About the work
A tribute to life in the city.
Commissioned by the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus. Alex Canovas, director.
Digital world premiere by the California State University Long Beach Bob Cole Chamber Choir. Upcoming live world premiere by the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus.
“Will you pick me up or should I meet you there?”
Skyscrapers and tenements touching a lapis lazuli sky. Our train fights its way along the bridge,
Water everywhere, towers and smokestacks,
Rattle, clank, fits and starts.
The ancient car rumbles and drops again.
I bounded out and ran up steps that climb forever. A blast of cold air and blaring horns hit me.
Backpacks and a violin cases, headphones, a magazine,
Grandma in a babushka, curious children, a boom-box, teenagers,
Tourists screaming with glee under buildings so tall you can’t see their crowns.
Cars and bars and starlit lounges, shows and raves and dipping underground. Neon and screens,
marquees and dreams…
Some come to work, some come to play, and we’re definitely here to play.
You can see through the trees to the other side of the park, Spying glimpses of love.
A couple snuggling on a bench,
Talking and plotting, planning and scheming amidst the lights.
They’re holding hands. A knowing glance.
Her eyes looking into his. A knee against a knee.
A hand that lingers.
It’s touch amidst all these towers that makes it bearable.
Twenty generations have come of age in this City of Strangers.
Four-hundred years of songs sung mostly by long gone neighbors
It’s not wondering which stop to take to get off at Broadway that makes people want to live here.
It’s searching for people who bring you alive that makes The City vibrate and thrive.
It’s love, the pure substance, pulling us back now and then,
Bringing us homeward, again and again.
Libretto extracted from Metropolis: New York by Jonathan Talberg