Barber’s recasting of Ovid’s Metamorphoses via literate, brainy lyrics—coupled with music that is alternately brightly brash and provocatively pensive—is a showcase of inspiration, innovation and expression. Sleepless and searching for Morpheus, she has a drink or two and plays blackjack straight through ’til dawn with ever-unrequited love. She knows there’s no thirst-slaking and never enough to eat, and in Oedipus’ Whiteworld, she’s a gangster in a Hummer revising with Deconstructionist ease. Her longtime collaborators—guitarist Neal Alger, bassist Michael Arnopol and drummer Eric Montzka, joined by Jim Gailloreto on sax—provide dead-on musical counterpoint. Giving voice and music to these characters is the work of an idiosyncratic artist unabashedly leaping toward what is yet to be said about our common plight.