work details

The Captured Goddess

  • Instrumentation: soprano, viola, and piano
  • Completed: December 2013
  • Duration: 8 minutes
  • Texts: Amy Lowell (1874-1925), \"The Captured Goddess\"
  • Video:
    • The Captured Goddess - Misha Penton

      A new music video

      Fiery flames and smoldering vapor plumes. Wildflowers and wild grasses. An elemental goddess at the mercy of humankind.

      American poet Amy Lowell’s 1914 prescient and haunting poem, "The Captured Goddess", is told through intense imagery, shot on location: from Houston's Memorial Drive wildflowers to the blazing flares and glowing smoke plumes of our city's ship channel. A seven minute mini-opera, "The Captured Goddess" illuminates contemporary urban life and our ever-pressing forward, ever-changing world.

      Music by Dominick DiOrio
      Misha Penton, soprano
      Meredith Harris, viola
      Kyle Evans, piano
      Toni Valle, dancer and choreographer

      Misha Penton, director
      Raul Casares, director of photography
      Cliff Davis, editor
      Audio recorded by Todd Hulslander at The Geary Performance Studio, Houston Public Media

      Digital EP: in addition to the "The Captured Goddess", the EP includes two scenes from the chamber opera, "Klytemnestra, the original subversive female", with music by Dominick DiOrio and words by Misha Penton.

      EP on Bandcamp: bit.do/capturedgoddessEP
      Digital Booklet, liner notes & lyrics: bit.do/goddessdigitalbooklet
      Coming on iTunes

      mishapenton.com
      dominickdiorio.com
      6degreesdance.org

      Thanks to The Barn - Dance Source Performing Arts Space

    • The Captured Goddess

      Monica Dewey, soprano
      Leonardo Vásquez Chacón, viola
      Nikolay Verevkin, piano

  • Audio:
  • Published:

    DD3 Publications, Distributed by Graphite Publishing

  • Text:

    Over the housetops,
    Above the rotating chimney-pots,
    I have seen a shiver of amethyst,
    And blue and cinnamon have flickered
    A moment,
    At the far end of a dusty street.

    Through sheeted rain
    Has come a lustre of crimson,
    And I have watched moonbeams
    Hushed by a film of palest green.

    It was her wings,
    Goddess!
    Who stepped over the clouds,
    And laid her rainbow feathers
    Aslant on the currents of the air.

    I followed her for long,
    With gazing eyes and stumbling feet.
    I cared not where she led me,
    My eyes were full of colours:
    Saffrons, rubies, the yellows of beryls,
    And the indigo-blue of quartz;
    Flights of rose, layers of chrysoprase,
    Points of orange, spirals of vermilion,
    The spotted gold of tiger-lily petals,
    The loud pink of bursting hydrangeas.
    I followed,
    And watched for the flashing of her wings.

    In the city I found her,
    The narrow-streeted city.
    In the market-place I came upon her,
    Bound and trembling.
    Her fluted wings were fastened to her sides with cords,
    She was naked and cold,
    For that day the wind blew
    Without sunshine.

    Men chaffered for her,
    They bargained in silver and gold,
    In copper, in wheat,
    And called their bids across the market-place.

    The Goddess wept.

    Hiding my face I fled,
    And the grey wind hissed behind me,
    Along the narrow streets.

  • Completed:

    May 2011; revised December 2013

  • Program Note:

    The Captured Goddess is a colorful setting of Amy Lowell's poem of the same name. Written for soprano Misha Penton, the work grew out of our collaboration on Klytemnestra. It was designed as a "couture song" to fit Misha's voice, while at the same time portraying the sad and awful realization of lost innocence inherent in Lowell's words.   

    At Misha’s request, I created a revised version with viola in winter 2013. The viola writing is at times very vocal, drawing the maximum amount of emotional energy out of the contact of string and the reverberation of wood.

  • Recording:

    The Captured Goddess
    A new music video and digital EP release

    Fiery flames and smoldering vapor plumes. Wildflowers and wild grasses. An elemental goddess at the mercy of humankind. 

    American poet Amy Lowell’s 1914 prescient and haunting poem, The Captured Goddess, is told through intense imagery: from Houston's Memorial Drive wildflowers to the blazing flares and glowing smoke plumes of our city's ship channel. A seven minute mini-opera, The Captured Goddess illuminates contemporary urban life and our ever-pressing forward, ever-changing world. 

    The Captured Goddess
    Music by Dominick DiOrio

    Misha Penton, soprano

    Meredith Harris, viola

    Kyle Evans, piano

    Toni Valle, dancer and choreographer

    Misha Penton, director
    Raul Casares, director of photography

    Cliff Davis, editor

    Audio recorded by Todd Hulslander at The Geary Performance Studio, Houston Public Media.

    Online release: Tuesday, October 27: mishapenton.com

    In addition to the The Captured Goddess, the digital EP includes two scenes from the chamber opera, Klytemnestra, the original subversive female, with music by Dominick DiOrio and words by Misha Penton. On iTunes and Bandcamp Tuesday October 27.

    Photos:
    Link to photo 1. Penton_Valle_Goddess1.jpg: http://bit.ly/1N5jZVK

    Photo info: L-R: Toni Valle, dancer and choreographer. Misha Penton, soprano and director. The Captured Goddess, a new music video with music by Dominick DiOrio. Directed by Misha Penton. Photo credit: Dave Nickerson, Raul Casares.

    Link to photo 2. Goddess_Penton.jpg http://bit.ly/1Lcs6gE

    Photo info: Misha Penton, soprano and director. The Captured Goddess, a new music video with music by Dominick DiOrio. Directed by Misha Penton. Photo credit: Dave Nickerson, Raul Casares.

    Link to photo 3. Penton_Valle_Goddess2.jpg http://bit.ly/1P6iauY

    Photo info: L-R: Toni Valle, dancer and choreographer. Misha Penton, soprano and director. The Captured Goddess, a new music video with music by Dominick DiOrio. Directed by Misha Penton. Photo credit: Dave Nickerson, Raul Casares.

    Link to photo 4: Penton_Valle_DiOrio.jpg http://bit.ly/1LaZCDP

    Photo info: L-R: Misha Penton, soprano and director. Toni Valle, dancer and choreographer. Dominick DiOrio, composer. Photo credit: Kerry Beyer, Les Campbell, Matthew Fried.

  • Performances:
    • June 10, 2011 (Premiere)
      "Evening Star, Beauty Bringer..."
      Misha Penton, soprano; Kyle Evans, piano
      The Rothko Chapel - Houston, TX
    • February 23, 2012
      "Ordinary-Extraordinary - Divergence Vocal Theater Residency"
      Misha Penton, soprano; Nicole Niederer, piano
      Lone Star College-Montgomery - Recital Hall - Conroe, TX 
    • March 13, 2016
      America Sings: New art songs by contemporary American composers
      Maggie Finnegan, soprano, and Michael Sheppard, piano
      The Home of Paul Cassedy - Baltimore, MD
    • June 3, 2016
      Music at Taylor House
      Maggie Finnegan, soprano, and James Busby, piano
      Taylor House - Boston, MA
    • September 1, 2016
      Fringe Chamber Music Festival
      Maggie Finnegan, soprano and Hui-Chuan Chen, piano
      Logan Fringe Arts Space - Trinidad Theater - Washington, DC
    • January 18, 2017
      Monica Dewey, soprano; Leonardo Vásquez Chacon, viola; and Nikolay Verevkin, piano
      Faculty Art Song Recital
      Auer Concert Hall - IU Jacobs School of Music - Bloomington, IN\
    • January 21, 2017
      Monica Dewey, soprano; Carolyn Craig, piano; Evan Eubelacker, viola
      Graduate Recital
      Ford Hall - IU Jacobs School of Music - Bloomington, IN
    • October 26, 2017
      New Music Series
      University of Indianapolis - Indianapolis, IN
  • Archive of Photos / Videos / Texts:

    Misha Penton's Web Archive for The Captured Goddess