“The Ambassador is musically rich, oozing with intelligence..” ~ Rolling Stone
Die Hard and Blade Runner, race riots and natural disasters, urban blight and austere modernist architecture are all fodder for Gabriel Kahane’s The Ambassador, an investigation of the underbelly of Los Angeles. Using street addresses as entry ways into characters as varied as James M. Cain’s Mildred Pierce, and the doorman of the long-defunct Ambassador Hotel, Kahane offers a dozen exquisite songs that seek to rewire our relationship to Southern California. With direction by Tony-award winner John Tiffany (Black Watch, Once) and a ravishing set design by Tony-award winner Christine Jones (Spring Awakening, Queen of the Night), The Ambassador is a love letter, by turns droll and melancholic, to a city long misunderstood.
Moving effortlessly between divergent musical realms, the eclectic Gabriel Kahane is a leading voice among young composers redefining 21st-century music, appearing with artists as varied as Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Punch Brothers, Chris Thile, Brad Mehldau, Audra McDonald, pianist/conductor Jeffrey Kahane, pianist Jeremy Denk, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and composer/conductor John Adams. At the start of a two-year residency at UNC-Chapel Hill, he returns to Memorial Hall with the world premiere of The Ambassador.