Comments and Reviews

From Tom Cipullo, composer:

The evening is more than just a concert. It is a fascinating rendering — through well-chosen words and exquisite music — of our nation's most vibrant and soulful poet. For an evening, Emily Dickinson's spirit seems gloriously present.

From Lori Laitman, composer:
Recently I had the privilege of seeing a concert version of This, and My Heart, a new theatre work by pianist Victoria Kirsch, soprano Anne Marie Ketchum and actress Linda Kelsey. They have created a uniquely moving tribute to the great American poet Emily Dickinson. This artful weaving of letters, poetry, prose and art song settings of Dickinson's poems by four different American composers (Cipullo, Copland, Heitzeg and Laitman) all coalesce to skillfully illuminate the genius of Emily Dickinson. As a contemporary classical composer used to rather small audiences, it's an honor to have my songs included with these other wonderful composers and presented before larger audiences than typically found in the classical artsong world...I found the work to be touching, funny, mesmerizing and beautifully realized, and the audience...seemed to be similarly transfixed.

From Aurelio de la Vega, composer:
Three contemporary Graces — a soprano, a pianist and an actress — conceived, rehearsed and produced a moving tribute to the glorious, amazing and mysterious Emily Dickinson. The final product is an emotive laudation to one of the most tender and soul-stirring bards of the English language. The affecting collaboration of four women-one the source, the others the deliverers-strike the mind and the heart equally, bringing to the fore the subtleties of the poet and the passion of the interpreters. A "must see and hear" for those who value artistic expressions of the highest order reigning supreme against vulgarity and violence. This, and My Heart, the title of the show, ignites the coals of hope for the revival of Western culture.

From Louise K. Smith, management consultant:
It is my great pleasure to write in support of the gorgeous work, This, and My Heart. I recently attended a performance of this piece at SongFest at Pepperdine University. This is essentially a contemporary song cycle, using songs composed by four eminent contemporary American composers based on Emily Dickinson's poetry, supplemented by spoken commentary interspersed between songs and delivered by the artists. This unique format tied all the songs together with words taken from Dickinson's letters. The songs themselves are beautifully written, well chosen, intelligently ordered, and artistically presented. These artists recreate Dickinson's private world and offer the audience the opportunity to experience her vision and her emotional life in a unique, intimate way...the performance...was well attended and enthusiastically received by the audience.