Verdi Chorus Performs THIS, AND MY HEART Next Month

The concert is on Sunday, October 15 at 4:00 pm.

By: Sep. 15, 2023
Verdi Chorus Performs THIS, AND MY HEART Next Month

The 40th Anniversary season of the Verdi Chorus launches on Sunday, October 15 at 4:00pm with This, and My Heart, A Portrait of Emily Dickinson and Her Worlds Through Text and Song, presented by the Verdi Chorus and the Sahm Family Foundation at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica. This unique theatre/concert piece celebrates the genius of Emily Dickinson, interspersing spoken readings of her text with musical settings of her poems by composers Aaron Copland, Lori Laitman, Tom Cipullo and Steve Heitzeg.

In This, and My Heart, Verdi Chorus Artistic Director Anne Marie Ketchum portrays Emily Dickinson in both text and song, with Fox Singers Alexandra Bass, Tiffany Ho and Megan McDonald expressing Dickinson’s thoughts through the singing of her poetry. Victoria Kirsch is the pianist.

Ketchum says, “For me this has been an extremely rich undertaking. Emily Dickinson was a woman who led a life that was hers and hers alone; she didn’t follow all the rules of her time and culture – she was aware of them, but dealt with them in her own way and on her own terms. The poetry of Emily Dickinson moves in so many surprising directions with the change of a single word from what you might expect to hear. She can take a simple thought or concept and bring a profundity to it that cuts to the core.  I am so eager to bring this inspiring piece to a new audience and to share it with these three Fox singers.” 

In This, and My Heart, rather than looking at Emily Dickinson’s life in a chronological manner, the piece looks at the different areas of her thought in the context of her life - how she saw nature, fame, religion, love and death. There are hundreds of songs written by hundreds of composers using her poetry - by famous and lesser known composers.  Finding the particular songs to use was a complex process and they were chosen based on what seemed best to fit the essence of Emily.  The readings of her poems and excerpts from her letters “amplify” the songs, giving them added vibrancy and depth.

Ketchum continues, “We chose songs from the famous set of “Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson” by Aaron Copland which seemed to fit so perfectly – the complexities and directness of her thought. The songs of Lori Laitman have harmonies that twist in unexpected ways but somehow enlighten the text and are extremely singable at the same time. From Tom Cipullo’s set “A Visit with Emily” we chose songs that dealt with the concept of fame - a powerful concept in Emily’s thinking and treated in his music in both simple and extremely complex rhythmic ways.  Steve Heitzeg’s set of three songs called “Three Graces for Hildur” are simple and to the point in a very profound way.”

The Fox Singers, a satellite group of the Verdi Chorus, demonstrate the mission of the Verdi Chorus and the Sahm Family Foundation to provide performance opportunities to young professional singers. Victoria Kirsch serves as both pianist and narrator for the piece and original artwork is provided by artist Bonita Helmer.

Tickets are now available for purchase at Priority seating is available for $50, general admission is $40, seniors are $30, and students aged 25 and under with a valid ID are $10.  

This, and My Heart  - A Portrait of Emily Dickinson is written by Anne Marie Ketchum, pianist Victoria Kirsch and actress Linda Kelsey, and was first presented as part of Grand Performances in Los Angeles, made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Cultural Affairs Department of Los Angeles. The piece premiered in 2009 and was performed throughout Southern California over the next five years, including engagements at Stanford University and the Annenberg Beach House.

Photo Credit: Angel Marrero



FOOTLOOSE THE MUSICAL Comes to Playful People Productions Next Month Photo
FOOTLOOSE THE MUSICAL Comes to Playful People Productions Next Month

Playful People Productions presents Footloose, the Musical, created from the original 1984 movie plus new songs, directed and choreographed by the T (T Saffold). Learn more about the musical and find out how to get tickets here!

Review: DISHWASHER DREAMS at The Old Globe Photo
Review: DISHWASHER DREAMS at The Old Globe

DISHWASHER DREAMS at the Old Globe offers a first-generation glimpse at a family raising children and working on assimilating their culture and transitions once in America.  Written and performed by Alaudin Ullah, this show is a specific tribute to this family that also resonates with people of all backgrounds. DISHWASHER DREAMS is playing through October 15th at the Old Globe. 

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS: THE 1938 RADIO SCRIPT At Theatre School At North Coast Repertory Th Photo
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS: THE 1938 RADIO SCRIPT At Theatre School At North Coast Repertory Theatre

The Theatre School @ North Coast Rep presents 'The War of the Worlds: The 1938 Radio Script,' a thrilling stage adaptation of the infamous radio play that terrified listeners with its realistic alien invasion.

Interview: Joanna A. Jones Talks About Bringing The Infamous Fraulein Sally Bowles To Life Photo
Interview: Joanna A. Jones Talks About Bringing The Infamous Fraulein Sally Bowles To Life in CABARET at The Old Globe

iNTERVIEW WITH Joanna A. Jones WHO plays the iconic “toast of Mayfair,  Fraulein Sally Bowles!”  in CABARET playing at the Old Globe through October 15th.  Joanna talks about the new approach to the show and Sally, and one of her favorite moments where she gets to float above the stage.

More Hot Stories For You


#repshow# in[i]# The Angel Next Door
North Coast Repertory Theatre (9/06-10/08)Tracker PHOTOS
#repshow# in[i]# Sumo
La Jolla Playhouse (9/26-10/22)
#repshow# in[i]# LAST BLASTS!
All Souls Episcopal Church (10/20-10/21)
#repshow# in[i]# The Wiz
Civic Theatre- San Diego (1/09-1/14)
#repshow# in[i]# Play On!: Life Lessons from Dreaming Big
Broadway Theater (10/06-10/08)
#repshow# in[i]# Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde
North Coast Repertory Theatre (9/26-11/12)
#repshow# in[i]# Rent
OB Playhouse (11/17-12/23)
#repshow# in[i]# Mrs. Doubtfire
Civic Theatre- San Diego (6/04-6/09)
#repshow# in[i]# Passing Conversations
PowPAC, Poway's Community Theatre (9/23-10/08)
#repshow# in[i]# Cabaret
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center (9/01-10/08)

Recommended For You