performances & recordings
A fully-staged performance of Charles Wakefield Cadman’s 1918 opera Shanewis.
In 1918, Charles Wakefield Cadman completed the Indianist opera Shanewis, which was featured during two consecutive seasons at the Metropolitan Opera and was popular throughout the 1920s. Cadman became a celebrity after the success of Shanewis, however, the composer —and his once-famous opera—have since receded into obscurity. The last fully-staged professional production of the opera dates to 1926 at the Hollywood Bowl. In recent years, the opera—and other Indianist works like it—have received a marginal amount of greater attention from music scholars and historians. However, performances of Cadman’s music lag behind, and constitute a significant missed opportunity. For one thing, the standard operatic repertoire contains few one-act operas in English—especially ones with music as graceful and “singable” as can be found in Shanewis. For another, the opera provides opportunity for interdisciplinary dialogue surrounding American Indian political history.
CDI plans to mount the first major production of Shanewis in nearly ninety years. This fully-staged professional rendition would feature noted soloists and be accompanied by the original orchestration, which has never been published. Anderson’s recent research on the opera, which has been presented to great acclaim across the country, has given her access to the full score. The hand-copied manuscripts used for the 1918 premiere belonged to the Met, and were rented out for subsequent productions across the country. These documents—the only surviving copy of the composer’s orchestration—are now held in the special collections of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Anderson is now working on engraving the music so that the opera might once again be heard in its original and complete form.
Following a successful production of the opera, CDI plans to release the first recording of the work. In addition, it plans to publish the full orchestration, making a revival of the work as part of the American operatic canon a possibility. This feat would be a meaningful example of the fulfillment of CDI’s mission statement and provide musicians and audiences everywhere with a previously inaccessible treasure.
New recordings of Utah composers
CDI plans to release a new recording of Arthur Shepherd's 1918 violin-piano sonata (first published by Senart in Paris in 1927) to accompany a new edition of the musical score. The new recording may include a rerelease of the live 1976 performance by Victor Babin and Grant Johannesen as part of the Cleveland Institute of Music Series on Golden Crest Records.
First Annual Community Concert
As part of an on-going commitment to public outreach, CDI will produce its first free community concert at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City in early 2016. The concert will spotlight a number of composers from disparate eras and showcase a variety of instrumentations and compositional styles. This event will be the first in an annual tradition that features top-quality performers and serves the purposes of educating the public and distributing target repertoire.