This year, Pride month will feature local Northern Colorado resident turned international artist, Silen Wellington (silenwellington.com) and their friend, University of Colorado alum Tessa Romano (tessaromano.com), in performance at the Lory Student Center Theater on Sunday, June 12 at 7:30 pm. Included in the performance “Place Them on the Altar” is the premiere of a landmark song cycle of the same name on nonbinary identity with pianist Barbie Noyes.
Silen and Tessa collaborated on the song cycle Place Them on the Altar to be premiered through the lens of their shared experience of coming out as nonbinary. Within the cabaret song style, this work will be the first of the Western cabaret genre to explicitly feature a nonbinary subject and explores themes of gender expression through hair, gender-affirming language, and self-love.
“Tessa and I first began collaborating when they sang the lead role in a nonbinary chamber opera I wrote in 2016,” Silen explained. “Five years later, after exploring more aspects of their identity, Tessa came out as nonbinary and wrote a set of poems about their understanding of gender. After so many years of Tessa singing my music, I was thrilled to bring their nonbinary poetry into life with song. What we really hope to highlight in this performance is how varied everyone’s experiences of gender can be, and the self-love and reverence that can result from accepting who you are.”
Also performing are Colorado’s renowned new music group The Playground Ensemble presenting Hollow: A Banishing Ritual. Hollow was commissioned by The Playground Ensemble in April 2022 with financial support from the Denver Music Advancement Fund. The work explores the paradox of de-sexualization and hyper-sexualization as a transgender person featuring Wellington as a spoken word artist. The musical performance will be followed by an open mic and musical improvisation.
Don’t miss this groundbreaking Pride premier graciously supported by the Bohemian Foundation, the Boulder Arts Commission, CSU’s Pride Resource Center, and SPLASH NoCo Youth.