The Paul Dresher Ensemble has a national reputation for creating, producing, and touring acclaimed theatrical works across the US. They include The American Trilogy ( Slow Fire , Power Failure , and Pioneer ), Sound Stage , and Dresher's latest chamber opera The Tyrant , which recently premiered on the subscription series of the Cleveland Opera. Most of these pieces have been created collaboratively with other composers, writers, designers, directors, and performers. Since 1993 the Ensemble has also produced or co-produced works by artists not in The Ensemble, including Rinde Eckert ( The Gardening of Thomas D), Steven Mackey and Rinde Eckert ( Ravenshead) , Erling Wold ( A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil ), and Amanda Moody and Melissa Weaver ( Winchester Rosary) .
The Paul Dresher Ensemble differs from more traditional opera/music theater organizations because so much of its work depends on collaborative creation. We believe when the music, text, movement, visuals, and dramatic elements are created simultaneously, the resulting artwork is infinitely more meaningful than the sum of its parts. In each one of our projects we strive to define and to investigate different artistic and aesthetic concerns, challenging our creators to push the limits of their individual disciplines and to explore new ways for their discipline to contribute to an entire work.
Equally unusual are the national tours that the Ensemble mounts each year to bring contemporary theater works to audiences outside the San Francisco Bay Area. Our extensive touring with such works as Slow Fire, which has received over 150 US performances as well as three European tours; Pioneer and Power Failure , each of which has received over 30 performances; and Ravenshead , which has had over 50 performances and continues to tour, has earned us international acclaim that is unique among new music groups today.
The Ensemble believes that its creative work should be relevant to people living and working in today's culture. Indeed, a concern about contemporary society motivates the content of our work. We use whatever resources might be available, including technological magic, classic vaudevillian tricks, or sheer beauty of image and sound, to engage our audiences and focus their attention on some of today's most important issues. Furthermore, although everyone in our team must deal with artistic challenges posed by his or her particular medium, aesthetic decisions are always made with the audience in mind in an effort to reach as broad an audience as possible.
Many of our theatrical works were made possible through financial support from: