What's On Upcoming Events2023 / 2024

The Bright Divide

Main Stage

Rothko Chapel by American composer Morton Feldman was written for the opening of the “Rothko Chapel” in Houston, Texas, a non-denominational spiritual space containing 14 paintings by the iconic Mark Rothko. Feldman wrote, “Rothko’s imagery goes right to the edge of his canvas, and I wanted the same effect with the music.” His evocative score is a dialogue with Rothko’s paintings featuring a solo viola, played exquisitely by internationally renowned virtuoso Steven Dann. It’s also an homage to The Chapel, created “to illuminate our shared humanity, inspiring actions towards treating all with dignity and respect.”

mark will be a world premiere by Canadian composer Cecilia Livingston with text by Duncan McFarlane, responding both to Feldman’s piece and to Rothko’s art itself. mark offers a ritual of light and darkness: exploring this ‘Bright Divide’, the spiritual tensions in Rothko’s work, and the tensions between Rothko’s earlier bright colour fields and the sombre refinement of the Chapel paintings. Known for her powerful, dramatic creations for singers, Livingston contrasts soloist and ensemble, viola and voice, to evoke what Robert Hughes called the ‘breathing intensity’ of Rothko’s paintings—that sense of awe and contemplation.

Presented in partnership with Pinkhouse Productions