• Oct 26, 2022

Past Meets Present in Music of Remembrance's Milestone 25th Season

October 26, 2022
Contact: Mina Miller, Artistic Director; Leslie McMichael, Executive Assistant
(206) 365-7770
Past Meets Present in Music of Remembrance’s Milestone 25th Season
Musical drama inspired by Josephine Baker highlights opening concert
SEATTLE, WA— On Sunday, October 30th at 5:00 pm at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, Music of Remembrance launches its milestone 25th season with a concert featuring composer Tom Cipullo’s Josephine. In a new production directed by Erich Parce and conducted by Geoffrey Larson, the one-act monodrama stars soprano Laquita Mitchell as Josephine Baker, the legendary singer and dancer who escaped racism in America to achieve success and fame in France as an artist, a French Resistance hero and a civil rights activist. “Josephine tells a story that resonates with all of us today,” comments artistic director Mina Miller, “a story about a woman with the courage to fight back against prejudice and discrimination, and stand up for her art and ideals to make a difference in the world." The concert also highlights soprano Alisa Jordheim in the world premiere of the MOR-commissioned Wertheim Park by Lori Laitman, a hauntingly poetic elegy for the Dutch Jews lost to the Holocaust, and chamber works by Holocaust-era composers Erwin Schulhoff and Max Vredenburg.
The season continues at Benaroya Hall on Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 5:00 pm with INTONATIONS: Songs from the Violins of Hope, Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s song cycle inspired by the collection of lovingly restored instruments that were owned and played by Jews before and during the Holocaust. Through Heggie’s music and Scheer’s lyrics, mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke relates the extraordinary voyages of the violins and their owners. Mikhail Shmidt is featured as solo violinist. The program also includes The Dybbuk Suite, with Donald Byrd’s choreography bringing a new dimension to Joel Engel’s music for the iconic Yiddish play, based on the timeless folk legend that resonates in fresh ways for our world today.
On Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 4:00 pm, MOR’s Benaroya Hall season concludes with a rare double bill of one-act operas by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer, including the world premiere of their MOR-commissioned Before It All Goes Dark. The opera is inspired by a true story reported by music critic Howard Reich in the Chicago Tribune. It is about an ailing Vietnam war veteran who learns decades later that he is the heir to a priceless art collection stolen by the Nazis. His arduous voyage to Prague in search of this legacy leads him to embrace an identity that had been hidden from him, and through art he discovers a deeper truth in his life. Featuring bass baritone Ryan McKinny and mezzo soprano Megan Marino. The opera is paired with a new production of Heggie and Scheer’s Another Sunrise, with soprano Caitlin Lynch returning in this intimate portrait of an Auschwitz survivor’s struggle to find words capable of describing harrowing, unimaginable situations to people who weren’t there. Together, the two operas are a profound tribute to the restorative power of memory. Following the Seattle performance, MOR will bring the same program and cast to San Francisco’s Presidio Theatre at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, May 24, and to Chicago’s Athenaeum Center on Saturday, May 27 (7:30 pm) and Sunday, May 28 (3:00 pm) in partnership with Chicago Opera Theater.