Saint Cecilia, or the Power of Music

Instrumentation: chamber ensemble with electronics
Duration: 60'
Libretto: Joseph Cermatori
Commission: TBD
Premiere: TBD


Saint Cecilia, or the Power of Music is a work in progress one-act chamber opera based on a short story by Heinrich von Kleist. The work has been invited to be part of Access Contemporary Music's new experimental music series, Concept Lab. During the workshop, the composer and librettist duo will work alongside ACM's musicians to explore the earliest stages of the work's musical language.

Workshop at Access Contemporary Music's Concept Lab


Collaborators Ryan Homsey (composer) and Joseph Cermatori (librettist) will workshop selected instrumental excerpts from their opera in development, currently titled Saint Cecilia, or the Power of Music, based off of the 1810 short story of the same name by Heinrich von Kleist. A legend and a mystery set during the Protestant reformation, the story follows four brothers who lose their wits under obscure circumstances while attempting to deface a local cathedral. Homsey's musical language draws influence from various forms of 16th-century polyphony and contemporary post-minimalism. Together, he and Cermatori will discuss the project and present sketches of material from several significant moments of it in performance, to be performed by Concept's Lab musical team.