A chamber oratorio for guitarist/orator

with second guitar, string quartet, fixed media and video
60 minutes

A collaboration between guitarist Colin McAllister and composer Christopher Adler, Aeneas in the Underworld is a captivating and unique project combining oratory and music for a solo performer who recites the sixth book of Vergil’s epic story, Aeneid, in the original Latin, while playing a guitar that is subjected to drastic retuning, preparations and playing implements. The soloist, embodying the extraordinary mastery of Aeneas, the hero, is accompanied by a second guitarist, string quartet and electronics. The story recounts the hero’s descent into the underworld and fateful meeting with the shade of his father, who reveals to the hero the future glories of Rome. Projected subtitles feature a brand new English translation by classicist Khang Le, commissioned specifically for this production. This immersive experience appeals not only to musicians, but also afficionados of classics, Roman history, and poetry.

Following premiere performances in March 2019 at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla, and ArtShare Los Angeles, this production is now available for booking. Colin McAllister (guitar) and Christopher Adler (media) will work with a local guitarist and string quartet to minimize travel costs. Both the second guitar part and the string quartet parts may also be undertaken by advanced students. Please contact Colin to book a performance.

Complete Performance Video
Promotional Trailer (2 minutes)

Premiere performances

Complete oratorio premiered by Colin McAllister, Pablo Gómez and the Veronika String Quartet, March 18, 2019, Chapman Foundations Recital Hall, UCCS
Act II premiere by Colin McAllister and Derek Keller, October 2, 2015, Athenaeum Art Center at Bread & Salt, San Diego
Act II, Scene 3 premiered by Colin McAllister, February 17, 2012, CMMAS, Morelia, Mexico
Act I premiered by Colin McAllister, May 12, 2011, Conrad Prebys Concert Hall, University of California, San Diego

Additional performances

Complete oratorio, with Colin McAllister, Pablo Gómez, Batya MacAdam-Somer, Emily Call, Annabelle Terbetski and Jennifer Bewerse:
Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, presented by San Diego New Music, March 29, 2019
ArtShare L.A., presented by L.A. MicroFest, March 30, 2019