Performing The Origin

How do you describe The Origin?

The Origin is an evening-long celebration in music and video of the life and work of Charles Darwin. Using texts taken directly from Darwin’s writings, The Origin centers on the making of his world-changing The Origin of Species. It is a joyous, often humorous, piece for chorus, orchestra, vocal soloists, and videos that features the highly unusual sound of a female Balkan singing group.

The Origin premiered to packed houses, standing ovations, and rave reviews. In April 2009, WCNY-FM will broadcast The Origin in its entirety. In May 2009, WCNY-TV will broadcast a documentary on the making of the piece.

What is needed to perform The Origin?

  • 2 Flutes (both doubling Piccolo)
  • 2 Oboes (one doubling English Horn)
  • 2 Clarinets in Bb
  • 2 Bassoons

  • 4 Horns in F
  • 2 Trumpets in Bb
  • 2 Trombones
  • 1 Bass Trombone
  • 1 Tuba

  • Timpani
  • 1 Percussion (playing Bass Drum, Gong, Tubular Bells, Marimba, Vibraphone)

  • Harp
  • Piano (doubling Celesta)

  • Mezzo-Soprano
  • Bass-Baritone

  • SATB Choir (minimum 30, more preferred)

  • Female Balkan Singers (9 singers from the American-based group, Kitka)

  • Strings (minimum 30, more preferred)

  • Professional video projection system

    Total Time: approximately 90 minutes, no intermission

    How many rehearsals does The Origin require?

    The Origin is very easy to perform. A minimum rehearsal schedule: 1 orchestra-only rehearsal, 1 orchestra/chorus rehearsal, and 1 dress rehearsal with all performers and videos. The music for the Female Balkan Ensemble (about 20 minutes) is a cappella and requires no additional rehearsal.