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Mark Abel: Home Is A Harbor & The Palm Trees Are Restless

Mark Abel: Home Is A Harbor & The Palm Trees Are Restless

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This outstanding new release, Home Is a Harbor, is Mark Abel’s first opera. In addition to the opera in three acts, this two-disc set includes the composer’s newest song cycle, The Palm Trees Are Restless, set to poems by Kate Gale. The Palm Trees are Restless is performed beautifully by Grammy-winning soprano Hila Pittman, who is known for her work with contemporary composers such as her husband, Eric Whitacre. A key character in the opera is a veteran of the Afghanistan war. Because of this, Delos will donate a portion of this album’s sales revenue to various Veterans’ organizations, starting with American Legion Cathay Post No. 384.


“Looking over the cast bios (for "Home Is a Harbor"), one is struck by the fact that nearly all the participants in this project are California-based, making the point very clearly that (the state) has become an important cultural hub in the country, and Mr. Abel is at the forefront of its musical life.

The opera deals with young twin sisters who set out on their post-high school lives in different directions … ; both find disillusionment and sadness, only to return home in a third act which offers hope for the future ... But the ultra-optimistic ending does not destroy the effectiveness of the piece. It is ... filled with characters and situations that remind us all too well of the realities of our world.

All the singers do a fine job; I would not be surprised to read some of their names on the rosters of major opera companies. The two sopranos who sing the twins Lisa and Laurie, Jamie Chamberlin and Ariel Pisturino, create very believable young women with their well-supported sopranos. Best of the lot is Babatunde Akinboboye, whose rich baritone demands special notice from the listener. As with many modern operas, the vocal line is not typical of romantic opera. But it is tonal and effective in conveying the drama of the situation.” - Richard Sininger, American Record Guide

“Abel is as good a poet as he is a musician. (...) anyone who is interested in modern vocal music will want to own this disc.” - Maria Nockin, Fanfare Magazine

“It's more than just a nice story set in a town that San Luis Obispo County locals will appreciate, for Abel Home is a Harbor speaks to where we are as a country today and where we could go.” - Ryah Cooley, New Times San Luis Obispo
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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 2
    • Release Date:
    • Label:
    • UPC/Barcode: 013491349527
    • Item Number: DE 3495