On the Threshold of Winter

Guest soprano Ah Young Hong joins Ensemble Dal Niente for Michael Hersch’s On the Threshold of Winter, reprising her role as the monodrama’s “lone, blazing star” (The New York Times).

Of the piece, the NewYorker writes: "Hersch, now in his second decade as one of the most prominent composers in the country, writes masterly modernist music of implacable seriousness. After personal tragedy - he not only battled cancer but watched a close friend die of the disease - he came to write his first opera, a monodrama for soprano employing texts from the final collection of the Romanian poet Marin Sorescu."

Praise for Ah Young Hong:

...the opera’s blazing, lone star... Ms. Hong’s texts are inner musings, delivered with an extraordinarily concentrated, caustically honest yet pure voice, devoid of almost any vibrato, except in occasional combustive outbursts high in her register.
— The New York Times
...the soprano fearlessly sang the demanding role, taking the widest vocal leaps with confidence and clarity. The way she communicated the character’s pain and insecurities proved even more startling.
— The Baltimore Sun
The soprano Ah Young Hong, a frequent collaborator, delivered the eerie texts of “a breath upward” with expressive intensity... Ms. Hong vividly conveyed the contrasting moods of selections from Kurtag’s “Kafka Fragments” — expressionistic settings of German texts from Kafka’s letters and diaries. She shaded her voice with myriad hues: lovely and clear...
— The New York Times