updated June 2015
Doug Opel explores amalgamations of rock, jazz, pop and electronica to develop a compositional language that is at once, dark and humorous, controlled and chaotic, classical and contemporary.
He has served as composer-in-residence at the University of Wyoming's New Frontiers Music Festival, Visiting Assistant Professor and Guest Lecturer at Gustavus Adolphus College, and as board member, curator and contributing composer to upstate New York's Vision of Sound.
Opel’s recent appearances include performances by the newly formed California Sound Collective, at National YoungArts Week, Nautilus Music Theater and Idyllwild Arts Academy. Past presenters of his work include New York's Keys to the Future and DUMBO Dance Festival, Chicago's Pianoforte Salon Series and the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble. He has received repeat performances from such artists and ensembles as Zeitgeist, Duo Petrof, American Modern Ensemble, Vox Novus, the Definiens Project, cellists David Carter and Amanda Gookin, and pianists Nicola Melville, Esther Wang & Jill Dawe.
Among his commissions are new works for the Chatterton-McCright Duo, singer/actor Eric Morris, the Bridge Chamber Music Festival, Ricochet Duo, Atlantic Chamber Ensemble, the Chautauqua Institution, MATA, pianists Robert Satterlee and Nicola Melville, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and bass-baritone Timothy Jones. He has also written for former Kronos Quartet and solo artist/cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, PUBLIQuartet and the ensemble Intersection.
Opel is a winner of Definien's Composer Commission Competition (C3). The resulting piece, Soul Settings: Triptych 1 - utilizing the poetry of Minnesota-based poet William Reichard - received its premiere at the Fresno New Music Festival. He is also a recipient of the Aaron Copland Award, a residency that allows emerging composers to work uninterrupted and in privacy at Copland House - the last home of Aaron Copland.
Opel's 3 preludes to missing the point can be found on Melville's Dozen, a collection of piano pieces commissioned, performed and recorded by pianist Nicola Melville [Innova Recordings]. His Dilukkenjon for two pianos, appears both on Duo Petrof's 88x2 [Columna Música], and the newly released Powerhouse Pianists II, featuring American Modern Ensemble pianists Stephen Gosling and Blair McMillen [American Modern Recordings].
Opel holds a B.S. from Ball State University, an M.M. from the University of Michigan and a D.M. in from Indiana University. He studied composition with Ernesto Pellegrini, David Foley, Kamran Ince, George B. Wilson, William Albright, Don Freund, Jeff Hass, Eugene O'Brien and Claude Baker and piano with Marjorie Meredith, Pia Sebastiani and Dickran Atamian. He has also studied with U.K. composers Oliver Knussen and Colin Matthews.
He currently resides in Northfield, Minnesota.
updated June 2015
Exploring amalgamations of contemporary, rock, jazz, pop and electronic music, Doug Opel’s work has been sought after and performed by the National Young Arts Foundation, American Modern Ensemble, Nautilus Music-Theater, Vox Novus, Duo Petrof, Keys to the Future, Vision of Sound and the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble. He is a recipient of the Aaron Copland Award and winner of Definiens' Composition Competition Competition.
He has received commissions from the Chatterton-McCright Duo, Ricochet Duo, the Bridge Chamber Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institution, the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble, pianists Robert Satterlee and Nicola Melville, MATA, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and bass-baritone Timothy Jones. He has also written for cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, PUBLIQuartet and the ensemble Intersection.
Opel’s 3 preludes to missing the point can be found on Melville’s Dozen, by pianist Nicola Melville [Innova Recordings]. Dilukkenjon for two pianos, appears both on Duo Petrof’s 88x2 [Columna Música], and the newly released Powerhouse Pianists II, featuring pianists Stephen Gosling and Blair McMillen [American Modern Recordings].
for two pianos
for flute and piano
for piano trio
for marimba and piano
for tenor voice, picc, ob, b-fl cl, bsn, pno, drum kit, 2 vlns, vla, vc, db
for string quartet
for cello and piano
for fl (doubling picc), ob, b-fl cl (doubling bass cl), vln and vc with spoken word
for b-fl cl, pno and perc
for pno/perc, alto and tenor sax, vc & db
for picc, ob, e-fl cl, cb, hn, tpt, tbn, perc, pno, 2 vlns, vla, vc, db
for fl, b-fl cl, bsn, marimba
for 2 pianos
for speaker, b-fl cl, hp, pno, 2 perc, cb
for fl (doubling picc, bass fl), oboe (doubling eh), b-fl cl (doubling e-fl, bass cl), Hn, bsn (doubling cb)
for Baritone, Vln, Vla, VC and Pno
for fl, bass cl, perc
for 2 pianos
for chamber orchestra
for 3(picc)33(e-fl)3(contra) 4331 timp, 3 perc, hp, pno/cel, strings
for 3(picc)3(EH)3(b cl)3(contra) 4331 timp, 3 perc, hp, pno, strings
Hailed as the “the dynamic duo of contemporary pianists” who “share a messianic devotion to modern music” by The New York Times, Gosling and McMillen apply the full force of their artistry to seven shining examples of music for two pianos by living composers, including John Adams, Mary Ellen Childs, John Corigliano, Amanda Harberg, Doug Opel, Robert Paterson, and Frederic Rzewski. The album is impeccably produced by GRAMMY® -winning producer Adam Abeshouse.
In the diversity that the present musical production offers, one of its unifying ideas is the employ of arrangement or transcription, used here as a resource and also as a specific genre. Therefore, the original works are transformed according to the tastes and technical challenges sought after by the arrangers and performers, and only a few of the compositions chosen by Duo Petrof are performed in the composer's original version. Undoubtedly, this still little frequented repertoire for two pianos not only showcases the virtuosity of the pianists but urges us to know and enjoy more of it. - Elena Kopylova
Pianist Nicola Melville caught the bug of working with living composers while she was still a student in New Zealand. You get a different feel when no-one else has ever performed a work and you can email the composer to ask questions about interpretations; it certainly beats the umpteenth performance of an old warhorse.
Years and a hemisphere later, arriving in Northfield, Minnesota, Melville wanted to share that experience with her students at Carleton College. Thus was born the idea to commission some of today’s hottest com- posers to write according to her brief: a short piece, in a recognizable style of the Americas, that would be approachable to play for young, advanced-level students.
With influences drawn from styles of the Americas such as funk, jazz, blues, rock, tango, Peruvian, and Appalachian folk, the resulting pieces are engaging, sophisticated, and challenging. The composers range from Pulitzer Prize-nominated Augusta Read Thomas to young guns Marc Mellits, Carter Pann and Gabby Frank. The dynamic voice of each of the thirteen com- posers (bakers and pianists both throw in an extra one for free) speaks in a unique and compelling way throughout the CD.
Date: Aug 30, 2015
Venue: Community Congregation Church
Work:Soul Settings: Triptych 1
The program includes Gridlock, a piece by Dan Becker-Fade featuring 10 players; the soul in paradise (the first movement of Doug Opel’s Soul Settings Triptych for five players and speaker); Mozart’s Divertimento for Strings in D major, KV 136; two movements from a Tango Suite for harp and strings by Astor Piazzolla; and Jacques Ibert’s Divertissement, played by harpist Anna Maria Mendieta - See more at: www.scfv.org
Date: May 13, 2015
Venue: GE Theater at Procter's, 432 State Street
Work:Playtime with Elvis & Krispy, Ricochet Duo
The Kelly Adirondack Center at Union College presents Ricochet Duo with its multimedia program The Woodswoman Project: a tribute to Anne LaBastille as part of Union.s 2015 Adirondack Week festivities.
Ricochet Duo.s The Woodswoman Project honors Anne LaBastille.s tireless work as an international environmentalist, author, and icon for women by way of weaving together music, sound, images, and light. The concert repertoire has been selected to celebrate and focus on four tenets of LaBastille.s work: water & woods & birds & silence.
The multimedia program includes stunning photography by acclaimed Adirondack photographers Mark Bowie, Carl Heilman II, and Shaun Heffernan.
Honoring the late Adirondack conservationist, self-proclaimed Woodswoman and friend and neighbor of Rose Chancler, Ricochet Duo.s pianist commissioned Hilary Tann.the John Howard Payne Professor of Music at Union College.to write a work for piano and marimba. The resulting piece, Solstice, draws directly on LaBastille.s writings and is the center piece of The Woodswoman Project.
The Woodswoman Project highlights two other works commissioned specifically for the Anne LaBastille tribute. Pianist Rose Chancler first met Anne LaBastille while walking the family dog, .Elvis.. Anne.s beautiful German Shepherd pup .Krispy-Creme. came running out of her house, with Anne frantically (and ineffectively) blowing a training whistle from behind. Krispy and Elvis struck up a wonderful friendship. Doug Opel.s piece Playtime with Elvis and Krispy captures this romp and delight inherent in being playful pals. Bill Pfaff.s composition entitled Lichen is more reflective of the inspiration found in the color variants of lichen on the ground as well as the song of the White-throated sparrow and composer.s creative response to the unusual world above the tree-line.
Additionally, the program includes On Curious Reflection which was written in 2009 for Ricochet Duo by New York.s Capital Region composer Rain Worthington and funded by a grant from New York Women Composers. Other works on the program are by Mikhail Glinka, Jens Schliecker and Nils Rower, Keiko Abe, Jesús Castillo, Akemi Naito, and Charles Tomlinson Griffes.
Come to the concert and join Rose and Jane for a free post-concert reception with wine, cheese, and hors doeuvres!
Date: May 11, 2015
Venue: Taylor Music Center, Union College
Work:Playtime with Elvis & Krispy, Ricochet Duo
Ricochet Duo will be Artist-in-Residence for The Kelly Adirondack Center at Union College.s third annual Adirondack Week. Opening the week-long festivities is a 50-minute Taylor Time! concert with music selections from Ricochet Duo.s The Woodswoman Project: a tribute to Anne LaBastille. Included on the program will be Hilary Tann.s .Solstice,. which was commissioned by Ricochet Duo for The Woodswoman Project. Dr. Tann is the John Howard Payne Professor of Music at Union College.
Open seating/ No Charge for Admission
Date: May 3, 2015
Venue: Methodist Church
Date: Mar 30, 2015
Time: 1:00 pm
Venue: Gorno Library Reading Room, 6th Floor