“A re-examination and an exaltation of the photographer’s enduring imagery, with its classical beauty and raw eroticism." – ArtNews
“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
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
Set & Costume Design by Carlos Soto
Lighting Design by Yuki Nakase
Video by Simon Harding
Dramaturgy by Talvin Wilks & Christopher Myers
Production Management by William Knapp
Associate Director Jennifer Harrison Newman
Associate Music Director William Brittelle
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