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Bryce Pinkham, Phillipa Soo, and Elizabeth Stanley-Led OF THEE I SING Headlines MasterVoices' 2017-18 Season

Bryce Pinkham, Phillipa Soo, and Elizabeth Stanley-Led OF THEE I SING Headlines MasterVoices' 2017-18 Season

MasterVoices - dedicated to the art of musical storytelling and celebrating the power of the human voice - announces its 2017-18 season.

"In designing this year's programs I wanted us to wrestle with the issues that face us in the newspapers everyday," said Artistic Director Ted Sperling. "At a time when the country can seem so divided, MasterVoices' mission is ever more relevant: using the power of the human voice to connect, unite, and inspire. Our 2017-18 season is an opportunity for our audience to examine the impact of the human voice and the effects of choice, against the landscape of growing political and social concerns of our time. We hope that through our wide-ranging and diverse set of programming from today's finest composers and performers, we'll inspire our audiences to raise their voices in support of their beliefs."

2017-18 productions presented by MasterVoices include: George and Ira Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing (November 2 at Carnegie Hall); Our America, celebrating how immigrants have shaped American music (March 7 at The Great Hall of The Cooper Union); a new production of Orphic Moments, an evening featuring Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice paired with Matthew Aucoin's dramatic cantata The Orphic Moment (May 6 and 7 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater); and Naamah's Ark, a MasterVoices commission (Sunday, June 17 in Lower Manhattan, exact location to be announced), co-presented by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council as part of the River To River Festival 2018.

MasterVoices opens its season on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. with a revival of George and Ira Gershwin's satirical musical Of Thee I Sing performed at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, just days before The New York City mayoral election. An additional performance is held on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. at the Tilles Center at LIU Post. Leading the cast are Tony Award nominees Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) as John P. Wintergreen and Phillipa Soo (Hamilton) as Mary Turner, together with Elizabeth Stanley (On the Town) as Diana Devereaux, and David Pittu as the French Ambassador, joined by the MasterVoices Chorus and Orchestra. With a book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, written during the time of their famed association with the Marx Brothers, Of Thee I Sing skewers electoral politics with lines that could be ripped from today's headlines, and was the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize (1931). In addition to the title song, it features such hits as "Love is Sweeping the Country" and "Who Cares."

Our America celebrates the ways immigrants have shaped American music, merging voices and traditions to fuel the invention of new musical genres. The one night only concert on Wednesday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. puts the MasterVoices Chorus in the forefront, showcasing the wide range of stories and sounds that have defined American music through a combination of newly commissioned work, American premieres, and new arrangements of classic works. Conceived by Artistic Director Ted Sperling, Our America takes place at the historic Great Hall of The Cooper Union-the site of the birthplace of the NAACP, the woman's suffrage movement, and some of the earliest workers' rights campaigns, as well as the place where many presidents gave historic speeches prior to their elections.

MasterVoices presents two performances of a new production of Orphic Moments on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. and Monday, May 7, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater, pairing trailblazing composer and librettist Matthew Aucoin's dramatic cantata The Orphic Moment together with an innovative staging of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. The program-starring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo (Orfeo), soprano Kiera Duffy (Euridice in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice), violinist Keir GoGwilt (Eurydice in Aucoin's The Orphic Moment), together with the MasterVoices Chorus and the Orchestra of St. Luke's-explores the traditional Orpheus myth through the lens of artistic ego and moral sacrifice and the role of hubris in moral choice. MasterVoices' production builds upon the original performance that premiered in March 2016 at National Sawdust and re-imagines it in a bigger space and for a larger chorus. Orphic Moments is directed by Zack Winokur with scenic design by Douglas Fitch.

MasterVoices' season concludes on Sunday, June 17, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. with a free public performance of Marisa Michelson and Royce Vavrek's oratorio Naamah's Ark in Lower Manhattan, presented in partnership with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council for the 2018 River to River Festival. The dramatic oratorio tells the story of Noah's Ark, from the perspective of Noah's wife, Naamah-a strong woman who must guide all the diverse species of animals as the ark reaches dry land, after forty days of co-existence during an environmental cataclysm. Community members from Lower Manhattan join Victoria Clark (Naamah) and the MasterVoices Chorus in shared music-making to create this new version of the MasterVoices commissioned piece, exploring themes of diversity, the role of women in society, and the possible devastation of climate change.


MasterVoices' 2017-2018 Season:

OF THEE I SING
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind
Musical staging by Andrew Palermo

Featuring:
Bryce Pinkham, John P. Wintergreen
Phillipa Soo, Mary Turner
Elizabeth Stanley, Diana Devereaux
David Pittu, French Ambassador

MasterVoices Chorus and Orchestra
Ted Sperling, Conductor

Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
57th Street and Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Ticket Information: Single tickets for the Carnegie Hall performance are available for purchase at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, at 57th and Seventh, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at (212) 247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website at carnegiehall.org, beginning on September 11.


OUR AMERICA

Featuring:
MasterVoices Chorus
Ted Sperling, Conductor

Wednesday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m.
The Great Hall of The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street (between Third and Fourth Avenues)
New York, NY 10003

Ticket Information: Tickets will be available at mastervoices.org beginning October 30.


ORPHIC MOMENTS
Zack Winokur, Director
Douglas Fitch, Scenic Design

Orfeo ed Euridice
Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck and libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi

The Orphic Moment
Music and lyrics by Matthew Aucoin

Featuring:
Anthony Roth Costanzo, Orfeo
Kiera Duffy, Euridice
Keir GoGwilt, Eurydice

MasterVoices Chorus
Orchestra of St. Luke's
Ted Sperling, Conductor

Sunday, May 6 at 8:30 p.m.
Monday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10023

Ticket Information: Tickets can be purchased at www.jazz.org, by calling Center Charge (212-721-6500) or by visiting the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office, within the Time Warner Center, at Broadway and 60th, beginning on November 20.


NAAMAH'S ARK
Music by Marisa Michelson
Lyrics by Royce Vavrek

Featuring:
Victoria Clark, Naamah

MasterVoices Chorus
Ted Sperling, Conductor

Sunday, June 17, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Lower Manhattan, exact location to be announced

Namaah's Ark is co-presented by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council as part of the River To River Festival 2018. Please visit LMCC.net for additional information.

Ticket Information: Free and open to the public.


MasterVoices was founded in 1941 by conductor Robert Shaw, who believed in the voice as the world's most powerful instrument. Today the human voice remains at the heart of MasterVoices' concerts, from its acclaimed 100+ member chorus to the dazzling array of world-class soloists that perform with the group each year.

MasterVoices' productions are known for their vitality and scale, and the group's repertoire spans multiple genres, including choral classics, operas in concert, musical theater programs, and newly commissioned works at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and New York City Center to site-specific concerts at synagogues, airplane hangers, museums, and bandshells. MasterVoices often tours internationally, most recently appearing with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

The organization's concerts serve a deeper purpose as well: to nurture the artists of tomorrow. The Faith Geier Initiative gives debuts to promising young soloists, and at any time the chorus may include high school students from the Side-By-Side program, which invites aspiring young singers to join MasterVoices in concerts and tours, guided by experienced chorus members as mentors.

MasterVoices' vision continues to expand under the baton of Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Ted Sperling. Its musical theater offerings have become richer, as a result of the establishment of The Rees Fund for Musical Theater, and its new Bridges program has started to introduce composers to specific New York City communities to create new choral works inspired by their stories.

For more details, visit mastervoices.org.

One of today's leading musical artists, Ted Sperling is a director, music director, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, singer, pianist and violinist. Mr. Sperling became the Artistic Director of MasterVoices in October 2013 and additionally serves as the Principal Conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic. He has conducted concerts with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, the Lyrics and Lyricists series at the 92nd Street Y.

Mr. Sperling won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits include the rapturously received revivals of Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, and South Pacific; Guys and Dolls, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, My Favorite Year, and Sunday in the Park with George. Off- Broadway credits include A Man of No Importance, A New Brain, Saturn Returns and Floyd Collins. Opera work includes two New York City premieres by composer Ricky Ian Gordon: 27 starring Stephanie Blythe, and The Grapes of Wrath, starring Nathan Gunn; Dido and Aeneas starring Kelli O'Hara and Victoria Clark; and La Voix Humaine starring Audra McDonald. Mr. Sperling's work as a stage director includes the world premieres of The Other Josh Cohen, See What I Wanna See, Striking 12, and Charlotte: Life? Or Theater?, as well as a revival of Lady in the Dark. Mr. Sperling received the 2006 Ted Shen Family Foundation Award for leadership in the musical theater, headed the Music Theater Initiative at The Public Theater, and is Creative Director of the 24-Hour Musicals.

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