The Campaign for Bloodhoof: Meet the Performers


MATA, an independent presenter of new music based in New York City, was founded to commission, support, and present the music of early career composers.

On May 11, at University Settlement’s Speyer Hall, MATA will present Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir’s evening-length multimedia oratorio BLÓÐHÓFNIR, a setting of Icelandic poet Ger∂ur Kristny’s award-winning poem of the same name, for an all-female ensemble of period instruments and voices.

To lend context to our production of Bló∂hófnir, MATA has teamed up with PEN America to bring poet Ger∂ur Kristny to New York, where she will take part in a pre-concert discussion, among other events.

What is Bló∂hófnir?

Bló∂hófnir (Bloodhoof) revisits the ancient Eddic lay, the Skírnismal, recasting it from the perspective of the abducted giantess Ger∂ur, to demonstrate that what once may have been understood as a tale of romance, is better understood in the context of abduction and sexual violence.


Meet the Performers
Originally written for Reykjavik’s Umbra ensemble, Bló∂hófnir calls for three vocalists accompanied by gut-strung string instruments, harmonium, and lever harp. At times, the instrumentalists are asked to sing, as well. To perform this work, MATA has assembled an ensemble consisting of some of New York’s leading period instrument performers and vocalists.


The Singers

Sara Couden, contralto
as Ger∂r Gymisdóttir
“regal and darkly expressive”

“spine-chilling” Seen and Heard International

“made everyone in the theater sit up and take notice.” Musical America

“unusually rich and resonant voice” Opera News

“Ms. Couden excelled… her voice earthy and haunting” Oberon’s Grove

“Couden’s rich… and calm demeanor were ideal.” New York Times

Tynan Davis, mezzo-soprano

“a marvel: a stylish singer whose presence lighted up the stage consistently.” New York Times

“Tynan Davis drew me in as she stood and sang” Texas Public Radio

“Tynan Davis shone” Boston Globe

Augusta Caso, mezzo-soprano

“compelling… vulnerable… Ms. Caso’s acting and poignant singing combined for a courageous performance” New York Times

“electrifying” Wall Street Journal

“A name to remember” LA Times

The instrumentalists


Sara Couden performs “Nel Profundo” from Vivaldi’s Orlando furioso


How can I help?

MATA is raising $7500 to help defray the costs of mounting this vital production.


$25 contributions will receive a digital download of the recording once it is available

$250 contributions will receive a limited-edition MATA / Bloodhoof tote bag

$750 contributions will receive a signed copy of Blódhófnir, in addition to the other benefits

$1500 contributions will receive access to a rehearsal of Bloodhoof, and two reserved tickets to the performance, in addition to the other benefits