Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC Presents World Premiere by Julliard’s Becca Schack and Rare All-Female ’Gloria’ by Vivaldi
Melodia Women’s Choir perform “Sweet Interlude,” a concert featuring the world premiere of Becca Schack’s new commissioned work “In My End Is My Beginning,” and Vivaldi’s “Gloria” as he may have originally intended it -- with all-women’s voices.
The concerts will be on Saturday November 17 at 8 PM and Sunday November 18 at 4 PM at St. Peter’s in Chelsea, 346 West 20th Street, New York City, New York.
The 32-voice Melodia ensemble, previoulsy heard on WNYC, was praised by music commentator Margaret Juntwait for its “ringing tones.”
The program, conducted by artistic director Cynthia Powell, will feature Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria in D Major, RV 589.” Many scholars believe that Vivaldi originally composed his “Gloria” for the women and girls of the 18th century Ospedale della Pietà, an orphanage where he worked as composer and music teacher. Melodia will perform “Gloria” as it would have been performed in Vivaldi’s time.
Becca Schack’s “In My End Is My Beginning” is a piece in four movements based on T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets.” The composition, a world premiere, incorporates earth, air, wind and fire and contemplates the cycles of life.
Schack is a graduate of the Julliard School with a major in competition. She was a finalist in the 2004 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, received honorable mention in two ASCAP Young Composers competitions, and her compositions have been played by members of the New York Philharmonic. Also a performer, she has appeared at the Apollo Theater and Lincoln Center, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London.
Other selections in the program include: “Wir Eilen Mit Schwachen from Cantata 78,” by J.S. Bach; “Five Hebrew Love Songs” by Eric Whitacre written to poems by Hila Plitmann, “She Weeps Over Rahoon” also by Whitacre, based on a poem by James Joyce; and “Lift Thine Eyes” from “Elijah” by Felix Mendelssohn.
Now in its fifth anniversary season, Melodia creates, discovers and performs works for women’s voices. Last season, it was featured on WNBC’s “Time Out” as a top entertainment pick. Melodia has rediscovered numerous neglected works, presenting premiere performances of pieces by Peter Warlock, E.J. Moeran, and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel in celebration of her 200th birthday.
In its Spring 2007 concert, “Shout Sister Shout!” Melodia celebrated female composers and ensembles from 12th to 21 centuries. In November 2006 at Merkin Concert Hall, Melodia presented the world premiere of Allison Sniffin’s commissioned work: “Hear Me With Your Eyes,” based on poems of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. The ensemble appeared last year in the Symphony Space “Wall to Wall Stravinsky.”
Melodia was founded in 2003 by Jennifer Clarke, executive director. She is a choral singer and arts consultant who has worked with London’s Royal Festival Hall, Royal Court Theatre, New York’s Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana and Dancing in the Streets.
Cynthia Powell, Melodia’s Artistic Director and conductor since its inception, is also the Artistic Director of Stonewall Chorale. She has directed the choral program of Sarah Lawrence College, was a guest conductor at the Festival Internacional de Coros in Havana, Cuba, and has toured as an organist/pianist with Meredith Monk, appearing at the Spoleto USA Festival, the Walker Arts Center and Lincoln Center Festival.
In its “Sweet Interlude” concerts, Melodia will be joined by an all-women instrumental chamber ensemble.
Tickets for “Sweet Interlude” are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For the Sunday November 18 performance, Seniors (65+) and Students $15.00.
Information: (212) 252-4134, or www.melodiawomenschoir.org.
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