Elizabeth Cree

Elizabeth Cree

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell, the team behind the acclaimed Silent Night, return to Opera Philadelphia for the world premiere of a chamber opera based on Peter Ackroyd's "downright exhilarating" (LA Times) novel, The Trial of Elizabeth Cree. Set in London in the 1880s, this highly suspenseful and theatrical opera interweaves several narratives: the trial of the titular heroine for the poisoning of her husband; a series of brutal murders committed by a Jack the Ripper-style killer; the spirited world of an English music hall; and, finally, some “guest appearances” by luminaries from the Victorian Age. Elizabeth Cree is a work that combines the factual with the fictive and the historical with the imaginary.

September 14-23, 2017
Perelman Theatre, Philadelphia, PA

The National Anthems

The National Anthems


David Lang’s the national anthems
Caroline Shaw’s To the Hands
Ted Hearne’s Consent

Caroline’s 2016 Seven Responses study on displacement and immigration is balanced with David’s meditation on the nature of national anthems: “I had the idea that if I looked carefully at every national anthem I might be able to identify something that everyone in the world could agree on….Hiding in every national anthem is the recognition that we are insecure about our freedoms, that freedom is fragile, and delicate, and easy to lose. “

if you need our death
our blood, our heart, our soul
we are ready


November 10-13, 2017
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA

Crossing @ Christmas

Crossing @ Christmas

Once a year we let Time stop outside in the Cold and spend an hour together looking inward with our annual meditative evening welcoming Winter. This December, we feature a new work of Michael Gilbertson as well as his 2015 Returning for double choir. Through the story of Jonathan and David, Returning contemplates how the past may live only as questions. Music and Silence. Dark and Light.

December 15 & 17, 2017
Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia, PA
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA

A Branch of Freshest Green: Music of Hildegard Von Bingen

A Branch of Freshest Green: Music of Hildegard Von Bingen

In the Gothic nave of Washington National Cathedral, Folger Consort presents a bouquet of soaring and ecstatic melodies of the great 12th-century visionary and composer. Female voices join with medieval instruments to capture the mysticism of Hildegard’s hymns and sequences. With bowed and plucked strings, winds, and vocal ensemble Trio Eos.

February 2-3, 2018
Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC

Carmen

Carmen

Everyone is drawn to Carmen, an irresistible Spanish gypsy—except Corporal Don José. But even he soon succumbs to her seduction, fleeing a life in the military to join the gypsy world, all in Carmen’s name. When the famous bullfighter Escamillo begins to win her affection, however, a dangerous love triangle grows. Micaëla, Don José’s hometown sweetheart, attempts to wrest him from Carmen’s grasp, but to no avail—fate has already dealt its hand. With its twisting tale of romance, deceit, and disaster set to magnetic melodies, Bizet’s masterpiece, Carmen, has become one of the world’s most popular operas.

April 27-May 6, 2018
Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA

Voyages

Voyages

We explore two stylistically diverse settings of one of the great poem cycles of the 20th century – Hart Crane’s masterpiece, Voyages. Robert Convery’s elegiac 1996 work is a poignant, mesmerizing artistic achievement. And, writing his fourth work for The Crossing, Benjamin C.S. Boyle probes the textures of strings and voices while pondering these haunting words. Voyages is a whirlwind of language and metaphor – a journey through love, founded in pure desire, concluding in isolation.

June 17, 2018
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA

For none would hear her

For none would hear her

Though Kile Smith has written several uniquely idiomatic works for us, we have long awaited this concert-length unaccompanied evening of music, setting journal entries and poems of the enigmatic Robert Lax. Lax presents a fascinating aggregate of paradoxes: friend to Thomas Merton and the Beat poets; urbane yet reclusive; at times whimsical, at others blissful. He ultimately explored a kind of literary minimalism, playing with form as if reinventing it – surely a seductive invitation to any composer. Yet again an opportunity for us to consider words – ours, and those of others.

June 30, 2018
Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA

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