Being Frank: On Composing “Shining Brow” by Daron Hagen

Daron Hagen and Paul Muldoon
Daron Hagen (Left) & Paul Muldoon (Right)

“Can a man be a faithful husband and father and still be true to his Art?”

The year 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday. As organizations across the country celebrate the birth of this great American architect, E. C. Schirmer turns to the opera Shining Brow, composed by Daron Hagen with libretto by Paul Muldoon.

Shining Brow centers around the 11 tumultuous years (1903-1914) in the young career of American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The episodes include the Cliff Dwellers Club in Chicago with Louis Sullivan (Wright’s former mentor), a construction site in Oak Park, Illinois, Berlin, Germany, and finally Taliesin (Wright’s estate in Wisconsin) where many of the most tragic events of Wright’s life are played out. This opera in two acts was commissioned by the Madison Opera, a division of the Madison Civic Music Association. The composer was officially authorized by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Taliesin Fellowship to compose the opera and to have it published.

Daron Hagen is an avid contributor to Huffington Post. In this article, Hagen details the history behind the composition of his very first opera. Hagen and Muldoon took to the task of exploring Frank Lloyd Wright’s relationship with Mamah Cheney, along with the “intersection of Life and Art, self-actuation and selfishness.” The Madison Opera premiered the work in April 1993.

Read the article in its entirety here: Being Frank: On Composing “Shining Brow” | HuffPost

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