The Wake World, by David Hertzberg (b. 1990, Los Angeles) will be Catapult’s fall 2021 offering. Wake World received the Music Critics Association of North America’s award for best new opera of 2017. Heidi Waleson, opera critic for the Wall Street Journal describes it as “…like an opium dream in music. It’s a magical story about a woman entering into an erotic and ecstatic awakening…” Showing off the expressive and sensual qualities of the classically-trained voice, The Wake World is scored for 2 virtuoso female principle voices, a staged chorus of 16 solo voices, and an orchestra of 7 stellar instrumentalists.
The New York Times said of the premiere, “…the music is engrossing. The score, spiked with modernist elements, makes Mr. Hertzberg seem a 21-century Ravel”, and the Wall Street Journal reported Hertzberg’s music “…has the sheen and muscle of Strauss wedded to the diaphanous spirit of Debussy, but with a distinctly modern edge…This composer is a find.”
The work will receive an entirely new staging by NY-based director Mary Birnbaum.