The U.S. may be a nation of immigrants, but it is also a nation of quotas. Congress has repeatedly imposed laws controlling the influx of aliens. Written between 1922–23, Cole Porter’s ballet Within the Quota is a critique of the Emergency Quota Act (1921). TableTopOpera’s new arrangement juxtaposes images from Porter’s time with material pertaining to current U.S. immigration policies and their effects on the nation. The project is a collaboration between TableTopOpera and the George Eastman Museum.
The music is scored for saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass, piano, and synthesizer with prerecorded electronic music and sounds.