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“I have found previous works of Mark Abel both beautiful and compelling; “The Dream Gallery” and “Terrain of the Heart”, but “Home is a Harbor” is a masterwork that has provided me with a new experience. Never an opera fan, (with the exception of Mozart’s works), my passion has been for listening to and playing piano and instrumental works. With “Home is a Harbor”, the composer has combined arresting, but very accessible music, with his own words in a libretto which complements the vocal and instrumental score beautifully. In contrast to the often silly, and/or melodramatic stories that accompany so many famous operatic works, this is a story that is interesting, absorbing, and relevant to current place and time. It is easy to imagine the visual summoned up by the exceptional, expressive voices of the three main characters in this excellent recording, but I greatly look forward to seeing “Home is a Harbor” staged. The bonus to the full opera on this recording is a fine work in its own right; “The Palm Trees are Restless”, with the beautiful performance by soprano Hila Piltman expressively conveying the haunting quality of the musical score which so closely matches the poetry it complements.” —Deborah Marcus
“As we all know great artists push boundaries within their genre of music to new heights…I came across Mark Abel a prolific California based composer/song writer thru his previous CDs “THE DREAM GALLERY: SEVEN CALIFORNIA PORTRAITS” & “TERRAIN OF THE HEART” few years back. Both beautiful song cycles I might add. A few years away Mark has returned and ventured into the world of Opera. But not just an ordinary run of the mill blood, revenge, guts and glory but about coming of age story and portrait of contemporary America. It focuses on early success, the financial crisis and human cost of the war in Afghanistan. Followed by The Palm Trees are Restless a song cycle Five Poems of Kate Gale sung by the talented Hila Plitmann, known for her work with today’s top contemporary composers.… The whole Opera lasts 100. 87 minutes blending classical, rock & jazz in a unique musical fusion that combines the depth & sophistication of classical music with a direct impact of rock music. Mark Abel a talented rock musician himself hits the mark! An Opera and Tonal music of Today. Bravo for enlightening us on a sensitive subject thru your music.” —Narcissus de la Pena
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