Kafka Fragments is a cycle of 39 songs for soprano and violin, ranging in length from 13 seconds to six minutes, with texts drawn from the writer's diaries and letters. It was first performed in 1987. At Zankel Hall, Geoff Nuttall, a member of the St. Lawrence String Quartet, plays the violin part.
The production is part of the second season of Upshaw's two-year Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall, in which she programs and performs in a series of concerts with prominent collaborators.
Kafka Fragments runs through January 13; Upshaw also performs with James Levine and the MET Chamber Ensemble on February 13, and with pianist Richard Goode on April 28.
The innovative and sometimes controversial Sellars first came to wide notice in the 1980s for his stagings of Mozart's CosÐ fan tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, and Don Giovanni, all re-envisioned in contemporary settings. His forthcoming productions include John Adams' Dr. Atomic at San Francisco Opera. He has collaborated with Upshaw several times, directing her in productions of Messiaen's Saint Fran‹ois d'Assise, Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, Adams' El Niê±o, and Kaija Saariaho's L'Amour de loin.
"Whenever I work with Peter Sellars, the experience is life-changing," Upshaw said in a statement." Our relationship has been absolutely essential in my journey as a musician and as a human being. Peter has the uncanny ability to envision what might be next for me."