Artist Projects

Let Me Die

Joseph Keckler

At the core Let Me Die is a multitude of death scenes from the operatic canon. This material, all taken from the public domain and performed live with a pianist, is interwoven with Keckler’s original narratives to create a new hybrid work. The piece draws on the way in which death is at the center of both the form of tragic opera as well as the conversation around it—"opera is not dead," "the audience is dying," etc—and illuminates the ways in which our contemporary daily lives are operatic.  Using fragmentation as a poetic strategy, Let Me Die borrows its title from "Lasciatemi morire," the Monteverdi aria which is itself the fragment of a lost opera.

The work began development through a Witt Residency at The University of Michigan School of Art and Design and was presented at Musuem of Contemporary Art Detroit for 4 hours as a work-in-progress preview.