VocalEssence explores lesser-known music of Copland with James Sewell Ballet
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (December
21, 2009) –
Considered one of the most respected American composers of all time, most
listeners know little of Aaron Copland’s music beyond “Appalachian Spring” and
“Fanfare for the Common Man.” Under the direction of Philip Brunelle, the
VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers, joined by special guests the James
Sewell Ballet and Eastview High School Concert Choir, will explore some of
Copland’s lesser-known works in a performance titled Undiscovered Copland on Saturday, March 13, 2010 (8 pm) at Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis. Classical Minnesota Public
Radio’s John Birge will host a Pre-Concert Conversation at 7 pm with guest
artist James Sewell.
for Undiscovered Copland are $20-$40
(Service charges apply. Student tickets are half-price and group discounts are
available.) For tickets and information, call 612-371-5656
or visit www.vocalessence.org.
Premiered in 1937 and rarely
performed, the story of Copland’s “play-opera” The Second Hurricane remains timeless today. A group of high school
students volunteer to help with relief efforts in the aftermath of a
devastating hurricane. They are dropped off with a cache of supplies in the
midst of a flooded area even as a second hurricane is forming. As the
unexpected storm strikes and the water rises, the young peoples’ courage is
tested. The Eastview High School Concert Choir of Apple Valley will join the
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers for a semi-staged version of the opera, directed
by Jon Cranney.
intermission, the James Sewell Ballet will perform original choreography to
Copland’s In the Beginning,
accompanied by VocalEssence and mezzo soprano soloist Adriana Zabala. In the Beginning was performed on the
inaugural 1969-1970 season of VocalEssence (then known as the Plymouth Music
Series) with composer Aaron Copland conducting.
choreography will also accompany the beloved melodies of Copland’s Old American Songs, including the
familiar favorites “Simple Gifts” and “Shall We Gather at The River.”
performance will culminate with the artistic forces — the VocalEssence and
Eastview High School Choruses, James Sewell Ballet, and orchestra — joining
together to perform Copland’s triumphant “The Promise of Living” from the 1952
opera The Tender Land.
press information and photographs related to Undiscovered Copland, please contact Jennifer Bauer (612-547-1459, email@example.com) or visit the press section of