VocalEssence Returns to In-Person Performance with Music and Dance for the First Concert of Season, ‘Hope Lives Here’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VOCALESSENCE RETURNS TO IN-PERSON PERFORMANCE WITH MUSIC AND DANCE FOR THE FIRST CONCERT OF SEASON, ‘HOPE LIVES HERE’
Premiere of newly choreographed works of Bernstein and Piazzolla from Minnesota Dance Theatre and world premiere from young talent Gabriel Kahane welcome audiences back to Orchestra Hall—Sat, Oct. 16
MINNEAPOLIS—August 2, 2021—The VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers—joined by diverse high school choir VocalEssence Singers Of This Age (VESOTA), conductors Philip Brunelle and G. Phillip Shoultz, III, Minnesota Dance Theatre (MDT), and an instrumental ensemble—will celebrate an exuberant return to in-person performance with Hope Lives Here, a concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Saturday, October 16 at 4 PM.
Reflect on our journey through the pandemic and be reassured in the hope for the future as we experience a fresh interpretation of Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” a masterwork written to uplift the spirit juxtaposed with Astor Piazzolla’s tango-infused tribute to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, “Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas” (Four Seasons of Buenos Aires). Traverse a range of emotions as you witness movement including original choreography featuring the Company of Minnesota Dance Theatre and VocalEssence Singers Of This Age.
Hope Lives Here will feature world premieres of “Choral Music,” a memoir of life as a choral singer by Gabriel Kahane, and “The Other Side” co-created by Kyle Pederson and members of VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, who also commissioned the work. Kahane and Pederson are exciting new voices in classical composition. “Choral Music” was commissioned by a consortium of VocalEssence, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and Philadelphia-based chamber choir The Crossing.
Press images are available here.
“We’re proud that the first program of our 53rd season welcomes audiences back with so many elements: pulse-quickening tango and original choreography, a favorite piece from an American master composer, and a chance to be the first to hear new works from fresh voices in choral composition,” says VocalEssence founder and artistic director Philip Brunelle. “What better way to celebrate a return to live performances we love than to pack the first concert with as much artistry and pleasure as possible? We’re making up for lost time—and couldn’t be having more fun doing it!”
“It’s a joy to share this afternoon of artistic respite to illuminate, even in the face of a global pandemic, how resourceful, adaptable, and hope-filled the human spirit can be,” says VocalEssence associate artistic director, G. Phillip Shoultz, III. “Our hope is that this concert will invite everyone to consider how we’ve changed and will continue to grow as we move to the other side.”
“For nearly two decades Minnesota Dance Theatre has collaborated with Philip Brunelle at the podium for our annual Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy. This fall we are overjoyed to share the stage with VocalEssence, the glorious music of Leonard Bernstein and Astor Piazzolla, and of course Maestro Brunelle,” shared Lise Houlton, Minnesota Dance Theatre artistic director. “Two beguiling and innovative choreographers, Alexander Hille and Elayna Waxse will join MDT to explore the rich and dynamic music of Chichester Psalms and Four Seasons.”
Hope Lives Here will be performed at 4 PM on Saturday, October 16 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. This concert is appropriate for all ages. Tickets will be available as part of a 2021-22 Concert Series Subscription, on sale Monday, August 23, 2021. Single tickets go on sale on Friday, September 17, 2021. This concert will also be available via streaming at the VocalEssence website. For details about the season and to purchase tickets, call 612-371-5642 or visit www.vocalessence.org.
Minnesota Dance Theatre is a professional dance company founded in 1962 by Loyce Houlton, who was one of the first American women to gain national and international recognition as a choreographer, teacher, and producer. Now in its 59th season, MDT continues under the leadership of Lise Houlton, who has served as Artistic Director for the past 25 years, offering her exceptional vision of artistic elegance and passionate creativity. Joining her in capturing the brilliant artistry is Raina Quammen, Associate Artistic Director.
VocalEssence, the choral ensemble Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones says “sings magnificently”—reaches thousands of students, singers, and composers each year through its learning and engagement programs, contests, and support for innovative art. VocalEssence was founded in 1969 and has debuted more than 300 commissions and world premieres. For more information, visit www.vocalessence.org.