Photo by: Al Foote III

The opera was written in 1985 and first performed in 1991.

Lovely Music has released a new performance of the late Robert Ashley’s opera Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) as a double CD.

The recording documents a live performance held at New York’s The Kitchen earlier this year featuring singers Gelsey Bell, Amirtha Kidambi, Brian McCorkle, Paul Pinto, Dave Ruder and Aliza Simons. The voice of Robert Ashley also appears throughout as Narrator I. See a video of the full performance here.

As Forced Exposure writes, “Improvement (Don Leaves Linda) was first conceived as a recording for Nonesuch Records (1991). Ashley followed with three other operas, making up a quartet or tetralogy under the name Now Eleanor’s Idea, and all four operas were performed often during the first half of the 1990s.”

Robert Ashley passed away in 2014 at age 83.

The CD is out now via Forced Exposure and Boomkat. See the artwork and tracklist below.

Robert Ashley album art

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. ‘The Argument (Prelude)’
02. ‘Sunset at the Turnoff (Scene 1)’
03. ‘The Airline Ticket Counter (Scene 2)’
04. ‘The Correspondences Text (Scene 3)’
05. ‘The Ride to Town (Scene 4)’
06. ‘The Airline Ticket Counter (Scene 5)’
07. ‘The Indifference Text (Scene 6)’
08. ‘Back Home… (Scene 7)’
09. ‘Mr. George Payne (Scene 8)’
10. ‘The Contents of Her Purse (Scene 9)’
11. ‘Supper with Mr. Payne’s Mother (Scene 10)’
12. ‘Golf Left-Handed (Scene 11)’
13. ‘A Moment (Very Late)… (Scene 12)’

CD 2:
01. ‘The Big City (Scene 13)’
02. ‘The Doctor (Scene 14)’
03. ‘The Good Life (Scene 15)’
04. ‘Trouble (Scene 16)’
05. ‘A Place In the Country (Scene 17)’
06. ‘Happiness, Prosperity and Forgetfulness (Scene 18)’
07. ‘The Bridge Game (Scene 19)’
08. ‘North (Berlin/A Tango) (Scene 20)’
09. ‘East (River Rouge) (Scene 21)’
10. ‘South (Campo Dei Fiori, Rome) (Scene 22)’
11. ‘West (Atlantis) (Scene 23)’

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