You are here

Sojourns on the Silk Road: From the Orient to the Occident

Date TIme Note
Friday, Jan. 7 7:30 PM Livestream
Friday, Jan. 7 7:30 PM In Person
Saturday, Jan. 8 7:30 PM In Person
Sunday, Jan. 16 11:59 PM On Demand Ends



to purchase
the Video-On-Demand access

Access is available through January 16 at midnight!


Sojourns on the Silk Road: From the Orient to the Occident is a musical journey of French and Spanish art song on themes of the "Orient" featuring mezzo-soprano Jessica Blau, pianist Katherine Ciscon, guitarist Marc Rosenberg, and flamenco dancer Fanny Ara. The 19th century Western perception of the Orient was largely based on the colonial expansions into Africa and Asia during that time. French composers became entranced with the perceived exotic elements of these distant lands, creating their own fantasies of the Orient, which included all non-Western cultures from the Far East to Africa and especially Spain, with its Romani, Jewish and Moorish influences. French and Spanish musical expressions of the Orient will be expressed visually through lyrical flamenco dance and orientalist paintings to works by Ravel, Bizet, Debussy, Saint Saëns, De Falla, Lorca, and Albéniz, among others. 

Mezzo-soprano Jessica Blau is a multi-faceted performer working to create dynamic changes in the classical music world. Notable recent operatic performances include the title role in La Llorona with Opera Cultura, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with Pocket Opera, and Rosina in a bilingual production of The Barber of Seville with both Houston Grand Opera To Go and Portland Opera To Go. In addition to opera, Jessica was a writer and soloist in The Women Have Something To Say with Intersection Arts, an intimate series of monologues and songs expressing personal stories about women finding their voices. Ms. Blau has completed young artist residencies with Florentine Opera, Chicago Summer Opera, Castleton Festival, Opera in the Ozarks, and Spotlight on Opera. She holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Texas State University, San Marcos, and a Performance Certificate in Vocal Performance from the University of Houston Moores School of Music. 

French Basque native Fanny Ara is an internationally sought-after and award-winning choreographer, performer, and instructor credited as one of the foremost dancers “breaking boundaries in flamenco” today (Alice Blumenfeld, Dance Magazine). She is an artist who excels in the full spectrum of flamenco, from the most traditional to the avant-garde. Fanny has toured extensively in Canada, Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa, and throughout Europe. She has been distinguished with nominations from the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards in the categories of Most Outstanding Individual Dancer, Most Outstanding Music Ensemble, Individual Performance for her project, Juncal Street, and Best Ensemble for her work with the San Francisco Opera in La Traviata. Fanny has done many collaborations in the classical music world, including a notable performance as a featured soloist in Washington National Opera’s 2016 production of Bizet’s Carmen. 

Chicago native Katherine Ciscon received her bachelor’s degree in Piano from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and a double master’s degree in Piano Performance and Collaborative Arts from the University of Houston Moores School of Music. She was named Principal Pianist of Houston Ballet in 1995 and has also been a vocal coach and Visiting Artist Professor of Music at the Moores School of Music. While at Houston Ballet, Ms. Ciscon has performed as a soloist in the world premieres of Justin Peck’s Reflections, Stanton Welch’s Class, Nosotros, and The Core, Garret Smith’s Reveal, James Kudelka’s Passion, Ben Stevenson’s Eclipse, and Trey McIntyre’s Bound, among others.

Marc Rosenberg began his collegiate studies at TCU and earned his Master's at Carnegie Mellon. He participated in masterclasses with Pepe Romero and Bill Kanengiser, and others. In 2013, Rosenberg was accepted in a Master's program at the University of Alicante in Spain, where he studied with David Russell, Ignacio Rodes, Hopkinson Smith, Roberto Aussel, Manuel Barrueco, Carles Trepat, and Nigel North. Afterwards, Rosenberg returned to Houston where he has collaborated with Opera in the Heights, Musiqa, Texas New Music Ensemble, and Greenbriar Consortium. He is on faculty at Parker Elementary and Houston Community College, while maintaining a private studio.

This performance will be in person as well as video-on-demand.