Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon will join soprano Lisa Delan and pianist Kristin Pankonin in an evening that features Gordon Getty's The White Election, a song cycle based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Ms. Nixon will read selections from Emily Dickinson's letters. The event will take place on Thursday, April 19, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. at The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse (Samuel B. & David Rose Building, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 165 West 65th Street, Manhattan).
The evening, celebrating National Poetry Month, will be presented by PentaTone Classics and will benefit the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Tickets are $35 ($20 for seniors and students) available at www.lincolncenter.org, by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500, or at the Avery Fisher Hall box office.
In 1986, Gordon Getty composed The White Election, a cycle of poems by Emily Dickinson for soprano and piano, after close reflection on Dickinson's 1862 poetic declaration, "Mine --- by the Right of the White Election! Mine – by the Grave's Repeal! Title – Confirmed! Delirious Charter! Mine-long as Ages steal!" This work explores themes of mortality, renunciation, and fulfillment. Concert performances and two recordings (one by Ms. Delan on PentaTone Classics, and one by the late Kaaren Erickson on Delos) have been highly praised, and The White Election has taken its place in the repertory.
"The White Election," says Gordon Getty, "is meant to tell Emily Dickinson's story in her words. It is the story of a poet, and the business of poets is to observe and invent." Mr. Getty takes note of the fact that Emily Dickinson had studied voice and piano and often played at home. A friend of Emily Dickinson's remembered that on her (the friend's) father's visits to the Dickinson home, he "would be awakened from his sleep by heavenly music. Emily would explain in the morning, 'I can improvise better at night.'" Another visitor recalled that Emily was "often at the piano playing weird and beautiful melodies, all from her own inspiration." Emily herself told a friend, "I play the old, odd tunes yet, which used to flit about your head after honest hours." Getty remarks that "all this inspires the conjecture that Emily may have set her own poems to music, or even conceived of some of them as songs in the first place. I have set them, in large part, just as Emily might have if her music had found a balance between tradition and iconoclasm something like that in her poems."
Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-winner Cynthia Nixon has been a critically acclaimed and sought after actress since the age of twelve.
Nixon most recently appeared on Broadway in the Manhattan Theatre Club's production of Wit. The play follows a brilliant and exacting poetry professor (Nixon) as she undergoes experimental treatment for cancer. A scholar who devoted her life to academia, she must now face the irony and injustice of becoming the subject of research.
She will next be seen in World Without End, a television mini-series based on the novel by Ken Follett.
Nixon last appeared in the film Rampart, with Woody Harrelson, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. She also recently reprised her guest-starring role on Showtime's critically acclaimed hit The Big C opposite Laura Linney, now in its third season. She recently played Michele Davis in Curtis Hanson's Too Big to Fail for HBO, a story about the collapse of Wall Street and the financial crisis of 2008, in which a group of powerbrokers decide the fate of the world's economy in a matter of a few weeks. The telepic also stars James Woods, Paul Giamatti and William Hurt. In 2010 Nixon starred in the sequel to New Line's 2008 summer blockbuster Sex and the City: the Movie. She also appeared in Richard Laxton's An Englishman in New York opposite John Hurt, Lymelife along with Alec Baldwin and Timothy Hutton, and The Babysitters opposite John Leguizamo. Prior to that, Nixon was seen in New Regency's feature Little Manhattan as well as in Alex Steyermark's One Last Thing, which premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival and was screened at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. The actress starred in HBO's telepic Warm Springs, in which she plays Eleanor Roosevelt opposite Kenneth Branagh's Franklin Roosevelt. This role earned Nixon a Golden Globe nomination, a SAG Award nomination, and an Emmy nomination. In 2004 she starred in the mini-series Tanner on Tanner, directed by Robert Altman and written by Garry Trudeau, a sequel to Tanner '88.
For six seasons Nixon starred as Miranda Hobbes in HBO's much celebrated series, Sex and the City, a role that garnered her an Emmy Award in 2004 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, two other Emmy nominations, and four consecutive Golden Globe nominations. Nixon was honored with the 2001 and 2004 SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
She was seen onstage as "Mama" in Lisa Loomer's Off-Broadway play Distracted, which was directed by Mark Brokaw for the Roundabout Theatre. Nixon's performance earned her a Drama League nomination. Prior to that she performed the title role of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. In 2006 the actress completed a successful run in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of David Lindsay-Abaire's Pulitzer Prize winning play Rabbit Hole for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress, as well as earned a Drama League nomination and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. Prior to that, she performed on Broadway as Mary Haines in the Roundabout's revival of The Women, which was also broadcast on PBS' Stage to Screen series. Nixon won a Theatre World Award at 14 for her stage debut as Dinah Lord in Ellis Rabb's production of The Philadelphia Story at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre. At 15, she was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Louis Malle in the title role of John Guare's Lydie Breeze. Most remarkably, at age 18, she appeared simultaneously in two Broadway productions, David Rabe's Hurlyburly and Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, both directed by Mike Nichols.
Nixon began her film career at age twelve with Ronald F. Maxwell's Little Darlings and went on to appear in Sidney Lumet's Prince of the City, Milos Forman's Amadeus, Robert Altman's O.C. & Stiggs, Marshall Brickman's The Manhattan Project, Let it Ride, Addams Family Values, The Pelican Brief, John Hughes' Baby's Day Out, Marvin's Room, The Out-of-Towners, Igby Goes Down, and Advice from a Caterpillar, based on the play by the Douglas Carter Beane.
Nixon's very first professional job was an ABC After School Special, Seven Wishes of a Rich Kid, costarring Butterfly McQueen. She went on to appear in PBS's presentation of Mark Twain's Private History of a Campaign that Failed, Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July and Women and Wallace (the last two for American Playhouse).
She has most recently appeared on network television in guest roles on Law & Order: SVU, a role which earned her an Emmy Award for Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Additional appearances include House, ER, and Papa's Angels. In 2009, Nixon was awarded a Spoken Word Grammy for her recording of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.
Born and raised in New York City, Nixon attended Hunter College High School and has a degree in English Literature from Barnard College. She and her fiancé Christine live in New York City with their daughter, Samantha, and sons, Charlie and Max.
American composer Gordon Getty's works have been performed throughout North America and Europe in such prestigious venues as New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London's Royal Festival Hall, Vienna's Brahmssaal, and Moscow's Tchaikovsky Hall, as well as at the Aspen and Spoleto Festivals. In 1986, he was honored as an Outstanding American Composer at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and he was awarded the 2003 Gold Baton of the American Symphony Orchestra League.
Getty's first major work, The White Election (1981), is an often-performed cycle of 32 poems by Emily Dickinson for solo singer and piano. Notable performances have been given in New York City at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and the Pierpont Morgan Library; in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center and National Gallery of Art; and in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the Hermitage Theater. In 2009, the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, presented The White Election featuring soprano Lisa Delan and pianist Kristin Pankonin; and in 2010, Delan reprised the work for Cal Performances in Berkeley with Mikhail Pletnev at the piano.