Lyric Fest will present an exciting program of world premieres from ten composers in The Song Catcher, a concert centered around the reinvention of folk song. The folk song is loved for its direct expression and storytelling quality, and honors global culture while speaking to our common humanity. The Song Catcher is inspired by the long tradition of composers who have used the folk song as a touchstone of their creativity. Performances will be Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, PA, and Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church Sanctuary in Bryn Mawr, PA.

The concert features world premieres of works inspired by folk songs by Gregory Brown (The Ballad of Anna Rosina), John Conahan (American Dreams), Michael Djupstrom (Sejdefu majka bu?’aše), Melissa Dunphy (Eat the Rich), Jennifer Higdon (Little River Songs), Allen Krantz (Three Sephardic Songs), Gilda Lyons (El Zopilote), Robert Maggio (The Story of Cherokee Rose), Jeffrey Scott (A Morte Devager) and Benjamin P. Wenzelberg (Through the brightening air ) . These new works will be paired with dramatic narration by Charlotte Blake Alston and performed by soprano Cree Carrico, mezzo-soprano Devony Smith, tenor Steven Brennfleck, baritone Jean Bernard Cerin, pianist Laura Ward and instrumentalists from Orchestra 2001 .

“The idea was to create new works inspired by the spirit of folksong,” explains artistic director Suzanne DuPlantis. “We weren’t sure how the composers would react to this idea, but in fact they were all greeted with total enthusiasm. They were encouraged to explore their own culture or a culture that interested them, or just do what they “they wanted. The resulting variety is amazing. Jennifer Higdon has the spirit of Appalachia, and she ended up writing both lyrics and music. Melissa Dunphy wrote a modern folk protest song in the spirit of Woody Guthrie and Gil Scott-Heron, Jeffrey Scott wrote a Brazilian-inspired piece featuring a poem that spoke to him, and our youngest composer, Benjamin P. Wenzelberg, composed a setting of a poem by Yeats with a folky vibe. These are just four of the ten completely unique pieces!”

The 2021-22 Lyric Fest season continues with Anything Goes on May 17-18, 2022 at 7:00 p.m., featuring Randall Scarlata, Suzanne DuPlantis and Laura Ward; and The Art of Song on June 3, 2022 at 7:30 p.m., with Justine Aronson, Gilda Lyons, Elisa Sutherland, Meg Bragle, James Reese, Steven Eddy, Laura Ward and Michael Brofman.

Concert information

The song catcher
Saturday April 9, 2022 at 3 p.m.
The American Philosophical Society | 104 S. Fifth Street | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tickets: $25

The song catcher
Sunday April 10, 2022 at 3 p.m.
Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church Sanctuary | 625 Montgomery Avenue | Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Tickets: $25

Gregory Brown: The Ballad of Anna Rosina (text by Todd Hearon) [World Premiere]
JOHN CONAHAN: American Dreams [World Premiere]
Shenando (based on the traditional “Shenandoah”)
Big Rock Candy Mountain (based on the traditional folk song)
MICHAEL DJUPSTROM: Sejdefu majka buš’aše (Serbo-Croatian traditional text) [World Premiere]
MELISSA DUNPHY: Eat the Rich (lyrics by Ozzie Jones) [World Premiere]
JENNIFER HIGDON: Little River Songs [World Premiere]
Little River
blue smoke
ALLEN KRANTZ: Three Sephardic Songs (traditional texts of Sephardic folk songs) [World Premiere]
GILDA LYONS: El Zopilote (Nicaraguan traditional lyrics, adapted by the composer) [World Premiere]
ROBERT MAGGIO: The Cherokee Rose Story (lyrics by Justin Warner) [World Premiere]
JEFFREY SCOTT: A Morte Devager (poem by Martha Medeiros) [World Premiere]
Benjamin P. Wenzelberg: Through Bright Air [World Premiere]
“The Song of the Wondering Aengus” by WB Yeats

Charlotte Blake Alston, narrator
Steven Brennfleck, tenor
Cris Carrico, soprano
Jean Bernard Cerin, baritone
Devony Smith, mezzo-soprano
Laura Ward, piano
Instrumentalists of the Orchestra 2001

About the lyrical festival

Founded in 2003 with the goal of celebrating and revitalizing the art song tradition, it is the only performing arts organization in the mid-Atlantic region with a primary focus on song in all its varied expression.

Lyric Fest has produced and presented over 100 distinctly designed and curated concert programs. Each featured several artists of national and international stature sharing the song through theme and story, as well as the spoken word. The organization has defined the commissioning of new works as an integral part of its mission and programming philosophy. To date, Lyric Fest has commissioned an impressive set of over 200 New American Songs from many of the country’s top composers.

Lyric Fest is led by two of its founders, artistic directors Suzanne DuPlantis and Laura Ward. Known for its excellence and innovation in creating rich, thematic, and accessible concerts, Lyric Fest performs throughout the Philadelphia area and has brought programming to Washington DC; Moorestown, New Jersey; Wilmington, DE; New Orleans, LA; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Brooklyn and New York, NY; and San Jose, California. Learn more about Lyric Fest at

Source link


About Author

Comments are closed.