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Yannick Nézet-Séguin - Conductor
Kevin Vortmann - Tenor
Kevin Newbury - Stage Director
Bernstein - MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers
Thursday, April 30, 20158:00 pm Verizon Hall
Please note there will be no late seating and no intermission. We encourage you to arrive early as the performance will be performed with no breaks.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin calls it “the pinnacle” of the Orchestra’s requiem series. Having stirred audiences with the requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, and Fauré, the Orchestra presents Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, sure to be the theatrical highlight of our season and featuring collaborations with community performers. The legendary composer and conductor conceived this sacred work as a Mass for John F. Kennedy, in conjunction with the dedication of the Kennedy Center in 1971. While he employed many of the elements of a traditional Mass, Bernstein also drew upon his Broadway experience, as well as other religious and popular genres. He deployed a battalion of musical forces to realize his vision, including two orchestras, a rock band, a marching band, a cast of Broadway vocalists, and multiple choirs. Yannick says this presentation builds on the Orchestra’s experience with the St. Matthew Passion, adding theatrical elements to help bring Bernstein’s vision alive, and fill Verizon Hall with a spiritual, ecumenical experience.
The underlying themes of Mass may be even more relevant today than at the premiere: religious community vs. individual identity; challenging authority vs. conforming to communal beliefs; war vs. coming together. What better way to spread that message than with performances by singers and instrumentalists from throughout our own community. The spiritual center of MASS is the Celebrant, who, disillusioned by the doubts of his community, goes through a crisis of faith en route to eventual reconciliation and peace. A Catholic Mass seen through the eyes of a Jewish composer, Bernstein’s MASS offers an opportunity for multi-denominational dialogue. Rarely performed due to the large forces required, this is truly a destination concert for audiences and participants alike.
View the full cast list here.
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