My Joy: And All the Days Were Purple (Alex Weiser)
Eliza Bagg, vocalist
Eliza Bagg is a Los Angeles-based experimental vocalist and electronic musician working primarily in the field of contemporary classical music. She has collaborated across the genres of opera, chamber music, small vocal ensembles, and electronic and multimedia works with prominent experimental artists including Meredith Monk, Michael Gordon, Ellen Reid, Caroline Shaw, David Lang, Nico Muhly, and Missy Mazzoli, and has been a soloist with major symphonies including the LA Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic and groups such as the Talea Ensemble, the Bang on a Can Ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, and WildUp. Her singing has been called “ethereal” by The New York Times and “gossamer” by The New Yorker. In the 2022-2023 season, she will perform the role of Girl Angel in Du Yun’s opera Angel’s Bone with Renaissance Opera, perform Song Cycles at Harlem Stage with Beth Morrison Projects, rejoin Ted Hearne to perform vocals and synths in his theatrical song cycle Dorothea at Zankel Hall and subsequent European tour, sing Siren 2 in The Night Falls by Ellis Ludwig-Leone with American Opera Projects, and continue long-standing relationships with several top-tier small chamber ensembles, including a reprisal of Ellis Ludwig-Leone’s False We Hope with the Attacca Quartet at the Great Northern Festival, a tour encapsulating CSO, BSO, San Francisco Symphony, and the Nashville Symphony with the Lorelei Ensemble as they premiere Julia Wolfe’s piece for voices and orchestra, HERSTORY, a burgeoning American and European tour with the “inimitable” Roomful of Teeth in venues including Mass MoCA and Baryshnikov Arts Center, as well as another appearance at the 2023 Big Ears Festival singing the chamber music of John Zorn.
Bagg performs frequently within the experimental contemporary classical genres, with a particular affinity for collaborative vocal work in small chamber ensembles involving voice and electro-acoustics. In 2021-2022, she performed Estro poetico-armonico III with the Talea Ensemble, participated in a live interpretation of the album Fountain at MoMA PS1, reprised When the World As You’ve Known It Doesn’t Exist by Ellen Reid with the Boston Symphony, was a soloist with Wild Up in Femenine at the Broad Museum. and continued her strong relationship with the LA Phil performing as the soloist in a concert with works of various composers and improvisation with violinist Pekka Kuusisto, as well as in Joy Boy at the Ford Theater. As part of the 2022 Big Ears Festival, she sang in a live chamber performance of Ellen Reid’s Soundwalk, Ellis Ludwig-Leone’s False We Hope with the Attacca Quartet, and gave a performance of her own compositions as the experimental pop-art project, Lisel. She also toured with Roomful of Teeth in venues including NYC Ballet and the Cabrillo Festival, and joined Barbara Hannigan to sing the chamber music of John Zorn at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. Bagg’s 2021-2022 season also included her performances in Ted Hearne’s Dorothea with CAP UCLA at the Ace Hotel, as Iphigenia of the Sea in Iphigenia with CAL Performances, and in Hive Rise with The Industry at the MoCA Geffen Warehouse, building her arsenal as a performer in theatrical stagings of multimedia song cycles and operatic works.
Her 2019-2020 season included a reprisal in the role of Ape in Acquanetta with the Bard Summerscape, the vocals for Opera Philadelphia’s video opera The Island We Made, Agnes in the Graveyard for National Sawdust, her own QR-activated mini-album entitled Heat Signature for Wild Up’s Darkness Sounding Winter Festival, Atlas at Walt Disney Hall with the LA Phil, a live recorded performance of And All the Days Were Purple with Present Music, a premiere of When the World As You’ve Known it Doesn’t Exist by Ellen Reid with the New York Philharmonic, and a continued tour of Triptych with Roomful of Teeth at venues including the LA Phil, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, and Mass MoCA. In 2020, her performances as part of Ellen Reid’s Soundwalk with the New York Philharmonic involved groundbreaking site-specific, app-based sound installations in collaboration with public parks. Past season credits include Ape in Acquanetta at the Prototype Festival with Beth Morrison Projects, Unusual at the MATA Festival, Krai, an electro-acoustic chamber work, at the River to River festival, Love Streams, a multimedia album at EMPAC, and Vespers for a New Dark Age by Missy Mazzoli at Le Poisson Rouge.
During a prolific period beginning in 2019-2020, she released several full-length LP’s, collaborative albums, and solo-produced albums with Luminelle Records as part of her sweeping, ethereal art-pop project entitled Lisel. Called “otherworldly, warped” (Stereogum) and “billowing, crystalline” (Gorilla vs. Bear). A “fractured, futurist form of pop” (WNYC), Lisel’s music is grounded in her extensive career as a vocalist of Renaissance, Baroque, minimalist/post-minimalist singing styles, and collaborative electronics. Bagg has received particular recognition for her use of extended vocal techniques and unique vocal sound, which Pitchfork compared to "a lovelorn alien reaching out from the farthest reaches of the galaxy.”