New Work for
Soprano and Amplified Heartbeat
Soprano Anna Elder’s voice has been described as being, “ethereal” or “a voice that has blues, reds and purples in it” by The New York Times or “a voice that could match, pitch for pitch, the grumble of a truck’s engine or squeak of a scooter’s horn.”- Wilmington Star News. She is a native of Pittsburgh, PA and currently performs with the new music ensembles Kamratōn and wolfTrap. Most recently, Anna was a featured artist at The Tanglewood Music Center, where she sang Andrew Hamilton’s “Music For People Who Like Art” with The New Fromm Players at Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary music. This 2019-2020 season she will appear in Music on the Edge’s production of Roger Zahab’s opera, “Hegemony,” and continue to perform and commission new works with wolfTrap and Kamratōn. She appeared in the Corningworks’ production of “with a shadow of...” as a stand in vocalist for an ill cast member. “While an unanticipated addition, Elder’s superb voice and inclusion on stage was seamless and enriching. Her sequence with Brenner, in which they perfectly mirrored each other while performing a particularly tasking and complex choreography, is so unspeakably scintillating that one could scarcely imagine it hadn’t been planned from inception.” -Pittsburgh in the Round. She has also appeared with Pittsburgh’s Alia Musica, Nat28, Opera On Tap and The Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra. Anna was the lead vocalist with Squonk Opera for three years and premiered Go Roadshow and sang in the Off-Broadway version of Mayhem and Majesty, where she was described as creating “a sort of persona that becomes tangible which takes shape and begins to define what unfolds on stage.” -Broadway World
Other engagements have included performing Music for 18 with New Music Detroit and appearing as a guest vocalist with Quince Ensemble. She has appeared on Music on the Edge’s Beyond Microtonal Music Festival, The Pittsburgh Festival of New Music, Detroit’s Strange and Beautiful Music 2017, and The Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project’s Re:Sound festival. Anna graduated from The Eastman School of Music where her teachers were John Maloy and Constance Haas. She has since attended New Music On The Point in Vermont for two summers where she studied with Tony Arnold.
Ms. Elder intends to push the limits of the human voice and enjoys commissioning new contemporary works that take her there. She experiments and improvises with found objects such as fans, cat toys, aluminum foil, and her own heartbeat. Her repertoire includes works by Giacinto Scelsi, Georges Aperghis, Cathy Berberian, Charles Ives, Anton Webern, Kaija Saariaho, Arnold Schoenberg, Franz Schubert, and Claude Debussy. She has premiered works by Curtis Rumrill, Ryan McMasters, David Gerard Matthews, Laura Schwartz, Christine Burke, Lu-Han Li, and Brian Riordan. With Kamratōn, she will premiere a new piece by Elizabeth Brown in March and Her Holiness The Winter Dog, an opera by Curtis Rumrill for Kamratōn, Quince Ensemble, and Shana Simmons Contemporary Dance in May. Anna has spearheaded the annual concert series She Scores, which features works by living women composers for Kamratōn. The ensemble has received support from The Opportunity Fund, The Heinz Endowments, and The Pittsburgh Foundation. Anna can be heard on the album Squonk Opera’s “Go Roadshow” and can be seen anywhere from a basement to a concert hall.