'An album-length play... hypnotic... brutal...a baptism of fire.' -The Austin Chronicle on Judges 19: (Black Lung Exhaling) 'Audaciously original...two dark but gripping performers...the new Bob Dylan.' -John Freedman, The Moscow Times 'Judges 19: Black Lung Exhaling has the aspirations of an opera and the gritty intensity of a SoHo performance piece.' -Bill Rodriguez, The Providence Phoenix '...a series of ballads whose instrumental simplicity contrasts with it's ornate lyrical intensity...the thickly textured imagery and wordplay possesses enough frisons for a full novel written in verse... in this potently hewn piece of rural American mythology.' -Jimmy Fowler, The Dallas Observer on Judges 19 Internationally known avant-garde artists Nikos Brisco and Ruth Margraff's latest work is the folk operetta JUDGES 19: Black Lung Exhaling. Brisco's mastery of composition in the American & Texas folk idiom combined with Margraff's neo-biblical libretti have put them at the forefront of a new opera movement. In 2000 they premiered JUDGES 19 to eager audiences and rave reviews at The Fronterafest Long Fringe (Austin, Texas). The operetta's success in Austin led to a full production at the Undermain Theatre (Dallas, Texas). The International premier of Judges 19 followed at the 2001 Sazvezde Belef Constellation (Belgrade, Serbia) with the support of an ITI/TCG Travel Grant and later that year it was performed at Here Arts Center (New York City) as part of the HARP/Opera Project. In 2002 Judges 19 was presented at Perishable Theater (Providence, Rhode Island) and at the Moscow Contemporary American Series at the Bolshoi Zal (Russia) with the support of a grant from Arts International Artists Exploration Fund. In 2003, Judges was presented as part of Here Arts Center's Culturemart (New York City) and was performed at the 2003 Novaja New Drama Festival (Moscow, Russia) in association with Golden Mask through funding from TCG/ITI International Travel Grants and Arts International Fund for U.S. Artists At International Festivals. Brisco and Margraff lectured and presented songs from the operetta at the 2003 Hydra Rebetiko Conference at the Melina Mercouri Hall (Hydra, Greece). The libretto and early score are published by Theater Forum #22: International Theater Journal Winter/Spring 2003. The full-length audio C.D. titled CAFÉ JUDGES; songs and sermons from Judges 19: Black Lung Exhaling has just been released at Joe's Pub at the Public Theater (New York City). As a composer/librettist team Brisco and Margraff are now in their third year of residency with 'H.A.R.P.' Here Artist in Residency Program at Here Arts Center (New York City).