"I'm not a performer; I get stage fright," explains composer R. Timothy Brady. Yet for four years the 22-year-old Gwinnett County native was a local onstage presence as keyboardist for the pop outfit One Hand Loves the Other, co-writing some of the songs that appear on the band's current CD. Ultimately, Brady and the group mutually agreed last year that he should leave the band to fully pursue his own muse.
Then suddenly the Emory University graduate took the local classical-music world by surprise in late June, when his 40-minute opera, Edalat Square, shared first prize in a festival for new operas hosted by Houston's innovative Opera Vista.
Based on the 2005 public execution of two young men accused of lavaat (sex between two men) under Iranian Islamic law, Edalat Square tells the story as a brother's internal struggle over betrayal on behalf of an ideological cause. "Opera was the only format for this story," says Brady, who is headed to NYC this fall to study with famed avant-gardist Joan La Barbara. "[But] the structure is a little different, more flexible." Former bandmate Rodriguez even had a hand in the libretto, which went through five agonizing revisions.
Even so, Brady is keeping a hand in Atlanta's popular scene, including an upcoming project with a friend who is a hip-hop producer. "It's a necessary way to express myself," Brady says. "I find freedom in it – almost a comfort."
Listen to the opening ("Preview") of Edalat Square on R. Timothy Brady's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/rtimothybrady.
Read the July 5 CL article about One Hand Loves the Other here.
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