A live recording of the complete experimental opera, “That Morning Thing” by Robert Ashley, possibly from the Dec. 8, 1969 performance at Mills College. Composed in 1967 this was Ashley’s second foray into the realm of avant-garde musical theater, and is a work for five principal voices, eight dancers, women's chorus and tape. The mainstream media’s reaction, as well as that of some in the audience, was notably mixed, however rather than being a commentary on the ultimate quality of the work it seems to be more an indication of the audience’s unfamiliarity with Ashley’s trademark mix of electronic and prerecorded sounds with the more traditional elements of opera. Certainly for anybody interested in avant-garde theater in general or Robert Ashley specifically, this historic recording of one of his earliest and perhaps lesser known works should be of immense interest and value.
A review of the December 8, 1969 performance by KPFA Musical Director Charles Shere, in which the reaction of the audience and press is discussed, can also be found on radiOM.org. This opera was originally recorded in quadraphonic sound.