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:
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Pianist Jenny Lin performs works by Silvestrov, Mozart, and Stravinsky. We also hear the Dover String Quartet with highlights from the ensemble’s performance in WQXR’s Greene Space.
Friday, August 14, 2020
This program features a 2011 A Little Night Music performance of Haydn and Mozart by pianist Juho Pohjonen and highlights from the opera The Black Clown, with bass-baritone Davóne Tines.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
This A Little Night Music features Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan’s 2016 Mostly Mozart debut, for which he performed a range of works from the 18th to the 21st centuries.
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
This late night presentation features three pianists — Emanuel Ax, Anna Polonsky, and Orion Weiss — from A Little Night Music performance in 2015 at the Kaplan Penthouse.
Monday, August 10, 2020
This Mostly Mozart Festival late night concert features celebrated pianist Paul Lewis performing works of Schubert and Brahms, recorded in 2016 at the Kaplan Penthouse.
Thursday, August 06, 2020
Classical and folk collide on this late night program featuring Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto and Norwegian bassist Erik Sundquist.
Friday, May 08, 2020
Esperanza Spalding joins Helga mere weeks before her most recent Grammy win to talk about what it means to truly be a part of a community and how to find the “the yum” in things.
Tuesday, May 05, 2020
Poet and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation President, Elizabeth Alexander shares her thoughts on a life alongside words, maintaining relationships, and what the world looks like after loss.
Friday, May 01, 2020
Gullah Band, Ranky Tanky, talk about the tradition of the music they play, where it’s been and where they’d like to take it next.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Pastry Chef Maury Rubin joins us in the wake of the closing of New York restaurant, City Bakery.
Friday, April 24, 2020
Musician and activist Judy Collins shares the story of her decades long career. Alongside loss and addiction she maintains a clarity of voice, passion and vision as a conduit for music.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Activist, entrepreneur, and former model Bethann Hardison recounts moments from her unconventional life.
Friday, April 17, 2020
Visual artist and colorist, Stanley Whitney talks about life as an artist and as a person. He uncovers what it means to be a black abstract painter, firmly rooted in the United States.
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Krista Tippett talks about her life as a mother, daughter, lover and leader and the ways that all of those roles converge in her work as host of the podcast, On Being.
Monday, November 26, 2018
Host Helga Davis stops by to talk about her chats with cultural luminaries and her "unconventional life in performance."
Monday, November 26, 2018
Ariel Burger on "Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom." Meg Wolitzer on "The Female Persuasion." Helga Davis on the Helga podcast.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Kimberly Drew, known online as @museummammy, is a unrelenting purveyor of art, fashion and culture. She joins Helga to talk mental health and how drinking water helps her keep the beat.
Monday, May 21, 2018
Teacher, author and speaker, David Kyuman Kim joins host Helga Davis to discuss "radical love" and the essential role of community in shaping how we perceive the world around us.
Monday, May 07, 2018
National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson sits down with host Helga Davis to talk about the power of family – the so-called alternative ones she was born into and made for herself.
Monday, April 09, 2018
Award-winning director, screenwriter and playwright Kenneth Lonergan talks with host Helga Davis about their charged, formative years in high school and how he fuels his creativity.