Category Archives: Latest News

Alkemie: A Worthy Mirror, February 2024

Alkemie, together with guest artist Amanda Gookin of the Forward Music Project, presents “A Worthy Mirror” — a commissioning project of female and non-binary composers in response to 12th-century trobairitz texts. One of those composers is me!

What?
I’ve had the great honor of contributing a song to this fascinating and delightful project. The text I chose to set expresses the dismay of a young woman trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, and her hopes of reunion with her lover.

A Worthy Mirror” represents a time-traveling dialogue with the 12th-century trobairitzthe feminine counterpart of the poet-composers known as troubadours. Together with Forward Music Project, we are commissioning eleven female and non-binary composers to respond to and converse with the 36 extant trobairitz texts (of which we only have music for one). This body of lyric poetry represents a large group of historically female and anonymous femme voices in the literary tradition. Witty, ironic, heartbreaking, and erotic—these texts present a mirror to reflect upon what feels foreign about the past and what feels familiar, what is the role of gender and self in relationships, and how do we make space for the multiplicities of identity, both in the 12th century and today.

When?
February 25, 2024 at 7:30 pm EST (doors open at 6:30pm)

Where?
National Sawdust
80 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(map)

Who?
Composers for this program include Gelsey Bell, Maya Bennardo, Alison Cheeseman, Hai-Ting Chinn, Melika Fitzhugh, Sarah Goldfeather, Tis Kaoru Zamler-Carhart, Racquel Acevedo Klein, Li Qi, Niccolo Seligmann, and Patricia van Ness
+~+~+~+~+~+~+
The performers are:
Alkemie
Tracy Cowart: voice, harps, percussion
David McCormick: vielle, rebec
Ben Matus: voice, bagpipes, lute, dulcians
Sian Ricketts: voice, recorders, douçaines
Niccolo Seligmann: vielles, scheitholt, gittern, psaltery, percussion
Elisa Sutherland: voice
With Guest Artist
Amanda Gookin: cello

Tickets?
You can buy tickets in advance online ($25+fees).

“An Auditory Revisualism” @ Experimental Sound Studio, June 2021

Digital explorations continue even as live performances are finally resuming. I was honored with an invitation to contribute a piece to this international virtual concert. Tune in to check out my latest music video!

What?
The Consortionist Presents: An Auditory Revisualism
Hosted by Experimental Sound Studio

When?
Friday, June 25, 2021 at 7:00pm Central Time

Where?
Streaming on Twitch — Tune in here

Who?
Artist Line-up:
Alison Cheeseman (NY)
cave__ baby (Malibu)
Tongo Eisen-Martin (SF)
Holly Hunt (Miami)
Bill Noertker’s Vhythm (SF)
Hieroglyphic Being (Chicago)
MJ Guider (New Orleans)
Alli Warren & Syd Staiti (SF)
Noel V Harmonson (SF)
Tallawit Timbouktu (Timbuktu)
Sabiwa (Taiwan)

And?
It’s free! No tickets or registration required.
$5+ suggested donation (100% goes to the artists)

Bach in Bar Thalia with Evan Shinners, March 2020

What?
Motets and more, by J.S. Bach. Says the Arbor Music Series:

Arbor Music presents a Bach Cabaret featuring some of the finest musicians in the city singing the finest vocal music ever written. Evan Shinners gives a brief tour through the vast world of Bach’s sacred vocal music showcasing the master’s unparalleled techniques of ‘word painting’.

When?
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 6:30pm & 8:30pm

Where?
Bar Thalia (map)
Lower Level, 2537 Broadway
New York, NY 10025

Who?
“The Bach Store All-Stars”
Sopranos: Elaine Lachica and Linda Jones
Altos: Alison Cheeseman and Donna Breitzer
Tenors: Lukas Papenfusscline and Paul D’Arcy
Basses: Chris Herbert and Anicet Castel
Accordion: Ivan FIlipchyk
Gamba: Arnie Tanimoto
Violins: Tatiana Chulochiknova and Jeremy Rhizor
Viola: Colin Brooks
Guitar: Ming-Jui Liu
Conductor: Evan Shinners

And?
For more information and for tickets, see https://www.symphonyspace.org/events/vp-arbor-music-series-2. There’s also a Facebook Event.

Stonewall, New York City Opera, June 2019

I was honored and delighted to be a part of New York City Opera’s world premiere of Stonewall, by Iain Bell and Mark Campbell, covering the role of Sarah (sung by Liz Bouk). Performances took place June 21-28, 2019, honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising.

NYCO Pride in the Park

Backstage at NYCO’s “Pride in the Park” celebration, with members of the cast.

Where?
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater (map)
Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Circle, NY, NY 10019

Who?
Iain Bell, Composer
Mark Campbell, Librettist
Carolyn Kuan, Conductor
Leonard Foglia, Director
Richard Stafford, Choreographer

The talented and beautifully diverse cast of singers and actors featured Joseph Charles Beutel, Andrew Bidlack, Liz Bouk, Lisa Chavez, Michael Corvino, Jessica Fishenfeld, Marc Heller, Brian James Myer, Jordan Weatherston Pitts, and Justin Ryan. For more information, see https://nycopera.com/stonewall/.

Song & Dance with Christopher Caines, May/June 2019

What?
listen out loud / move to keep things whole
I’ll be singing four original settings of sonnets to accompany the exquisite dancers of Christopher Caines Dance Company, on a program that also features music by Pauline Oliveros and Paul Kerekes. Variously scored for piano, flute, and clarinet, the songs are musical readings of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Christian Wiman, Sir Thomas Wyatt, and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning.

When?
Saturday, 18 May 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, 23 May 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, 1 June 2019, 8:00 p.m.

Where?
Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan (map)
334 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023

Who?
Christopher Caines Dance: Elisa Toro Franky, Silken Kelly, Mayu Oguri, Jacob Taylor, Amanda Treiber, and Michelle Vargo, joined by students from the New York Theatre Ballet School
Marija Ilic, piano
Kelley Barnett, flutes
Eric Umble/Vicente Alexim, clarinets

Tickets?
Click here to buy them online

And?
Appearing as guests are The Bang Group in a New York premiere by David Parker, a recent revival by Parker of a work by James Waring, and a new duet by Amber Sloan.

Springtime! Galas and more

If you’re looking for musical diversion in the coming weeks, here’s a quick roundup of my springtime antics:

You’ll find me at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on April 9, 7:30pm for a program entitled “Immigrants – A Celebration of What Makes New York Great“. The Cathedral Choir joins forces with instrumental ensemble Rose of the Compass to perform works by composers including Vincent Persichetti, whose parents came from Italy and Germany; F. Melius Christiansen, the great founder of the St. Olaf Choir; Rebecca Clarke and Tarik O’Regan, who both emigrated from the British Isles; Jean Berger from Germany; and Igor Stravinksy from Russia. Click here for more information.

April 11-17 it’s time for some fun at the Philharmonic! I’ll be a member of the chorus for five performances in which the Oscar-winning movie Amadeus will be projected on a giant screen while the New York Philharmonic plays the soundtrack, live. Click for details.

Later in the month, on Saturday, April 28 in Short Hills, NJ, I’ll be singing opera arias and duets with baritone Daniel Hoy at a gala fundraiser to benefit All The Way Up!, an Adult Education Center in Newark. The following weekend, on May 5, I will join the Christopher Caines Dance company along with pianist Paul Kerekes and other fine musicians for a special dance-and-music installation performance (followed by a party!) in a grand apartment on the Upper East Side with sweeping views of the East River. Space is limited. Buy your tickets now!.

La Calisto reviewed by New York Classical Review

Alison Taylor Cheeseman mined comic gold in the dual role of the goddess Diana and Jove disguised as Diana for the purpose of making love to Callisto. (I am not making this up.)  The dignified goddess struggled girlishly with her vow of chastity when it came to the handsome poet Endymion. … When the singer added a touch of masculine swagger, all of a sudden there was the king of the gods plotting his latest conquest. Cheeseman delivered it all with firm voice and striking presence. — David Wright, New York Classical Review