Kate Soper, soprano and composer

Kate Soper is a composer, performer, and writer whose work explores the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure, the slippery continuums of expressivity, intelligibility and sense, and the wonderfully treacherous landscape of the human voice. She has been hailed by The Boston Globe as “a composer of trenchant, sometimes discomfiting, power” and by The New Yorker for her “limpid, exacting vocalism, impetuous theatricality, and mastery of modernist style.” A Pulitzer Prize finalist, Soper has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Koussevitzky Foundation, among others, and has been commissioned by ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, and Yarn/Wire. Praised by The New York Times for her “lithe voice and riveting presence,” Soper performs frequently as a new music soprano. As a non-fiction and creative writer, she has been published by Theory and Practice, the Massachusetts Review, and the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies.

Soper is a co-director and performer for Wet Ink, a New York-based new music ensemble dedicated to seeking out adventurous music across aesthetic boundaries, and is the Iva Dee Hiatt Professor of Music at Smith College. Upcoming projects include more missing scenes, a program of works for voice and electronics, and The Romance of the Rose, a full-length opera to premiere in April 2020.

Kate Soper's piece Missing Scenes: Lost Greek Tragedies premiered with the Grossman Ensemble on June 7, 2019.

Performance notes:

“Lost Greek Tragedies” is the first part of a planned series of explorations into missing scenes—i.e., those inferred conversations, implied actions, and hinted-at events that are withheld from us by an author, director, editor, or simply by fate. In the case of Greek Tragedy, the missing scenes far eclipse the surviving ones. But the bits and pieces of lost plays that have washed up over the centuries are irresistibly poignant. What can be recovered from a mangled paragraph, a broken phrase, or even a single word? Real meaning, or just a shiver of sense? And given how foundational the stories of Greek Tragedy are to our culture, what would be different about our lives if more of these stories had survived? 

Grossman Ensemble premieres Kate Soper's Lost Greek Tragedies