Founded in 2001, Florestan Recital Project promotes song repertoire in concerts, masterclasses, and educational residencies. By combining a dynamic core ensemble of committed artists with meticulous research and programming, Florestan has delighted audiences with a wide range of both established and unfamiliar repertoire.
And on October 31st they will unveil their latest project, the release of its world premiere recording of Libby Larsen’s The Strange Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes, based on Rick Geary’s book The Beast of Chicago.
At the height of the Gilded Age, during Chicago’s finest moment of international glory, a man known as H.H. Holmes quietly and secretively carried out one of the most horrifically perverse and murderous crime sprees in American history. Against the ornate backdrop of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Holmes built an elaborate chamber of horrors in which he staged the methodical and grisly murders of up to 200 people, becoming America’s first known serial killer.
This macabre subject matter provides the basis for an exploration into the darkest corners of the human psyche. The work explores the unfathomable impulses that drove Holmes to commit his crimes. Scored for baritone and piano, Larsen’s song cycle interweaves passages of period parlour music with texts from Holmes’ own confessions. The result is a work that is both haunting and engaging–a perfect platform for Florestan’s “deeply felt, and impeccably prepared” performances (The Boston Globe).
This groundbreaking recording project will be accompanied by the simultaneous release of an accompanying animated video featuring illustrations from artist Rick Geary’s acclaimed graphic novel.
For more details, check out the Florestan Recital Project’s website, and check back on Halloween to see this exciting new project.