Joan of Arc returns to her home territory, as Voices of Light receives its French permiere as an oratorio this spring. Performances (by the Allegretto Choir and Orchestra) will be in the city of Nantes at the Church Notre-Dame de Toutes-Joies (Our Saint Lady of Every Gladness) on Saturday April 12th (9pm) and Sunday April 13th (5pm).
Ticket prices are 12 Euros (10 Euros for children and the unemployed.) For tickets and additional information, contact Mr. Gilles Chancerelle by phone at 02-51-13-84-22 or fax at 02-51-13-84-41. We will post additional concert details (including press releases and any information on additional performances in France) soon.
This past month, Voices of Light (accompaning with a screening of The Passion of Joan of Arc) received its Australian premiere at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Sydney Festival. Voices of Light was hailed as a "piece of substance and beauty" (Sydney Morning Herald) in addition to other wonderful reviews.
Two shows just added to this list! Voices of Light and The Passion of Joan of Arc will be seen together on Friday, November 15th and Saturday, November 16th, 2002 in performances by the Annapolis Chorale and Orchestra conducted by Maestro Ernest Green. Both shows are at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts at 8pm; for more information (and to reserve tickets), contact the Chorale via their website: http://www.annapolischorale.org.
From Wednesday, September 18th through Tuesday, September 23rd, 2002, Voices of Light will be performed with The Passion of Joan of Arc at various venues in South Africa. Here is the schedule of erformances:
Wednesday and Thursday, September 18-19 at the Rand Afrikaans University Auditorium in Johannesburg. Monday and Tuesday, September 22-23 at the Aula of the University of Pretoria in Pretoria.
All concerts are at 7:30 p.m. Keep checking this site for more information about Voices of Light's African premiere!
On Saturday, October 12th and Sunday October 13th, 2002, Voices of Light will be performed with The Passion of Joan of Arc at the Chasse Theatre in Breda, the Netherlands. Performances are at 8:30 pm; tickets are 20 or 18 Euros depending upon location. Performing the music will be the orchestra and choir of Cantabile;.
Several performances of Voices of Light have been scheduled internationally, including performances in the Netherlands, France, and its African premiere in South Africa. Stay tuned to this space for more details of these performances...
On May 3rd, at a conference in Baltimore sponsored by the University of Maryland Medical Alumnae Association, a "trial of Joan of Arc" was held. The charge: was Joan "legally insane" and thus not responsible for her actions? After testimony by expert witnesses for the defence and prosecutors, as well as arguments by legal counsel for both sides, the audience (acting as jury) voted their decision as to Joan's legal state of mind.
Naturally, Voices of Light was performed at this event (as excerpts arranged for a small chamber ensemble.)
Join us for an exciting evening of music and film, as Richard Einhorn's choral masterpiece Voices of Light is combined with Carl Dreyers legendary silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc. This performance will take place at the John Van Duzer Theatre at 8 p.m.; watch this space for more details of this and other upcoming performances.
Eight years ago, Voices of Light was recorded by Sony Classical in the Netherlands. Now, Voices of Light gets its first ever live performance there by the group Cantabile in Breda. The dates are October 12 and 13th, 2002, and the venue is the Chasse Theatre.
Voices of Light will next be performed on November 1st and November 2nd, 2001 in Louisville, KY and in Terre Haute, IN. Here are the details:
In 1998, dancer and choreographer Kathleen Dyer choreographed a full length work to Richard Einhornıs Voices of Light which was performed at Danspace Project in St. Marks Church, New York City. She recently put up a website with some beautiful and expressive photos of those performances by Ellen Crane. Visit this wonderful site to see how an opera-oratorio translates into a new modern dance work. www.kdnydance.com
This was the headline from Geoff Chapman's recent review of Voices of Light/The Passion of Joan of Arc in the Toronto Star. He also described the performance as,
" ... A mesmerizing marriage of sight and sound , Voices of Light/The Passion of Joan of Arc initially seems an unlikely candidate for multi-media success. Yet the combination of [music and film] has been a guaranteed spellbinder since the duo was debuted in 1994 ... If all this sensory overload is absorbed, the event as a whole acheives a rewarding level of tragic grandeur, tension and serenity under pressure ..."
Other recent (and very sucessful) recent performances were in Washington, DC (with the National Symphony Orchestra); Colorado Springs, CO; Eugene, OR; and Poughkeepsie, NY.
Watch this space for details on upcoming performances of Voices of Light in 2001 and 2002!
The March 17, 2001 performance of Voices of Light in Fairfax, Virginia was a critical sucess! Here is what John Pitcher of the Washington Post had to say abuut the piece:
"[A] Splendid score - an eclectic work that successfully melds authentic-sounding medieval music with contemporary minimalism ... a memorable and exhilarating evening of live music and cinema."
There were also some photos that came along with the great reviews; you can view these on the "Images of Joan" page by clicking the button on the left.
On February 4, 2001, Voices of Light was performed in conjunction with The Passion of Joan of Arc at Cornell University to a sold-out audience. Here's what one audience member, who wrote to the Ithaca Journal after the concert, had to say about it:
"This was the most phenomenal musical-dramatic event I have attended in my 20-plus years in Ithaca. I am still stunned by the beauty, power, and intensity created in that hall last Sunday."
Scroll down below for more information on upcoming performances of this work, including the next performance in Virginia and a performance recently added in Colorado Springs.
You may have seen the commercial: a customer walks into a video store and asks a clueless video clerk for "Carl Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc ... with the new score by Richard Einhorn." This delightful new spot for HP Technologies has been airing nationwide for the past couple of months!
Here is the scoop on how this commerical came about (courtesy of Home Vision Entertainment):
"Isn't it a wonderful! It is one of four commercials that Hewlett Packard financed for Amazon as a Thank You for their business. The Tag Line for the commercials was "Amazon.com changed the way people shop, H.-P. technology makes it happen." The ad agency was looking for a high quality Classic film that people should know about and watch, but that is hard to find in video stores because they mainly concentrate only on theatrical movies. At first HP was going to use a fictitious film. Luckily they reconsidered. They called Amazon's Art House and International Film editor, Simon Leake, for a suggestion. He contacted me and we agreed that "The Passion of Joan of Arc" would be a perfect fit.
He saw the film years ago in a class and was thrilled with Home Vision/Criterion's release. He gave the film extraordinary coverage last year (i.e.Masterpieces feature, Editor's Choice, Best of Century list, Top 10 of 1999 New Releases). At first, Hewlett Package was stunned by the story behind the film and quite frankly did not believe it! We had to scramble to get documented proof that we were telling the truth. Proven that, HP gave the nod and the rest, as they say, is history!"
Voices of Light was given its Austrian Premiere performances in Vienna on April 21st and 23rd as part of the Osterklange 2000 Festival, and the result, according to festival management, was a "tremendous success!"
"The capacity audience (both performances were sold-out) went wild, with about 10 curtain calls amidst many calls of bravo!"
Performances in Nebraska (February 5th) and Detroit (April 2nd) yielded similar results, with audiences and critics praising the combination of Carl Dreyer's classic film with Richard Einhorn's moving musical work.
Here is what Ray Litt (President of the Rackham (Detroit) Symphony Choir) had to say about Voices of Light:
"Our 80 voice choir become emotionally involved with the wonderful Oratorio Voices of Light. Richard Einhorn's beautifully integrated music and word enhancement of the 1928 Carl Dreyer masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc had a profound effect on our choristers. The over 1000 member audience came away from the performance visibly moved and enriched. The delight of having Mr. Einhorn conduct a master class and have discussions with the choir and the audience was a bonus that added more understanding of the work and his wonderful insightful choice of text."
"Choirs looking to combine an exciting musical and visual performance to their patrons would do well to undertake this stunning production."
Other recent performances of Voices of Light included performances in Grand Rapids, MI and its Asian premiere Hong Kong.
Voices of Light will be performed by the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ernest Green on Novermber 13, 1999 in Annapolis, MD. This year, Voices of Light has been played as part of the Eclectic Orange Festival in Orange County, CA on October 26, in an outdoor performace in Dresden, Germany on August 20, and at its sold-out Lincoln Center Debut at Avery Fisher Hall (NYC) on May 10.
Here is the full press release from the May 10 event:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ellen Zeisler @ 212-807-6480
MONDAY, MAY 10, 1999, 8 PM, AVERY FISHER HALL
Monday May 10 at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center will see the eagerly anticipated revival of a work heralded as a contemporary masterpiece, Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light, an oratorio inspired by the great silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc. The work, featuring the acclaimed singers of Anonymous 4, soprano Susan Narucki, the New Amsterdam Singers and Concordia Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop, will be performed along with the film based on the life of the memorable saint, originally made in the 1920's by Danish director Carl Dreyer.
This is the first production of Einhorn's extraordinary score to be presented in New York City since its sold out run at the Brookyn Academy of Music's Next Wave series in 1995. Since then, the work has been released on a stunning recording by Sony Classical, and has been shown over 35 times across the nation, including performances at the Cabrillo Festival and at the Wolf Trap Festival with the National Symphony Orchestra. Critics have been unstinting in their praise, calling the production brilliantly effective (Washington Post), gripping (The New York Times), and the most successful melding yet of classic cinema and live music (USA Today). The recording of Voices of Light was named Record of the Year by NPR's New Sounds with John Schaefer and was a bestseller on Billboard's classical charts. While the score is designed as a work that can stand alone without the film, its music, a fascinating mix of medieval polyphony, rhapsodic minimalism and lush orchestration creates a uniquely rich sound world that captures the essence of Saint Joan's mesmerizing life and death as depicted in the film.
The story behind Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc is itself a dramatic one. The director created the film during the 1920's, the same decade in which Saint Joan was canonized, focusing on Joan's trial and execution, and using transcripts from the original 15th century trial. Shortly after the film's successful premiere, a fire destroyed what was then thought to be all existing prints. When Dreyer created a new print from outtakes, it too was lost to fire, and Dreyer abandoned the project. In 1981, a mental institution in Oslo found a pristine print of the original film within its walls -- apparently, it had been shown to inmates decades earlier and never returned. Since then, the film, though rarely shown, has garnered a reputation as one of the great films ever made. Einhorn viewed the film in 1988 at the Museum of Modern Art's Film Archive and was so deeply moved that he immediately began work on a musical score inspired by it.
The resulting powerful multimedia production soon attracted attention in the performing arts world and Sony Records captured the musical score for posterity. This brought wide exposure to one of America's most promising young composers, Richard Einhorn, in whose work eclectic influences and uncommon originality unite to create music of great beauty and emotional depth. Einhorn, born in 1952, graduated from Columbia University and became a record producer, working with major artists such as Meredith Monk, The New York Philharmonic and Yo-Yo Ma, before turning his full-time attention to composing. Einhorn writes comfortably in many genres, and his important works include the highly popular ballet score Red Angels, created for New York City Ballet with choreography by Ulysses Dove, shown at Lincoln Center and Saratoga Performing Arts Center and other major venues worldwide, the scores of the award-winning documentary film Educating Peter (HBO) and Arthur Penn's thriller Dead of Winter (MGM) and the brilliantly virtuosic Maxwell's Demon for electric violin. With the extraordinary success of Voices of Light, Einhorn became one of only 6 composers ever to reach Billboard classical charts since 1994. He recently completed an orchestral commission from the Minnesota Orchestra, and is currently working on a new piece for Anonymous 4, and on a "grand comic opera" entitled Freud and Dora: A Case of Hysteria, for hysterical soprano, talking couch, gigantic nose and cigars.
Among the artists to be heard at the May 10th performance of Voices of Light are the much admired early music vocal ensemble, Anonymous 4, who were also featured on the Sony recording. The four exquisite female voices, usually heard in concert and recordings of medieval chant and polyphony, are here featured as the voice of Joan, in a rare performance of 20th century music which takes advantage of their purity of tone, flawless intonation and astonishing blend. The renowned ensemble is regularly presented at the world's early music festivals and its recordings on the Harmonia Mudia label never fail to reach the top ten on Billboard's classical chart.
This production of Voices of Light is a benefit for the Concordia Orchestra, one of New York's most adventurous and accomplished ensembles. The Concordia Orchestra is a dynamic orchestra established in 1984 by Marin Alsop to break down the barriers between classical music and modern musical styles and media. Ms. Alsop will lead the Avery Fisher Hall performance. In addition to being the Artistic Director of the Concordia Orchestra, Ms. Alsop is currently the Music Director of the Colorado Symphony and the Cabrillo Festival in California. In Europe, she has recently been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of both the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Glasgow) and the City of London Sinfonia.
Other artists lending their talents to the evening are soprano soloist Susan Narucki, known for her outstanding interpretations of contemporary music; tenor soloist Mark Bleeke; bass-baritone Andre Solomon-Glover; and the New Amsterdam Singers, directed by Clara Longstreth. This fine vocal ensemble of 70, founded by Ms. Longstreth in 1968, performs repertoire from all periods and makes contemporary music a strong feature of its programming.
Tickets for Voices of Light are available at CenterCharge by calling 212-721-6500 and are priced as follows: $50, $45, $40, $28, $16. Ticket information for Avery Fisher Hall can be obtained by calling 212-875-5030.
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