Michael Dellaira

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Biography: 

         Michael Dellaira is known for his “haunting harmonies” (NewMusicBox.org), “eloquence and sensitivity” (New York Times) and “flair for vocal writing” (ClassicsToday.com). 


       Dellaira was born Michael Dellario in Schenectady, New York.  He legally changed his surname to Dellaira, the original family name, in 1982.   He attended Georgetown University, graduating in 1971 with a B.A. in Philosophy. At The George Washington University he studied composition with Robert Parris and conducting with George Steiner, receiving a Master of Music degree in 1973.  The following year he went to Princeton University, where he studied with Milton Babbitt, Edward T. Cone, and Paul Lansky, receiving both an M.F.A and Ph.D. in Composition. He spent two summers in residence at The Composers Conference working with Roger Sessions and Mario Davidovsky.  Awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1977, Dellaira went to Italy to study with Goffredo Petrassi at the Academy of Santa Cecilia (Rome) and Franco Donatoni at the Chigiana Academy (Siena).  He also strudied privately with Walter Branchi.


       Dellaira's recent works are primarily for voice.  These include his two operas on libretti by J. D. McClatchy: The Secret Agent (2010), a co-commission from the Center for Contemporary Opera, Long Leaf Opera, and San Antonio Opera, which premiered in March, 2011 at the Kaye Playhouse in New York, with subsequent performances at the Szeged National Theater in Hungary (where it was named "Laureat" of the Armel International Opera Festival), and the Opera Avignon in France; the one-act opera The Death of Webern (2013), commissioned and premiered by The Pocket Opera Players; his opera Chéri, on a libretto by Susan Yankowitz (after the novel by Colette) was a finalist for the 2006 Richard Rodgers Award in Musical Theater and has been performed by both opera and Broadway singers in workshops at the Composers Chamber Theater, American Opera Projects and the Center for Contemporary Opera, and further developed and produced by The Actors Studio, directed by Tony-Award winning actress, Carlin Glynn.


        Dellaira's first work for theater, the monodrama Maud for mezzo-soprano and computer-generated sounds, was awarded an ASCAP Morton Gould Award, as well as First Prize by the American Society of University Composers. His choral works are widely performed in the U.S. and Europe, including at the NEA-sponsored “American Masterpieces Festival” in Austin, Texas and at the Eighth World Symposium on Choral Music in Copenhagen.     

ACA List for Michael Dellaira

1 ACQUAFORTE (1978)
fl,sax,pf,gtr,vib,cb
2 Airs and Fancies
woodwind quintet
3 ART & ISADORA (1987)
SATB

dellaira__usa_stories_-_artandisadora.mp3

Art & Isadora excerpt (Composer: Michael Delliara) Cantori New York
4 THE CAMPERS AT KITTY HAWK (1998)
satb with optional vibraphone

dellairacampersexcerpt.mp3

Excerpt - Campers at Kitty Hawk (Michael Dellaira)
5 CHÉRI (2005)
3 sopranos, 2 altos, 1 mezzo, 2 tenors, 1 Bass, reeds, violin, cello, synthesizer

dellairaselections_from__cheri__excerpt.mp3

From Cheri:" I am Lea de Lonval"
6 COLORED STONES (2002)
Baritone, piano
7 The Death of Webern (2013)
fl/picc; cl/bscl; perc; vn; vc; pf; 6 singers (s,mz-sop,contralto,t,bar, bass-bar)

dellaira_the_death_of_webern_ii._army_outpost.mp3

II. Army Outpost - excerpt; Eric J. McConnell, Chris O'Connor, Frost School Chamber Orchestra
8 THE FIRE AND THE MOUNTAINS
2-2-2-2-4-2 tb, vin I ,vin II, via, pf
men's chor, women's chor, child's chor, B, mezS, Bar, girl's voice, narr, orch: 2-2-2-2; 4-2-2-1; str; pf
9 I'm Angelica (2015)
Sop, piano

I'mAngelica-NicoleHaslett.mp3

Nicole Haslett, soprano
10 The Masters on the Movies (2005)
a cappella chorus (with optional actors)
11 MAUD (2006)
soprano or mezzo-soprano and computer generated tape

dellairamaudpart1schadebergexcerpt.mp3

Excerpt from Part 1, Christine Schadeberg, soprano; Opus One CD146
12 NOBODY (2011)
mixed chorus, oboe
13 THE SECRET AGENT Opera in Two Acts (2010)
Flute / Piccolo Bb Clarinet / Bass Clarinet Oboe / English Horn Bassoon French Horn Trombone Percussion (1), Harp 2 Violins Viola Violoncello Contrabass
14 Sleep (2015)
Baritone, piano

Sleep-TheoHoffman.mp3

Theo Hoffman, Baritone
15 The Stranger, Grief (from the opera, Chéri) (1999)
soprano, violin, cello, bass clarinet and piano
16 TANCREDI! (I Know It!) (2015)
Sop, piano

Tancredi!-ElizabethSutphen.mp3

ElizabethSutphen - soprano
17 This World Is Not Conclusion (1998)
SATB, clarinet, string quartet

06_dellaira__this_world_is_not_concl.mp3

Crisis is a Hair, from The World is not Conclusion
18 THREE RIVERS (1995)
2-2-2-2,2-2-0-0,timp, perc(1), str

dellaira__3_rivers_excerpt.mp3

Three Rivers - excerpt - Slovak Radio Orch Joel Eric Suben, cond.
19 USA Stories (1997)
SATB

dellaira__usa_stories_-_the_campers_at_kitty_hawk_excerpt.mp3

USA Stories - The Campers at Kitty Hawk -excerpt
20 WINGS (1972)
solo flute

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