About the Show
National Sawdust becomes a gallery of living art. Sculptures, installations and paintings break from their conventional roles as decorative objects to sing and dance us into a cabaret atmosphere. Images of food hang on the walls – wait…no, it’s real food – stuck to the walls with bamboo skewers! Wine and water – in appropriate vessels – are dispersed throughout as well (not just as still-lifes) accompanied by little collection baskets (to inveigle beneficence), as some of the city’s most talented performers inhabit and animate the little worlds we make when we make art.
About the Artist
Visual artist, designer, and director Doug Fitch was last seen at National Sawdust as director/designer of Orphic Moments, starring Anthony Roth Costanzo in the Gluck opera bookended by music by Matthew Aucoin, in a production that went to the Salzburg Landestheater in January. As co-founder of the production company Giants Are Small, he directed several projects conducted by Alan Gilbert for the New York Philharmonic, including Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (cited as the top opera of 2010 by The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Time Out New York), Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (2011, New York Magazine’s “Best Classical Event of the Year”), A Dancer’s Dream: Two Works by Stravinsky (2013, later screened in movie theaters worldwide); and HK Gruber’s Gloria – A Pig Tale (2014, with forces from The Juilliard School as part of the NY PHIL BIENNAL). Mr. Fitch was the inaugural WBFO visiting artist at SUNY, where he created an opera of images, How Did We…? In 2013 he directed and performed in the premiere of Matthew Suttor’s musical setting of Blaise Cendrar’s poem La Prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jehanne de France with the Taos Chamber Music Group. He has created productions for Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Santa Fe Opera, and directed projects for Canada’s National Arts Centre, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tanglewood (Elliot Carter’s What Next?,screened at The Museum of Modern Art).
Doug Fitch’s creative life began with his family’s touring puppet theater. While studying visual arts at Harvard University, he collaborated with director Peter Sellars on Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, among other projects. He also studied cooking at Paris’s famed La Varenne school and design at the Institut d’Architecture et d’Etudes Urbaines in Strasbourg, France. He emerged as an architectural designer in the 1980s, then collaborated with Mimi Oka on edible art installations called Orphic Feasts, leading to their book, Orphic Fodder. In co-production with Universal Music and Deutsche Grammophon, Giants Are Small developed Peter+Wolf in Hollywood – an iPad app, CD, digital album, and live show that will appear with the National Symphony Orchestra this May.