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with choreography by CAROLYN CHOA

commissioned by Massachusetts Institute of Technology
presented with special permission of The Metropolitan Opera

In 2020, The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer opened with the longest dance solo in the company’s history. Alison Clancy performed a twelve minute dance to the opera’s complete overture, as a spiritual version of Senta, the opera's dramatic leading lady. Internationally acclaimed choreographer Carolyn Choa created the dance in close collaboration with Clancy. Contemporary dance collided with classical music to create an evocative, emotional exploration of longing and power, a fitting opening for an epic opera.


In OPERA/ DANCE/ ELECTRIC GUITAR this exploration continues with legendary guitarist Gary Lucas. Lucas plays an original  arrangement of Wagner's overture for solo electric guitar and effects pedals, and the choreography is adapted by Clancy to interplay with this new vision of the music. The collision of contemporary dance and music with Wagner is an amalgamation of forms, ideas and disparate parts coming together to make a unique, strikingly immediate whole.


In OPERA/ DANCE/ ELECTRIC GUITAR Clancy performs the solo twice, first to an orchestral recording of the original overture, then to Gary Lucas' playing his arrangement live. Together they explore the process of creation and adaptation, colliding the old with the new to create something wholly original.



Gary Lucas is a world class guitar hero, a Grammy-nominated songwriter, an international recording artist, and a soundtrack composer for film and television. The former Captain Beefheart guitarist has recorded over 50 acclaimed albums to date in his own right in a variety of genres—jazz, rock, classical, folk, blues, avant-garde and world music—and has performed in over 40 countries—including the UK, Canada, Australia, all over Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, South Korea, Serbia, China, Russia, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Taiwan, Morocco, India, and elsewhere. Gary has received several Lifetime Achievement awards for his songwriting with Jeff Buckley (he co-wrote Jeff's anthems "Grace" and "Mojo Pin") and many honors—including performing solo before the General Assembly of the UN to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day. He has performed and collaborated with a who's who of musical luminaries, including Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet), Jeff Buckley, Leonard Bernstein, Lou Reed, John Cale, Patti Smith, Chris Cornell, Bryan Ferry, Nona Hendryx, Los Van Van, Bob Weir, Nick Cave, Thurston Moore, Lukas Ligeti, Martha Wainwright, Camille O'Sullivan, Steve Kilbey, and many others, and he has given Masterclasses in guitar and songwriting at his alma mater Yale University, Columbia University, Rutgers University, the Amsterdam Musik Conservatorium, the Henri Dutilleux Conservatoire in Paris, The New School, and other academic institutions.

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