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FULL BLACK WATER (Jeremy Beck) Adelaide 2012 Karen Fitz-Gibbon

Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO          Qries

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: JeremyBeckComposer  
  • Date Published: 2012  
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 3 Audio:3
  • Subtitles: nosubs  
  • Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO

In 1969, the dead body of a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, was discovered inside an overturned car in a channel on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. The car belonged to Senator Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy, who did not report the late-night incident to police authorities until the following morning. After the discovery, Kopechne’s body was recovered from the submerged car and Kennedy gave a statement to police saying that during the previous night, she was his passenger when he took a wrong turn and accidentally drove his car off a bridge and into the water. After pleading guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury, Kennedy received a suspended sentence of two months. The national scandal that followed may have influenced Kennedy’s decision not to campaign for President of the United States in 1972 and 1976.

Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates is a slightly-veiled fictional account of these events. With her permission, I completed this work in 1994, writing and shaping the libretto from her novella. This extended composition is dramatically effective as both a concert work and as a staged monodrama. Whether in a concert setting or in the theater, the soprano assumes multiple roles and states of mind (following the variety of levels created by Oates). The work is presented almost completely from the point of view of the drowning woman: in reality, in flashback, in dreams and in hallucinations.

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