First, we heard the world premiere recording of Eotvos's "Three Sisters," a modern, sparse opera retelling of the original Chekhov story of the same name. From the sisters being played by countertenors to the use of an onstage and a pit orchestra, Eotvos's opera shows the timelessness of the existential questions that arise in the monotony of life for the sisters.
We went on to listen to selections from Ligeti's "Le Grand Macabre." The composer's only opera, "Macabre" was deemed by Ligeti to be an "anti-anti-opera" dealing with mortality. We are led through an apocalyptic landscape by the main character, Nekrotzar, himself a representation of death amidst sounds culled from both the traditional opera palette as well as the urban dystopia in which "Macabre" is set.
Finally, we went on to hear the majority of Monk's "Atlas." "Atlas" takes listeners on the spiritual quest of a mystical Everywoman, and fully utilizes Monk's preferred extended vocal techniques as the primary vocal tool used to tie together the multimedia mosaic envisioned by the composer.