About Kafka Fragments

In the fall of 2004, I was laying the groundwork for what would be a residency at the Bridge Inc., a day-home for people living with severe and debilitating mental illness. I spent several hours a week becoming familiar with the surroundings, getting to know doctors and resident patients and also attending a weekly on-site poetry group. During this time, I was approached by opera director, Peter Sellars, to create a film of projected stills for an upcoming production of Kafka Fragments at Carnegie Hall. The work is an hour-long setting of aphoristic lines drawn from the writer's letters and diaries and composed for solo soprano and violin by the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag. I introduced the libretto at the Bridge poetry workshop where it was read aloud and discussed. Soon after the group and I began to stage and photograph scenes and tableaus for each of the 40 fragments. The project, which involved four months of intensive work, had its debut at Carnegie Hall on Jan. 10, 2005.

Dawn Upshaw, Soprano
Geoff Nuttall, Violin
Peter Sellars, Director
David Michalek, Film
Jim Ingalls, Lighting
Diane J. Malecki, Producer