Helga Davis served as a principle actor in the 25th-anniversary international revival of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass's seminal opera Einstein on the Beach. Her appearance in You Us We All by Shara Nova (My Brightest Diamond) and Andrew Ondrejcak marked her fifth at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival.
Helga is a New York-based performer whose interdisciplinary work includes theater, opera, and fine art. Since 2012 Davis has starred in the international revival of composer Philip Glass and director Robert Wilson's opera Einstein on the Beach; Wilson describes her as “a united whole, with spellbinding inner power and strength.”
She also starred in Wilson’s The Temptation of St. Anthony, with libretto and score by Bernice Johnson Reagon (Sweet Honey in the Rock); Milton by Katie Pearl and Lisa Damour; Elsewhere by cellist Maya Beiser and composer Missy Mazzoli; The Blue Planet, a multimedia theater piece, by Peter Greenaway and Saskia Boddeke; and served as a “Sweet Peach” in Soho Rep’s Jomama Jones, Radiate, which made New Yorker theatre critic Hilton Als’ top ten list.
Helga’s interview with artist Kara Walker aired on WNYC's Morning Edition on the eve of her Whitney Museum retrospective. She wrote and performed a multimedia piece Imaginings at the retrospective’s conclusion.
She is the recipient of the BRIC Fireworks grant and has completed her first full-length theatre piece, Cassandra. Davis may be heard on the new VIA Records release, Oceanic Verses, a multi-media opera written for her by composer Paola Prestini. In Fall 2015, Davis performed in her fifth Next Wave festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Shara (Nova) Worden and Andrew Ondrejcak’s You Us We All.
She hosts the Helga podcast, live events for New Sounds and formerly for WQXR’s Q2 Music, and was awarded an ASCAP Multimedia Award for hosting WNYC's 24:33: Twenty-Four Hours and Thirty-Three Minutes of the Playful and Playable John Cage.
Helga Davis appears in the following:
Thursday, September 28, 2017
The composers join Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes and vocalist Helga Davis for a conversation about the contributions of black artists to contemporary opera.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Singer-songwriter Toshi Reagon's "Brooklyn Bound" offers a honest and poetic musical look at gentrification in Crown Heights. Watch the second of our "Silent Voices" documentaries.
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus recently created space for conversation about social justice through commissioning ten new works. We dive into one: Kamala Sankaram's "Keeping the Look Loose."
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Watch a performance by Vijay Iyer and friends from The Greene Space at WQXR as the genre-bending pianist-composer shared the stage with a diverse array of musical collaborators.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Watch the release party for Brooklyn Youth Chorus' 'Black Mountain Songs,' featuring Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
In January, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus offered an early listen to their "Silent Voices" project, which gives voice to those who have been silenced by social and political circumstances.
Monday, March 06, 2017
Tuesday, March 7 at 7:30 pm, watch a live video-stream of the trailblazing Kronos Quartet and Face the Music, Kaufman Music Center's acclaimed youth ensemble, live from The Greene Space.
Monday, January 23, 2017
Hilton Als is an intellectual omnivore who roots his art and criticism in reality and truth. Als talks with Helga Davis about being comfortable owning your anger and art-making.
Monday, January 09, 2017
In Sarah Jones's one-woman shows, she seamlessly slips into characters of different classes, races and genders. Jones and Davis talk self-love in a culture that teaches self-alienation.
Monday, January 02, 2017
The young Juilliard-trained soprano Julia Bullock is making waves for her stunning performances and bold choice of roles. She talks with Davis about finding her place in today's culture.
Monday, December 19, 2016
For conductor Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, an attentive and hungry audience is one of the essential parts of creating a transcendent musical experience. He talks with host Helga Davis.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Alan Gilbert is in his final season as music director of the New York Philharmonic. He talks with Helga Davis about serving a community and the moments in performance he lives for.
Monday, December 05, 2016
The pop star singer-songwriter Solange talks with Helga Davis about finding autonomy in the music business and about being black and beautiful in contemporary America.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Violin soloist Jennifer Koh has never cancelled a gig. Even when she had swine flu. Host Helga Davis speaks with Koh about determination and empathy in this episode of the Helga podcast.
Monday, November 21, 2016
Recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize, jazz composer Henry Threadgill talks with Helga about giving license to your imagination and pushing yourself to go beyond excellence to greatness.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Singer, composer and My Brightest Diamond's frontwoman Shara Nova talks to Helga about choosing a new city, leaning into vulnerability, and how her new names translates to "new song."
Monday, November 14, 2016
Q2 Music's new podcast, Helga, features probing conversations with artists who have a unique voice and a stake in the matter of social change. The first guest is director Peter Sellars.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Get an advance listen today to Q2 Music's newest podcast, Helga, a show featuring conversations with diverse, uncompromising and socially conscious artists across the creative spectrum.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Watch a live video-stream of the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus celebrating the launch of its 25th anniversary season with music by Jeff Beal, Nico Muhly and Caroline Shaw.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Q2 Music commemorates the passing of Einojuhani Rautavaara, with a 12-hour marathon stream of music by the great Finnish composer. Today at 4 pm and Saturday at 10 am.