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Press release

Alarm Will Sound Premieres a Work Inspired by One of the Metropolitan Museum’s Most Iconic Galleries


(New York, May 29, 2014)—In a dramatic finale to their yearlong residency at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alarm Will Sound will premiere a music theater commission of ambitious proportions inspired by The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing. I Was Here I Was I will respond directly to the gallery, placing the Temple at the center of the story. On June 20, this site-specific work will animate an artifact thousands of years old with contemporary music and performance.

In three acts, the music of I Was Here I Was I was composed by Kate Soper, a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, who will also perform the role of the lead character alongside the 20-member band Alarm Will Sound, conducted by Alan Pierson. The performers will move throughout the space in an unprecedented staging for the gallery by director and librettist Nigel Maister.

I Was Here I Was I is an immersive experience, using spoken text, song, and music. The story weaves through the Temple’s own timeline, imaginatively providing narrative to the breathtaking space: A 19th-century woman sails down the Nile discovering beauty and brutality in equal measure. Two Nubian brothers drown in the river, setting in motion a chain of events that will see their temple saved from a similar fate millennia later. A contemporary tourist confronts The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing on Fifth Avenue. Generations seek to control memory and secure their places in history. The story is inspired in part by the writings of Victorian adventurer Amelia Edwards.

“The Temple of Dendur, visited by so many, has acquired a multi-layered history—a history of myth, reality, obliteration, reclamation, tragedy, and redemption.  It is a totem of a culture far removed from its current home and a potent signifier of every Met visitor’s experience at the Museum,” said Nigel Maister.

As the Met Museum Presents 2013-2014 Artists in Residence, Alarm Will Sound has performed a range of thrilling concerts in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, as well as site-specific works in the Museum’s galleries. Highlights of their residency have included a collaboration with the dance troupe Dance Heginbotham for a world premiere; a pop-up concert in The Charles Engelhard Court during Museum hours; and the New York premiere of Steve Reich’s Radio Rewrite.

I Was Here I Was I will premiere on Friday, June 20, at 7:00 p.m. at The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing. Tickets are $60. Bring the Kids Tickets are available for this concert at $1 per ticket for kids ages 7–16. Children must be accompanied by adults purchasing full-price tickets (maximum three children's tickets per paying adult).

Commissioned for The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing.

Pre-Concert Cocktails: 
A menu of limited-edition cocktails celebrating Alarm Will Sound will be available in The Petrie Court Café or The Great Hall Balcony Bar before the performance. Both inspired by and named in honor of the ensemble's first performance at the Met, "The Permanent Collection" menu features an assortment of classic cocktails with a modern twist, available exclusively at Alarm Will Sound performances.

For tickets, visit or call 212-570-3949. Tickets are also available at the Great Hall Box Office, which is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.—3:30 p.m.
Tickets include admission to the Museum on day of performance.
For more information about Met Museum Presents, please visit:

About Met Museum Presents:
A wide-ranging series of performances and talks at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores contemporary issues and innovations through the lens of the Museum’s exhibitions and unparalleled gallery spaces. Met Museum Presents creates a platform for curators, thought-leaders, and artists to come together and explore the Met as a generative force.


May 29, 2014

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