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French Choral Music Celebrated in Concert by Melodia Women’s Choir, May 16


Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC celebrates the splendor of French choral music with a rare all-female performance of Olivier Messiaen’s “Trois petites liturgies de la presence divine” (Three Short Liturgies of the Divine Presence) on May 16, 2009 at 8 pm. The concert will be at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, 980 Park Ave. (at 84th Street) in New York City.

The evening’s program, titled “Visions of Eternity”, is conducted by Cynthia Powell. Performing will be Melodia’s 40 choral singers, accompanied by 23 female instrumentalists, including Kyung-A Yoo on piano, Miranda Cuckson on violin; and Francoise Murail on the unique onde Martenot.

The concert occurs on the centenary of Messiaen’s birth. “Trois petites liturgies de la présence divine” was composed by Messiaen in 1943-44, shortly after his release from a war-time prison camp. The work premiered in Paris in 1945 and, according to Messiaen, met with an “enormous and immediate success.” Messiaen, who wrote both text and music, sought to create a work that speaks to people of all faiths, and non-believers, too.

The May 16 concert by Melodia also features the U.S. premiere of an arrangement of Messiaen’s “L’eau au maximum de hauteur” from “La fête des belles eaux,” adapted for onde Martenot, strings, piano, and flute, by Claude S. Levine. Additional highlights of the program are “Messe a trois voix,” by Andre Caplet; “Cantique de Jean Racine,” by Gabriel Faure, and “Lament, In Memoriam Olivier Messiaen,” by Reza Vali (Naila Aziz, soprano).

“Visions of Eternity” by Melodia is presented in collaboration with Sacred Music in a Sacred Space at St. Ignatius Loyola. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Tickets are available online or by phone (see below).

The concert is made possible, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; and by the Florence Gould Foundation.

Praised by WNYC for its “elegance and ringing tones,” Melodia Women’s Choir is devoted to exploring, discovering and creating music for women’s choir and performs classical, contemporary and premiere works. Melodia has appeared at the Symphony Space Wall to Wall marathons, Merkin Concert Hall and as guest artists at the NYC Comptroller’s celebration of Women’s History Month.

Melodia was founded in 2003 by executive director Jenny Clarke, an arts consultant. Cynthia Powell, Melodia’s artistic director and conductor since its inception, also serves as artistic director of the Stonewall Chorale and has toured as a pianist and organizt with Meredith Monk.
Event Details:
Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC
“Visions of Eternity”
A Concert of French Choral Music
May 16, 2009 at 8 pm
Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
980 Park Avenue (at 84th St.)
Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at door
Buy: or (800-838-3006)
Further Information: 212-252-4134


 French music
 Melodia Women’s Choir
 New York Concerts

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