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Premiere of DIVIDE LIGHT, a film by Ed Robbins of Lesley Dill’s Opera

April 18, 2019 @ 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM


DIVIDE LIGHT is a film by Ed Robbins capturing the intimate production of an Opera created by Lesley Dill and composed by Richard Marriott. Inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the opera was performed in 2018 by New Camerata Opera, accompanied by The Curiosity Cabinet String Quintet, at Dixon Place in New York.

The exclusive one time premiere of DIVIDE LIGHT will take place on Thursday, April 18th at 8:00 pm, at the SVA Theatre on 333 W 23rd Street in New York. Tickets are $15 and advance purchase only.

About the Filmmaker:
Ed Robbins is an award winning Director-Writer-Producer and Digital Journalist. Drawn to stories of individuals in the face of adversity, he’s travelled extensively across America and internationally to countries that include: Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, Iraq, India, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Rwanda, South Sudan and Syria. The topics have ranged from social justice, crime, frontline war, the environment, human rights, religion, science, to the performing and visual arts. He’s written-produced numerous hour programs for television outlets that include PBS, Discovery Channel, TLC, Nat Geo Channel, ABC, NBC, and in the UK: BBC2 and Channel 4.

As a Digital Journalist and reporter his videos have been commissioned by the NY Times, Time Magazine, and the International Reporting Project. In addition, The NY Times stationed him at their Pakistan and Afghanistan Bureaus to report stories and train local Afghan staff in video storytelling. He’s been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia since 2011, where he’s taught video storytelling in the Newsroom class. He holds a BA in Fine Arts from SUNY Stony Brook.

About the Artist:
Lesley Dill is one of the most prominent American artists working at the intersection of language and fine art. Her elegant sculptures, art installations, mixed-media photographs, and evocative performances draw from both her travels abroad and profound interests in spirituality and the world’s faith traditions. Exploring the power of words to cloak and reveal the psyche, Dill invests new meaning in the human form. Intellectually and aesthetical engaging, the core of her work emerges from an essential, visionary awareness of the world.

The Composer:
Richard Marriott has composed extensively for film, dance, opera, video games and concert stage. His recent produced compositions have included operas “Divide Light”, “Voyage”, and “Passion of Leyla”; dance score “Invitation”; and concert works “Metropolis Concerto for Violin and Wind Ensemble”, and “Klezmorim Concerto for Contrabass and Orchestra”. His “Ghost Ship Concerto for Cello and Orchestra” was recently premiered by the Oakland Symphony. Marriott is also the founder and artistic director of Club Foot Orchestra.

About the Opera:
Divide Light 2018 is an opera created through collaboration between Originator / Creative Director Lesley Dill and Composer Richard Marriott. It contemporizes the works of poet Emily Dickinson, linking the groundbreaking ideas of the mid-19th century American Transcendental movement to innovations and global concerns in today’s rapidly changing world.

Divide Light examines the nature of emotion and story telling in contemporary society through the lens of Dickinson’s 19th century philosophical poetics. It challenges and expands the traditional opera format through its sparser and more closely developed presentation. The opera features eight operatic voices, and a string quintet. Its striking visual elements feature large projections on a back screen of images combining Dill’s edgy and evocative black and white photographs with text from Dickinson’s poetry. Poems stream, scroll, flash, twirl, pop out, edge in, seep out, fade in, fall down, and rise up on the screen. The performers sing Dickinson’s words and wear them scrawled across their costumes.

Divide Light was commissioned by Montalvo Arts Center, and premiered there in 2008, supported in part by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation Multi Arts Production Fund, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The original production featured a cast of more than 50 people on stage.

This film captures the revised, more intimate production in 2018 by New Camerata Opera at Dixon Place Theater in New York.


April 18, 2019
8:00 PM - 9:30 PM


Nohra Haime Gallery
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sva theatre
SVA Theatre, 333 W 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011 United States
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