The North Door
"...KS: I think, also, the last half, I'm basically sitting in a chair, tied up with barbed wire, and it puts them into such a power position. It makes me physically a victim in a sort of way, and it reverses people's perception..."
"...In this most unconventional of election years, why not have an unconventional opera, one that speaks directly to American politics and also to the fear and paranoia that have become common tools in garnering votes and power? Believe it or not, The Manchurian Candidate – yes, that Cold War thriller about conspiracies, brainwashing, and a murderous coup d'etat on the campaign trail – has been adapted into operatic form by librettist Mark Campbell and composer Kevin Puts (former teacher of composition at the Butler School of Music), and it arrives in our politically minded city seven weeks before U.S. citizens choose their next president, courtesy of Austin Opera...."
"...A man on a rooftop, helpless as his home is surrounded by water and pulled out to sea. This image, caught on video during the tsunami that followed the 2011 Tohoku earthquake off Japan's east coast, deeply affected Kevin Puts..."
"...If you missed Conspirare's stunning debuts of "If I Were a Swan" and To Touch the Sky last season, you're in luck. The two choral works, commissioned from Pulitzer Prize for Music winner and former University of Texas composition instructor Kevin Puts by the professional vocal ensemble and the Thelma Hunter Fund of the American Composers Forum, were recorded for a new CD on Harmonia Mundi USA..."
"...Forgive the cliche, but how better to break the news about Austin Opera's 30th season than to say it opens with a bang? I mean, the company's first production will be that thriller about political assassination The Manchurian Candidate, newly adapted for opera by Pulitzer-winning composer and former Austinite Kevin Puts...."
"...This weekend, the Austin Symphony will present the Austin premiere of Kevin Puts' Symphony No. 2, subtitled "Island of Innocence." Puts is on an extended leave of absence from his position as UT assistant professor of composition, living and writing full-time in New York..."
"...After a particularly public and frightening “scene” atop a lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard where the Philips have a summer home, Chase’s husband Richard (Bridges) enlists the services of Elizabeth Cole (Sedgwick, Bacon’s real-life partner), a young woman hired as a mother’s helper for little Richard (Yarmush) and his younger brother Jason (Denton). At first hostile to the attractive and overly solicitous Elizabeth, Chase puts her through a series of “tests” that serve to humiliate Elizabeth and further distance Chase from her family..."
"...It’s a better fit for this run-of-the-mill romantic comedy about Jane (Knocked Up’s Heigl), always a bridesmaid, never a … well, you know the drill. Those 27 dresses mark the time Jane has spent, as one character puts it, in the taffeta ghetto of bridesmaidery..."
"...He would open and close his mouth and the click sound would be louder and softer like his heart was singing a song. Mom took the picture." Kevin puts it down, then scoops them together like a deck of cards...."
"..."If I Were a Swan," Kevin Puts..."
"...By contrast, the work that followed was written from a place of deep skepticism about the state of the union. As cellist Josh Gindele explained before the performance of Credo, composer Kevin Puts was so troubled by the present wars abroad and violence at home that he feared he could not find anything "light" in our country to write about..."
"...Puts: Symphony No. 1, UT Symphony..."
"...1) THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (Austin Opera) The gamble of mounting a new opera based on a tale of Cold War paranoia paid off richly when this thriller proved gripping from the first note. Every element, every moment worked – Kevin Puts' moody score; Richard Buckley's intense conducting; Alison Moritz's taut staging; Greg Emetaz's projections; all the performers – heightening the tension 'til my shoulders were hunched around my ears...."
"...Two or three works have been identified for each of the next three years, ranging from theatre-baroque opera mash-up The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer, starring John Malkovich, on next season's schedule, to the music theatre work Rappahannock County, co-commissioned from Ricky Ian Gordon and Mark Campbell by Texas Performing Arts, to the newly commissioned opera for solo percussion and electronically processed sound, Ilimaq, by John Luther Adams, to a music/text/multimedia collaboration by the Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson. Roughly a quarter of the grant will support new commissions, including Ilimaq; a double string quartet by UT faculty composer Dan Welcher for the Miró Quartet (to be premiered with the Shanghai Quartet); a work for string quartet and chamber orchestra by former UT composer Kevin Puts, also for Miró (co-commissioned by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Schubert Club); and a new work that might combine a choir of voices and a choir of guitars involving the Austin Classical Guitar Society and Conspirare..."
"...All prejudices aside, though, Ford and McKee quickly realized a shared passion for film and video in the tiny Northern California town of Mokelumne Hill, population 500-plus. McKee ended up at University of Southern California's film department, and eventually Ford followed, not enrolling but instead auditing his friend's cinema classes and becoming, as he puts it, "kind of adopted by Lucky's film friends as the orphan from up the street..."
"...This movie is seriously unfunny, and it's not just my admittedly left-wing politics that are in the way of my getting the joke. There's no question that documentarian Moore deserves some ribbing, but this movie couldn't find Moore's ribs (or funny bone) through all the blubber and hotheadedness it puts in the way..."
"...Based on an actual occurrence, the film places a battle-weary squad of young GIs in the surreal, snowbound French-German border. They're tired and sick to death of all the killing they've seen; as squad leader Hawke puts it, even the beautiful Ardennes remains unnoticed by the men, fatigued as they are..."
"...Puts: How Wild the Sea, UT Symphony Orchestra with Miró Quartet..."
"...Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, called it a "disaster" that, with so many exemptions added, puts the whole new tax burden on "my two favorite people, the police officer married to the school teacher."..."