I started Divergence Vocal Theater, named the company*, and launched it by asking a band of cohorts to trust me beyond reason, and participate in my concept for our inaugural season's Ottavia Project. I am the primary mover, shaker, and Chief Catherder. As the indispensable crew assembles, there will be less of me, and more we, but this is not unusual for a burgeoning arts ensemble.
The ensemble process is the nexus of Divergence and the basis of my aspirations for the company. The term collaborative process falls short. Collaborative suggests a possible one-time creative event, but the ensemble process is dedicated to long-term collaboration. I'm interested in creating ongoing creative relationships.
- We are a collective whose first commitment is repertoire chosen and/or created for our strengths, interests, and aspirations.
Each ensemble must define, invent, and nurture their working process. Many artists work (or have worked) in this way, including the ground-breaking movement artists of Judson Dance Theater; the experimental theater artist Jerzy Grotowski; The Wooster Group (who recently re-created Cavalli's opera Didone); composer/dancer/theater-maker, Meredith Monk (created an opera, ATLAS, commissioned by HGO); Joe Goode Performance Group; SITI Company and Tectonic Theater Project - and any band or jazz ensemble. There are many, many examples. Any time artists band together over an extended period of time to create work, the ensemble process appears.
- Divergence artists are creator-performers
We are also a project-based ensemble. Although we like to present regular programming (typically in the fall and spring), our larger aspirations do not include building an arts organization, per se. Funding and fundraising efforts directly support the production in process, including remuneration to the artists for their contributions.
Toni Valle, a long-time friend and choreographer is has been collaborating with us; Megan M. Reilly, an Austin-based theatrical designer is cookin' up some exciting things for our Oct 2 & 3 Autumn Spectre, and we're scheming on future projects; and James Norman, a dear friend and amazing composer is working on a new piece for Divergence. Stephen W. Jones has served as musical director for our productions so far, and singers Michael Walsh, Alison Greene, and Shelley Auer have been featured performers/contributors, and of course, yours truly.
*I chose Divergence Vocal Theater because I wanted the name to have the capacity to absorb the company's creative transformations over time.
An ethereal October eve of contemporary art song in English, piano & harp works, with sitar music, film, butoh inspired dance, & shadow play. Music of Dominick Argento, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Jake Heggie, Benjamin Britten, and more...