RASA by Shirish Korde to run at Holy Cross

WORCESTER, Mass. – RASA, the new chamber opera, is composed by Shirish Korde, chair of the Holy Cross music department, directed by Lynn Kremer, chair of the theater department at Holy Cross, and choreographed by Daniel McCusker, Holy Cross professor.  RASA opens for a limited run at Holy Cross on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m., in the Fenwick Theater.  Performances will be on Oct. 29, 30, 31 and Nov. 5 and 6.

Prior to its run at Holy Cross, RASA will be performed at the Sonic Boom Festival in the Miller Theater in New York on Oct. 25.  The American Record Guide  hails RASA as "remarkable in its beauty and subtlety."

Inspired by the 1989 novel, Jasmine, by Bharati Mukherjee, the chamber opera follows a young woman on her journey from her native India to America, where she flees after the death of her fiancé.  The score is composed of music from many different elements of Vedic chant, Tuva throat-singing, and North Indian musical forms.  Korde has been praised by Musical America for "integrating and synthesizing music of diverse cultures into breathtaking works of complex expressive layers."

Korde is the chair of the music department at Holy Cross.  He has studied in East Africa, where he focused on the traditions of Indian and African music.  He has also studied at the Berkeley College of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music and Brown University.  Korde directs a group for electronic music at Holy Cross.

Kremer is the chair of the theater department at Holy Cross.  Through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, she produced and directed a video program on chant/dance traditions of Paluau in Micronesia.  In Boston, she has directed Crawl Space at the Mills Gallery, and The Separate Prison: A Jazz Opera at the Boston Center for the Arts' Cyclorama.  Her Journeys Through Imaginary Landscapes was granted two monthlong residencies at the Smithsonian Institute.

McCusker is an independent choreographer who lives and works in Boston.  He teaches dance in the theater program at Holy Cross, is a guest artist at Tufts University, and teaches dance at the Dance Complex in Cambridge, Mass.  He was the artistic director of Ram Island Dance Company, in Portland, Maine, and has performed with the Lucinda Childs Dance Company in New York City.