Joseph Keckler is a singer, writer, and interdisciplinary artist who is redefining the lines between opera, pop culture, and high art. His works often involve humor, autobiography, and cultural observation. Trained as a visual artist and an operatic bass-baritone with a voice that spans three octaves, Keckler gained notoriety for his full-length performance pieces, concerts, and music videos on YouTube, like “Shroom Trip Opera,” which tells the story of a bad hallucinogenic episode. His concerts have recently taken place at Lincoln Center, Adult Swim Festival, and Centre Pompidou. Keckler’s humorous insights are recorded in a collection of his writing, Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World published by Turtle Point Press in 2017.
From the Journal
- Joseph Keckler Glorifies Death Scenes Through a Collage of Opera September 3, 2019
- Joseph Keckler Premieres His Creative Capital Project at Fringe Arts September 21-28, 2019
Let Me Die
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.