In November 2012, New Amsterdam released the original cast recording Missy Mazzoli’s debut multimedia chamber opera, Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt. Conceived in collaboration with filmmaker Stephen Taylor, director Gia Forakis and librettist Royce Vavrek, the album is an original cast recording featuring performances by mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer, NOW Ensemble, conductor Steven Osgood, Celine Mogielnicki (soprano), Amelia Watkins (soprano), Kate Maroney (alto), Tomas Cruz (tenor), Peter Stewart (baritone). New Amsterdam Records will also released a limited edition version with a hand-printed cover that folds out into a posted designed by Stephen S. Taylor. This version includes a DVD with films from the opera.
Song from the Uproar premiered to rave reviews at New York City venue The Kitchen on February 24th, 2012, and was produced by Beth Morrison Projects. The Wall Street Journal proclaimed it as “powerful and new” and the New York Timesstated that “in the electric surge of Ms. Mazzoli’s score [for Song from the Uproar] you felt the joy, risk and limitless potential of free spirits unbound.” In addition, icareifyoulisten.com called it a “a masterpiece of modern opera.”
The texts for Song from the Uproar were inspired by the journals of Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904) an explorer, nomad, journalist, novelist, passionalt romanitc, Sufi, and one of the most unique and unusual women of her era. At age twenty, after the death of her mother, brother and father, she left her life in Switzerland for a nomadic and unfettered existence in the deserts of North Africa. She traveled extensively throught the desert on horseback, often dressed as a man, relentlessly documenting her travels through detailed journals. At age twenty-seven Isabelle drouned in a flash flood in the desert.
Song from the Uproar immerses the audience in the surreal landscapes of Isabelle’s like; she describes the death of her family, the thrill of her arrival in Africa, her tentative joy at falling in love, the elation of selfdiscovery and the mystery of death.