Heart of Darkness

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Alumni Megan Ihnen and Jennifer Ellis have collaborated together to create an ensemble called The Seen/Heard Trio with flutist Erika Boysen. They are already hard at work planning repertoire and beginning collaborations with exciting composers!

Megan and Jennifer performed a recital in May 2015 on the Notes on Fiction Series at the Center for Fiction in NYC based on Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.”

More than a novel, Heart of Darkness is like an extended symbolic poem, affecting the reader with the breadth of its ideas as well as the beauty of its words. Drawing upon powerful 20th and 21st Century musical compositions, harpist Jennifer Ellis and mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen create a stark and multifaceted performance based on the themes in the historic novel.

Written by Joseph Conrad on the eve of the century that would see the end of the empire that the novel so significantly critiques, Heart of Darkness is both an adventure story set at the center of a continent represented through breathtaking poetry, as well as a study of the inevitable corruption that comes from the exercise of tyrannical power. Through musical performance and readings from the novel, Ihnen and Ellis explore tranquility, amazement, darkness, and the unknown.

Megan also performed with Fifth House Ensemble as part of their 2015-16 Season! FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholars in Performing Arts, along with mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen, premiered a comically dark chamber opera about a dinner party gone wrong, in an afternoon of music by FAU Composer-in-Residence Kevin Wilt. Two new additional works for mezzo-soprano were on the program as hors d’oeuvres.