FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MINNEAPOLIS—October 2013—The U.S.
premiere of acclaimed English composer Jonathan Dove’s ‘There
Was a Child’ opens the 2013-2014 VocalEssence season, on Sunday,
Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. The one and only performance will be held at Central Lutheran
Church in Minneapolis, and will feature the 130-voice VocalEssence
Chorus and 32-voice Ensemble
Singers, as well as the St.
Olaf Choir, Northfield Youth Choir, and well-known
vocalists Maria Jette and Dan
Written in 2011 as
a tribute to Jonathan Dove’s friend’s son, “There Was a Child” is a soul-baring
journey through a young man’s life from childhood to manhood. The score is reminiscent
of music by Dove’s fellow Englishmen Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan
Williams. The performance will also include works from contemporary American
composers René Clausen
Whitacre, as well as 20th century Norwegian composers
Egil Hovland and F. Melius Christiansen.
“Dove is a
tremendously talented composer who can move gracefully between traditional
opera and the non-traditional. This piece is actually a
series of poems, penned by different authors, which Dove set to music,” says
Philip Brunelle, founder and artistic director, VocalEssence. “His work underscores
our VocalEssence core belief, that music can be — and is — a living art form.”
As a special bonus
for ticketholders, Jonathan Dove and Minnesota Public Radio’s classical music
expert John Birge will conduct a pre-concert
conversation at 3 p.m. at Central Lutheran Church, providing Dove’s
personal stories and unique insights into the performance.
The composer will
be familiar to Minneapolis and St. Paul audiences who attended the U.S.
premiere in 2009 of his work, “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” performed by the
Tickets for “There
Was a Child” are available for $10 and up; youth ages 6-18 and students with
valid ID are eligible for half-price tickets. For more information about this
performance and other concerts of the 45th VocalEssence season, and
to purchase tickets, please call 612-371-5656 or visit www.vocalessence.org.
VocalEssence is comprised of the 100-voice VocalEssence Chorus, the
32-voice professional Ensemble Singers, as well as guest soloists and
instrumentalists, and offers audiences a broad series of concerts. Called “one
of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by Dana Gioia, past chairman
of the National Endowment for the Arts, VocalEssence was founded in 1969 by
artistic director Philip Brunelle. VocalEssence has championed the vocal
experience in unconventional ways through concerts, commissions, and community engagement,
and has debuted more than 150 commissions and world premieres. Beyond
performances and recordings, VocalEssence impacts thousands of students,
singers, and composers each year through its initiative programs, contests, and
support for innovative art. For more information, visit www.vocalessence.org.