• Deborah Yaffe

Ending on a high note

This past year, we can probably all agree, hasn’t been one of the planet’s best. But there’s still time to end 2021 on a happier note – literally.


A multi-disciplinary community of artists called The Rally Cat is currently streaming Elinor & Marianne, a song cycle that “compresses the nineteenth-century novel Sense and Sensibility into a fifty-five-minute emotional tour-de-force,” according to online coverage. The music is by Aferdian, setting a libretto by Marella Martin Koch.


The pre-recorded performance, which is followed by a pre-recorded interview with the composer, began streaming on Christmas Day and will be available at specific times once a day for the next five days. Tickets are free, but you have to register to get access.


In case you were wondering how Aferdian and Koch managed to squeeze a full-length novel into less than an hour: Apparently, the title of Elinor & Marianne represents truth in advertising. The piece is performed by just two singers, a soprano and a mezzo-soprano, along with their piano accompanists.


If you like this version, however, more may be coming: According to Koch’s website, she and Aferdian are working on a full-length operatic version of Sense and Sensibility.

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