"Triptych explores the very limits of artistic expression for an age in which almost nothing seems shocking." – Boston Classical Review
"One of my friends commented that although he’d seen many shows at ArtsEmerson, this one seemed to generate the most discussion afterwards. What more can one ask from a work of art?" – Theater Mirror
"IT ISN’T SO MUCH A PORTRAIT OF MAPPLETHORPE AS A MEDITATION ON THE MAN, HIS WORK, AND HIS LEGACY.
There was the re-imagining of a Monteverdi madrigal that laments a dead beloved, underlining the fact that Mapplethorpe, Hemphill, and many of the men pictured would perish young in the AIDS crisis. Isaiah Robinson, a simmering force of a tenor with a falsetto to die for, lined out a keening hymn while vocal band Roomful of Teeth backed him up with haunting, laser-precise harmonies. Singing a velvety spiritual, Alicia Hall Moran wielded her mezzo voice like a knife made of rose petals." – The Boston Globe
"Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) serves up a cool emotional package: the vocal wizardry of Roomful of Teeth, the eye-catching photographs of Mapplethorpe, and the dense poetry of Smith and Hemphill." – The Arts Fuse
"Sentimental and ferocious. Triptych accomplishes what art does best, which is to serve as a pointer toward further thought." – San Francisco Chronicle
“A re-examination and an exaltation of the photographer’s enduring imagery, with its classical beauty and raw eroticism." – ArtNews
“Roomful of Teeth deliver a superb performance" – Hyperallergic
“Dessner’s music was melodically involving and wonderfully performed…like ghostly mournful cries, which underscored the serious intent…two thrilling soloists…not just about Mapplethorpe’s legacy but also a statement about how we suspiciously live in America.” – CityBeat
"A radical new work...there was no singular emotional direction a work of this scope could portray, and composer Bryce Dessner fluidly swept us from the awe-inspiring cathedral, to the cold and calculating courtroom, to the intimate bedroom with a score that surged with electricity, sparkling clarity, and biting poignancy." — artseen
“Beautifully crafted and performed” — San Francisco Classical Voice
“What came through most clearly – often thrillingly – was the score...Gorgeous vocal sound for its own sake...Moran…delivered the goods with authority...My overall impression was one of the sheer joy of singing.” — Classical Voice North America
“Witty and wicked...forbidding and seductive...Dessner is at his best...The language is stylized and extravagantly poetic, matching the photographs’ explicit sexual content while meeting their cool elegance with punk Romanticism.”” — The New York Times
On Bryce Dessner
"Dessner personifies what appears to be a generational shift in musicians.” — The Washington Post
"A man who slips in and out of musical guises with disarming ease...this is gorgeous and full-hearted music."” — NPR
"Overwhelmingly somber and memorable." - Eileen M., Facebook
"Loved it...beautiful." - Steve B., Facebook
"Wow! Tryptich was gorgeous." - Kristin M., Facebook
Ages 16+ | This work contains images depicting sexuality and nudity, and includes frank discussions of sexuality.
Composed by Bryce Dessner
Libretto by korde arrington tuttle
Featuring words by Essex Hemphill & Patti Smith
Directed by Kaneza Schaal
Featuring Roomful of Teeth with Alicia Hall Moran & Isaiah Robinson
Music Direction & Conducting by Brad Wells
Produced by ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann in Cooperation with The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Music by Bryce Dessner is used with permission of Chester Music Ltd.
TRIPTYCH was commissioned by ArtsEmerson.
Supported in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Produced in Residency with and Commissioned by University Musical Society, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
Co-produced by Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel Music and Artistic Director.
TRIPTYCH was co-commissioned by BAM; Luminato Festival, Toronto, Canada; Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens, Greece; Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati, OH; Cal Performances, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; Stanford Live, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; Adelaide Festival, Australia; John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for performance as part of DirectCurrent 2019; Texas Performing Arts, UT Austin; Holland Festival, Amsterdam; Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; the Momentary, Bentonville, AR, Celebrity Series, Boston, MA; and developed in residency with MassMOCA, North Adams, MA.
Triptych is presented by ArtsEmerson in association with Celebrity Series of Boston and New England Conservatory