Jeanna de Waal (Diana The Musical) and Cree Carrico starred in the world premiere of Insomnia, a new musical work from composer Blake Allen, at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall November 8. The work, written and directed by Allen, is based on the 1934 F. Scott Fitzgerald short story Sleeping and Waking.
Described as a "merge of classical, opera, and musical theatre," Insomnia included two multi-movement, sextet compositions for voice, string quartet, and piano, telling a story of how sleep deprivation and anxiety affect two individuals living nearly a century apart.
The first piece, using text excerpted from the Fitzgerald story, follows the Great Gatsby writer as he roams the streets during a sleepless night in Baltimore. The second piece, titled Of Which, Tomorrow, features stream-of-consciousness texts written by Allen after he was repeatedly awakened at 4:05 AM every morning by anxiety and insomnia, used to center on a 30-something woman whose insomnia is derived from a fear of government mandated population control.
Carrico and de Waal were accompanied by the Argus Quartet, including Clara Kim on violin, Giancarlo Latta on violin, Maren Rothfritz on viola, and Mariel Roberts on cello; and pianist Chris Koelzer. Traguna Productions produced.
See photos of the event below: