Composer: Sidney Corbett
Composer Bio: Sidney Corbett was born in Chicago in 1960. He studied composition and philosophy at the University of California, San Diego and at Yale University, where he earned his doctorate in 1989. From 1985 to 1987 he studied composition at the Hamburg Academy of Music with György Ligeti. His composition teachers also included Martin Bresnick, Jacob Druckman, Bernard Rands and Pauline Oliveros.

Corbett has composed orchestral, instrumental and vocal music, and also one opera. His works have earned him numerous awards and prizes (e.g. Irino Foundation, Tokyo, Radio France Musique, BMI) and have been performed widely both in the United States and abroad. Corbett's music has been featured at a number of prominent international festivals for contemporary music, such as the Gaudeamus Music Week, Amsterdam, Styrian Autumn, Graz, the Zagreb Biennale, the Zürich Festival and in New York's Lincoln Center In 1998, portrait concerts dedicated to Corbett's music were held at the Wien Modern Festival, Vienna and at the Festival for New American Music, in Sacramento. Interpreters of his works include the RSO Stuttgart, the NOA Orchestra, New York, the Orchestra of the Finnish National Opera, Helsinki, the South German Radio Chorus and many well known soloists. Recent commissions have come from IKAB Berlin (Chamber Symphony, for the Leipzig Sinfonietta), Performing Arts Chicago (for the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet) and from the Schwetzinger Festival (a song cycle for soprano Ruth Ziesak). Corbett's first full-scale opera, NOACH, based on a libretto by Christoph Hein and commissioned by the Bremen Theatre, was premiered in Bremen in October 2001.

In 1995 Sidney Corbett was a guest professor for composition and analysis of contemporary music at Duke University. He has also lectured at Yale University, the University of California, Berkeley, University of Illinois, Urbana, and internationally at the House of Composers, Moscow, the Royal Danish Conservatory, the University of Münster, Hamburg University and at Martin Luther University in Halle. Corbett is the author of articles on musical subjects in both English and German. His works are published by Moeck Verlag, Celle (European-American Music), Bärenreiter Verlag, Kassel, and by Verlag Neue Musik, Berlin. Radio recordings of Corbett's music have been broadcast by NPR, KPFK San Fransisco, Radio Tokyo, Radio Moscow, Nederlands Radio, Radio France Musique, Radio Zagreb and by virtually every German radio station. Commercial recordings have been released on CRI/Emergency Music, New York, Ambitus Records, Hamburg, Koch International and BIS Records, Sweden. A solo CD of Sidney Corbett's music was released on Kreuzberg Records in 1998. Sidney Corbett currently resides in Berlin, Germany.
Librettist: Christopher Hein
Other Artistic Personnel: Direction: Rosamund Gilmore, Set Design: Carl Friedrich Oberle, Conductor: Graham Jackson, Publisher: Verlag Neue Musik, Berlin
Original Cast: Clemens C. Löschmann as Noach, Katharina von Bülow as Barbara, Loren Lang as Stein, Ina Schlingensiepen as Tatjana, Karsten Küsters as Rispe, Katherine Stone as Schulenberg, Eva Koch, Irina Wischnizkaja, Wolfgang von Borries, Johannes Hartog, Sandra Lommerzheim, Mateng Pollkläsener, Tatjana Kluge, Martina Parkes and Heinrich Bröckerhoff
Premiere Date: October 19, 2001
Producing Company: BremerTheater
Description: Barbara, a young woman, wants, together with her companion, Stein, to occupy an old and presumably abandoned house which is about to be torn down. However, in a dilapidated apartment in the house they discover a very old man who insists that he is the ancient Noach from biblical times. Barbara listens to the old man with scepticism, but also not without a certain affection: "God is a fool ... humanity cannot in any way be bettered ... and the Great Flood was the pointless act of one who is crazed, one who is insane and has no knowledge of the world. And He knows it now. That's why He won't let me die. He can't look me in the eye." Noach is on the one hand God's prophet, the chosen one found to be just in the eyes of the Lord, who witnessed the destruction of creation and then repeatedly has been forces to endure witnessing who God has not kept his promise to make a better future world, but rather has inflicted new plagues and catastrophes (epidemics, wars, genocide) upon humanity. On the other hand, however, Noach is of course a somewhat unusual, but also only too human old man – unkempt, leering, randy, who has despite his rather peculiar life history retained his sense of humor and for the absurdity of modern life. Barbara is a young woman who is attracted by the strange distance of the old man. Through her contact with Noach, Barbara gains a more thoughtful view of her daily world and begins to distrust what had seemed so clear. The other persons (Stein, Landlord, City Council Official, Prostitute) who come in contact with Noach are people from contemporary life who see in Noach only the old man who should be placed in a home as soon as possible, in order to implement their own very commonplace plans.
Character List (Major): Noach (lyr t), Barbara (lyr mz)
Character List (Minor): Stein (b), Rispe (b-bar), Schulenberg (s), Tatjana (s), Voices of the Lord (child s, b, high s)
Reviews: Frieder Reininghaus, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11-25-01; Kristina Maidt-Zinke, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 11-08-01
Length: 02:00
Total Acts: Not Available
Chorus: Chorus
Orchestration: 3fl (2 picc, afl), 2 ob, 3 cl (bcl), 2 bsn - 2 hrn, 2 tpt, 2tbn, 1 tba - perc - hp - str
Contact: Axel Muetze-Kern, Verlag Neue Musik
Address: Verlag Neue Musik GmbH, Grabbeallee 15, 13156 Berlin, Germany
E-mail Address:
Phone: (49) 22/ 329-6930
Composer Web Site:
Publisher Web Site:
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

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