Whitney George’s music traverses the affective terrain between tragedy and ecstasy, fragility and strength, bringing together romantically delicate intimacy and the spectacular darkness of the macabre. Haunted by ghosts and/of love, George’s operas, staged multimedia works, and chamber music coloristically explore the mysteries of irrationality, nightmare, and memory, sonically seeking lost objects and hidden subjects. Given George’s theatrical inclinations and preoccupation with the tragic, she has turned again and again to opera as both a composer and conductor. Recently, George has been awarded a number of operatic commissions, premieres, and recognition: in 2017; the Elebash Award for her orchestration of Gideon’s opera Fortunato, which premiered under George’s baton in May 2019. In the same year; the commission of the two-act opera Princess Maleine by dell'Arte and the video opera Julie by New Camerata which was publicly released in 2020. This 2023 season, Fresh Squeezed commissions Fizz & Ginger, an immersive jazz experience, and the second operatic endeavor with libretitst Bea Goodwin. George is the artistic director and conductor of The Curiosity Cabinet, a chamber orchestra formed in 2009. She holds degrees from the California Institute of the Arts (2008), Brooklyn College (2010), and the CUNY Graduate Center (2021).
My gratitude goes out to Hannah Boissonneault who edits our Masterclass episodes and to Juanitos and Scott Holmes for the music featured in this episode.
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Megan Ihnen is a professional mezzo-soprano, teacher, writer, and arts entrepreneur who is passionate about helping other musicians and creative professionals live their best lives. Studio Class is an outgrowth of her popular #29DaystoDiva series from The Sybaritic Singer. Let your emerging professionals be part of the podcast! Invite Megan to your studio class for a taping of an episode. Your students ask questions and informative, fun conversation ensues.