CYNTHIA HOPKINS: Ms. Hopkins has composed and performed for many theater and film projects, including Big Dance Theater’s production of Mac Wellman's Antigone (performed at On the Boards in 2003), Big Dance Theater's Shunkin, Ridge Theater’s production of Mac Wellman’s at jennie richee, based on the work of Henry Darger, for which she won an OBIE award as part of the collaborative team, and Big Dance Theater’s Another Telepathic Thing, based on Mark Twain’s ‘The Mysterious Stranger’, for which she won an OBIE award for performance and a Bessie award for composition. She has appeared at On the Boards, Dance Theater Workshop, Jacob's Pillow, The Kitchen, St. Ann's Warehouse, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Performing Garage Visiting Artists, GAle GAtes et al, MASS MoCA, Smack Mellon Studios.
Hopkins has co-created and composed several pieces with the collaborative theater group Transmission Projects (Tom Fruin, Anika Tromholt Kristensen, and Jeff Sugg), including Compress Your Dreams, Walk That Lonesome Valley, a piece using Tim Hawkinson’s Uberorgan, Toast of Tears, and Hazard of Gravity (could you maybe borrow me a hammer?).
She recently acted in a film called Planet Earth: Dreams, directed by DJ Mendel, based on a screenplay by Richard Foreman, and she is currently working on music for the film. She also composed music for Mr. Mendel’s film Make Pretend, which was first shown in August 2001, and Mr. Mendel has made music videos for her songs: “Shunkin’s Bitter Confession” on Devotionals, “A Drop of Holy Water” on Five Songs, and “Heat of the Desert” on Hooker. She worked with Amy Epstein to make a film for the song “Homage to Drink” on Gloria Deluxe. In addition to her work with other folks, she has created and directed some theater pieces, including two operettas, The 21st of May and Bullseye (a lamentation of one sad night), the latter presented in the 1996 American Living Room Series at HERE.
Ms. Hopkins is currently working on a music composition commissioned by Bang on a Can to be performed in 2005. She also plays accordion (and other instruments) and sings with Dan Zanes and Friends and Bonnie Prince Billy, and with her band Gloria Deluxe.
GLORIA DELUXE: In the spring of 1999, Cynthia Hopkins formed a band in order to record some songs and make an album. The album and the band were both called Gloria Deluxe. The album was released that September and since then, Gloria Deluxe has played at the Bowery Ballroom (opening for David Byrne), the 2001 Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, Pete’s Candy Store, Tonic, Fez under Time Café, and Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, among numerous other venues (an exhaustive list can by found on their website www.gloriadeluxe.com). In the band’s first performance outside of New York City, they opened for Patti Smith at MASS MoCA, in one of the museum’s outdoor theaters.
In addition to their self-titled first album, Gloria Deluxe has recorded a five song album accurately titled Five Songs, released in March 2000, a second full length album titled Hooker, released in October 2000, and a third full length album titled Alas Alack, released in October 2002. Five Songs, Hooker and Alas Alack were all recorded by then bassist Chris Bonner and designed by then guitarist Tom Hopkins. All of their records are self-released.
Gloria Deluxe is Cynthia Hopkins on accordion, guitar, and saw, Kristin Mueller on drums, Josh Stark on upright bass, and Philippa Thompson on violin, washboard and spoons. Live shows and albums have frequently featured Chris Bonner on bass, Curtis Hasselbring on trombone, Tom Hopkins on guitar, John Mettam on drums, Cuong Vu on trumpet, and Karen Waltuch on viola. Before forming the band, Ms. Hopkins performed her songs solo in venues and the subway system in New York City.