Six Poems of Novica Tadic (2008)


  • 19
  • Mezzo soprano, hp.perc.strings(

Score Excerpts

Program Notes

Six Poems of Novica Tadic is a group of setting by this exceptional poet from the former Yugoslavia. One of the most respected poets of his generation, Tadic was born in 1949 in a small village in Montenegro and has lived most of his life in Belgrade. His collections include PresencesDeath in a Chair,MawFiery HenFoul LanguageThe Object of RidiculeStreetSparrow Hawk and others. For this setting I have used English translations by American poet Charles Simic.

Tadic depicts a dark and sardonic and unsettling Boschian world, yet within that world I find both innocence and lyricism, and a strangely expressive beauty. In setting these poems I have tried to keep this incongruity in mind.

I loved Tadic’s poetry when I first came across it several years ago, and immediately resolved to set some of his texts when the right moment arrived. This turned out to be when Michelle Mourre and I were planning this concert last year, and deciding that we would have strings, harp and percussion for this concert. It seemed to perfect opportunity both to use these poems and to work again with Michelle and with mezzo-soprano Mireille Lebel, who, respectively, conducted and created the title role in my the world premiere of my opera Prince Kaspar a few years ago. This work is dedicated to them both.

Composed 2008
For Mezzo Soprano and Chamber Orchestra
Premiered October 27 and 28, Brandon and Winnipeg
A co-production of GroundSwell and the Brandon Chamber Players
Mireille Lebel – Mezzo Soprano
Michelle Mourre – Conductor