Carson Kievman

composer, stage director
Carson Kievman by the Pacific Ocean
Back home in California (near the Russian River in Sonoma County) July 2014
Video / Audio
Fairy Tales, Songs of the Dandelion Woman (Excerpts)

FAIRY TALES, Songs of the Dandelion Woman
Music & Libretto by Carson Kievman

Synopsis: The fragmented notes and drawings of a troubled mind, adapted from the real-life struggles of a young heiress alone in the city, are gathered as possible evidence by a bank examiner, who is fraught with his own disturbing thoughts. The transformations they both go through are framed with penetrating and sometimes poetic insights from the writings of Carl Jung, who once envisioned a picture book to illustrate the complex logic and fantastic associations behind mental breakdowns. This dramatic collage of fantasy and reason is fused in an operatic song cycle that evokes the longings and confusions and the spiritual and mundane aspirations of modern life.


South Florida Classical Review / The Miami Herald (Lawrence Budmen)
Friday, May 9, 2014

"is a Stunner!"

"delivers a great dramatic punch!" 

"is a shattering experience"

"grips the attention"

"In his boldest stroke, Kievman suddenly turns this happy scene into a hospital room with the bank examiner... his final words "I'm lost" are accompanied by traffic noises over speakers, leaving the audience stunned."

"In a season that has seen more twentieth- and twenty-first century opera in South Florida than in the last two decades combined, Kievman's opus is a stunner. It deserves wider performances beyond the current Miami Beach run"

For more information:

© 2014 Carson Kievman All Rights Reserved
Resurrection (choral excerpt) from Symphony No. 2(42) - Movement 4

Commissioned by the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for the 200th anniversary of Mozart's death. 
Recorded by the National Polish Radio Symphony Katowice / Polish Radio Choir of Krakow 
Delta David Gier, conductor. New Albion Records (1996)

Symphony No. 2(42) was commissioned by the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra in 1991 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Mozart's death. The music conveys a sense of Mozart as visionary artist, striving to pursue creative freedom despite the ultimate costs to his career and health. The final movement incorporates the "Lacrymosa" from Mozart's unfinished Requiem: the last bars of music that he wrote from his deathbed at age 35. For Kievman, this tragic ending becomes a frame of reference for the creative life, with the symphony's four-part structure depicting a metaphorical journey from youth through death, and beyond.

The transcendent final movement continues the journey towards a new psychic and spiritual terrain-or, in the words of the Lachrymosa, an expectation of mankind arising from the ashes on the day of judgment. An ethereal quality pervades the opening, as fragments of the familiar and unfamiliar float in a dreamlike state: echoes from each of the earlier movements and foreshadowing of new themes, accentuated by flutter-tongue playing of the winds and bold glissandi of strings. From the opening bar, these elements are linked by a subtle melodic figure in the bass and violas. a chant·like theme that progresses with the hypnotic steadiness of a train; the fragments develop over the course of its voyage, guided by the inexorable undercurrent of motion. A new melodic theme, somewhat nostalgic yet elegant, is first introduced by cellos and presented in ever­ longer appearances, as echoes of Mozart are continually asserted by various instruments. Interruptions by the harp, and later by tubular bells and vibraphone, suggest the heavenly nature of the destination.

A striking o
credits: Carson Kievman, composer. Delta David Gier, conduction. National Polish Radio Symphony - Katowice. Polish Radio Choir - Krakow
© (c) 1991 Carson Kievman (Intelligent Company Publishers - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED