large work for orchestra was featured by the BBC and later made into a documentary titled, The Curse & The Symphony. The award winning documentary screened at 52 film festivals, and was distributed by Gaiam TV. Felix was featured on PBS and nominated for a Lonestar Emmy for work on his 6-Piano project in which he restored six pianos for a concert featuring two new pieces. After the concert, Felix donated the pianos to schools in lower income neighborhoods in Austin. The 6 Piano Project has since been commissioned in San Antonio (2016), Barcelona (2017), Melbourne (2017) and Houston (2019)



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