Midsommer Flight Sings Shakespeare In FOURTEEN LINES Recording Of 12 Sonnets Set To Original Music
Midsommer Flight sings Shakespeare in FOURTEEN LINES recording of 12 sonnets set to original music CD launch party Monday September 17 at Uncommon Ground, Edgewater, 1401 W. Devon. With its seventh summer of free Shakespeare performances as an Arts Partner in Chicago Park District parks concluding on August 26, the Chicago theatre company Midsommer Flight is offering audiences another way to enjoy Shakespeare. Building upon its success in creating original music for its productions, Midsommer Flight has developed its first stand-alone album of twelve Shakespearean sonnets set to music composed by Midsommer Flight ensemble members Elizabeth Rentfro and Erick Rivera. Rentfro and Rivera have written original music for many of the company's productions, including its popular music-infused annual Twelfth Night each December.
The album, entitled FOURTEEN LINES in honor of the sonnet structure, features vocal and instrumental performances by ensemble members and guest musicians in songs ranging from pop to blues to rock and roll - and everything in between.
Composer-performers Erick Rivera and Elizabeth Rentfro recording FOURTEEN LINES. Photo by Beth Wolf. Click on image to access high res file. Tracks on the album include some of Shakespeare's most famous poems. Sonnet 130, My Mistress' Eyes, is set to guitar and crooned like a Beatles ballad. Sonnet 17, Summer's Day, is pop-inspired, landing somewhere between The Supremes and Beyoncé. Sonnet 147 (My love is as a fever longing still), titled As Black as Hell, as Dark as Night for this album, is a bluesy jazz number. Sonnet 116, Marriage of True Minds, is re-imagined as a Simon and Garfunkel-style duet. Other songs on the album sound variously like a late-90s alternative punk rock song; a trio á la Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris; a lullaby, and more.
Artists appearing on the recording include Kim Egan (Clarinet), the Midsommer Flight Ensemble* (Vocals), Joe Griffin (Bass), Martin Gutfeldt (Saxophone), Amy Malcom (Vocals), Halie Merrill (Vocals, Guitar), Ian Michael Minh* (Guitar), Laurea McLeland (Vocals), Elizabeth Rentfro* (Composer, Vocals, Percussion, Mandolin, Piano), Erick Rivera* (Composer, Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums), Shane Roberie (Vocals), Dylan S. Roberts* (Shaker), Joe Sergio (Vocals), Jeremy Thompson* (Vocals, Cajon), Nick Villalon (Vocals, Guitar), Beth Wolf* (Vocals), Maureen Yasko* (Flute, Vocals). Asterisked performers indicate Midsommer Flight ensemble members.
FOURTEEN LINES will be premiered at a launch party to be held on Monday, September 17 from 7 to 10 pm at Uncommon Ground Edgewater, 1401 W. Devon, Chicago. Songs from the album will be performed live and the CD will be available for purchase. The event will also include food, a silent auction, and more. Tickets, priced at $50.00 (including food and one drink ticket) are on sale now at www.midsommerflight.com.
The CD will be available for sale through the Midsommer Flight website (www.midsommerflight.com) and through CDBaby (www.store.cdbaby.com), as well as digitally through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and other streaming services starting in September. CDs will also be available for purchase in person at the CD Launch Party and at any future productions and events where Midsommer Flight sells merchandise.