FAMILY SECRETS: KITH & KIN

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"Everything the world does wrong, everything the world does best is found
right here,
but only by the watchful..."


-Allan Gurganus

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GRAMMY AWARDS®
2022 NOMINEE

CLASSICAL PRODUCER OF THE YEAR:
ELAINE MARTONE

“A major new work... Five stars: A fascinating new chamber opera... Moore’s singing is hauntingly intense.”

Fanfare Magazine - Henry Fogel

 

"This is a slice of southern culture that could easily pass under your radar, and that would be unfortunate."

American Record Guide - Robert Moore

 

"A tender, intimate chamber opera, Family Secrets: Kith & Kin... is a patchwork quilt that offers 44 minutes of fascination, amusement, and character... The Southern tinge of a banjo adds curious sense of melancholy... It is rare to find something as completely individual as this… a most impressive achievement, compositionally, in performance, and in recording.” 

Fanfare Magazine - Colin Clarke

"The performance is all a composer could hope for. Everyone performs with energy and a keen awareness of the dramatic context of their part... The instrumental ensemble is excellent.”

Fanfare Magazine - Henry Fogel

"Timothy Myers, the conductor, has coordinated the various elements of this production in a performance that is gripping and moving.”

American Record Guide - Robert Moore

 

American composer, and native son of rural North Carolina, Daniel Thomas Davis’s haunting and humorous work Family Secrets: Kith & Kin —Part Chamber Opera – Part Song Cycle– fuses new, original texts of renowned authors of the New South: Allan Gurganus, Daniel Wallace, Frances Mayes, Jeffery Beam, Lee Smith, Michael Malone, and perhaps the last published and only known work set to music by the late Randall Kenan. This series of interconnected dramatic portraits explore and reveal secrets through the rooms of houses in small-town scenes that tell of murder, gossip, humor, regret, solace, and ultimately…forgiveness.

 

In constructing this work, Davis explains, “These writers all know one another and in one way or another, the people that inhabit their writings all seem to know one another, too. Their voices, their characters, their almost-forgotten-but-now-remembered friends and family – they all seemed to live in proximity to one another, in varying degrees of familiarity.” Again, Allan Gurganus’ words entice, “Our village notices our village…Everything the world does wrong, everything the world does best is found right here.”

Davis’s characterful instrumentation- with twangy banjo lurking and lilting beneath the score’s surface, striding piano riffs and high-lonesome fiddle solos- brought together an eclectic group of collaborators to highlight the operatic fervor and sultry southern accents of this genre-bending score. Soprano Andrea Edith Moore’s ensemble features 4-time GRAMMY® winning pianist and cellist Lisa Kaplan and Nick Photinos of the pioneering, new-music ensemble Eighth Blackbird; oboist Bo Newsome and violinist Elizabeth Phelps of Mallarmé Chamber Players; Banjo virtuoso Hank Smith (Hank, Pattie & The Current); and tour-de-force storytelling actress Jane Holding. The intrepid and acclaimed conductor Timothy Myers unites this all-star group into a seamless and balanced whole.

Moore joined forces with five-time GRAMMY® winning producer and 2020 Classical Producer of the Year GRAMMY® nominee Elaine Martone to release her debut recording of Daniel Thomas Davis’s Family Secrets: Kith & Kin with multiple GRAMMY winning musicians on Albany Records. Given the forces involved to pull this off, this pandemic-era project is a real feat and one with a timely message from author Allan Gurganus asking, “Can’t we each be saved from our worst selves?” The driver of the project from its commission to staged productions and now a record, Moore sings “with her powerful and flexible soprano voice, her acting ability, her dedication and drive, and her charm that enables such projects as this to be successful.” (Classical Voice of NC)