Join us on Friday, May 3 at this symposium exploring Walt Whitman’s impact on literature, music, and the visual arts. The event will culminate with a lecture and performance featuring 2018 MacArthur Fellow Matthew Aucoin, composer and writer of the opera Crossing, based on Whitman’s Civil War writings. Leading American operatic baritone Rod Gilfry will perform with Aucoin. The opera was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2017 and by the Los Angeles Opera in 2018. This lecture-performance will offer a rare opportunity for audiences in the New York area to hear this critically acclaimed work.
Sponsored and supported by a FAHSS grant award, the Run Run Shaw Fund, the University Libraries, Humanities Institute, the Departments of English and Music, and the Office of the Provost. Free and open to the public. A selection of rare poetry works from Special Collections, SBU Libraries’ will be on display at the program. Event organizers: Susan Scheckel (English), Kristen Nyitray (Libraries), and Andrew Rimby (SBU English Ph.D. student).
2:30pm to 3:00 pm
Whitman’s New York: “Whitman’s Arcadia: Long Island through the Eyes of of a Poet and Painters” (Joshua Ruff, Chief Curator/Director of Collections and Interpretation, Long Island Museum)
3:00pm to 3:30 pm “A Sense of Place: Evoking Whitman’s Long Island” (SBU English PhD students present research for Long Island Museum exhibition on Whitman and walking tour)
3:30pm to 3:45 pm (Break)
3:45pm to 4:15 pm Friendship in Whitman’s New York (Professor Karen Karbiener, New York University)
4:15pm to 4:45 pm
Whitman and the Civil War “Whitman the Wound Dresser” (SBU English Professor Susan Scheckel) “Civil War and Whitman’s Homoeroticism” (SBU English PhD student Andrew Rimby)
4:45pm to 5:00 pm (Break; travel to Recital Hall, Staller Center for the Arts Recital Hall)
5:00pm to 6:30 pm
“Walt Whitman and the Ethics of Optimism”
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Walt Whitman, this lecture and performance feature 2018 MacArthur Fellow Matthew Aucoin, composer and writer of the critically acclaimed original opera Crossing, based on Walt Whitman’s Civil War writings. Aucoin will discuss Whitman, the creation of Crossing and the themes the opera addresses. Leading American operatic baritone Rod Gilfry, who originated the role of Whitman, will perform with Aucoin. The opera was performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2017 and by the Los Angeles Opera in 2018. This event offers a rare opportunity for audiences in the New York area to hear this critically acclaimed work. American composer, conductor, writer, and pianist Matthew Aucoin was named a 2018 MacArthur Fellow for his achievements in “expanding the potential of vocal and orchestral music to convey emotional, dramatic, and literary meaning.” His musical works vividly communicate the nuances, ambiguities, and multiple meanings of texts in musical form. Matthew Aucoin graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College (A.B. 2012) and earned a Graduate Diploma (2014) from the Juilliard School. He is both Artist-in-Residence at the Los Angeles Opera and co-artistic director of the newly-formed American Modern Opera Company. Aucoin is currently at work on a new opera, Eurydice, which has been co-commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and the Los Angeles Opera.