VocalEssence Presents Work from Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson
VOCALESSENCE PRESENTS WORK FROM GERTRUDE STEIN
AND VIRGIL THOMSON
Local choral ensemble stages opera “Four Saints in Three Acts”
alongside award-winning dance troupe Black Label Movement
MINNEAPOLIS—December 17, 2015—On Saturday, Mar. 19, nationally acclaimed choral ensemble VocalEssence will re-imagine the groundbreaking and distinctly American opera—Four Saints in Three Acts—assisted by director and choreographer Carl Flink and his award-winning Black Label Movement.
Called a “high camp masterpiece” by critics, the playful piece premiered on Broadway in 1934. The opera (though, one that defies traditional opera form) is set in sixteenth-century Spain, and traces the lives of saints—including St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Teresa of Avila—on Earth. The witty libretto was written by Gertrude Stein, and the stunning music was composed by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Virgil Thomson.
Prior to the concert, VocalEssence artistic director Philip Brunelle and Randall Davidson, executive producer of the Northern Voice Festival, will discuss the opera at the Goodale Theater at The Cowles Center.
“We love to take on a challenge, and Four Saints in Three Acts is certainly not your ordinary opera! When it premiered, many felt it changed American opera forever,” said Philip Brunelle, VocalEssence founder and artistic director. “As a champion of all choral music—from traditional to irreverent—the aim of VocalEssence is to introduce audiences to the broadest repertoire possible. Our job, really, is to educate—and inspire music lovers to explore vocal music in every shape.”
VocalEssence Presents: Four Saints in Three Acts takes place on Saturday, Mar. 19 at 8 p.m. at the Goodale Theater at The Cowles Center in Minneapolis; a pre-concert conversation starts at 7 p.m. A repeat performance takes place on Sunday, Mar. 20 at 4 p.m. with the pre-concert conversation at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20-30. For more information about this concert series and to purchase tickets, please call 612-206-3600 or visit vocalessence.org.
VocalEssence, called “one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by Dana Gioia, past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts—and the choral ensemble that Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones says “sings magnificently”—is a leading arts organization that impacts thousands of students, singers, and composers each year through its initiative programs, contests, and support for innovative art. Featured on “A Prairie Home Companion,” VocalEssence is in demand whenever choral music is required—performing with everyone from the Rolling Stones and Rufus Wainwright to James Earl Jones and the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Founded in 1969, VocalEssence has debuted more than 250 commissions and world premieres. For more information, visit vocalessence.org.