INKSPELL CONCERT TRANSFORMS POETRY THROUGH CHORAL MUSIC
The Vocal Art Ensemble presents
Choral Music Inspired by Masters of Poetry
Friday, May 11, 7:30PM
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
2620 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento
Saturday, May 12, 7:30PM
United Methodist Church of Davis
1620 Anderson Road, Davis
Sunday, May 13, 4:00PM
Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis
27074 Patwin Road, Davis
Q: On whom do choral composers depend for inspiration, for meaning, for the very backbone of their composition?
“I feel choral music is richer than many other types of music,” says Tracia Barbieri, director of The Vocal Art Ensemble (VAE), “because it has lyrics—which bring additional meaning and beauty to already beautiful music.”
Celebrating the fact that these lyrics are frequently famous poems, Barbieri has crafted the program “Inkspell: Choral Music Inspired by Masters of Poetry,” to be presented by the a capella chorus this May. The program will invite audiences to “encounter choral wizards such as Debussy, Whitacre, and Vaughan Williams,” says Barbieri.
Barbieri has also engaged the assistance of local theatrical director and teacher Russell St Clair. Collaborating with choir members who will lend their voices to the spoken word, Barbieri and St Clair are developing dramatic-poetic interludes to “conjure an alchemy of song and stage,” according to Barbieri.
Working with beginning actors is nothing new for St Clair, who has directed the teen casts of Winters Shakespeare Workshop for the past ten years and taught theater in community colleges up and down California. As Artistic Director of Daedalus Performance Company and lover of poetry, he has put together shows involving dramatic presentations of Shakespeare’s sonnets. “I’m happy to be back in the Central Valley,” says St Clair, who spent much of his award-winning career in the Los Angeles area.
Poetic and theatrical interests from within the auditioned ensemble of twenty-three are diverse. The group includes English teachers, published and unpublished poets, a Mondavi scene tech, and multiple poetry enthusiasts. “I like to see how people put their feelings into words,” says VAE alto Cheryl Covert. “If it’s fun poetry, I can let my inner child escape and play. Poetry can be therapy.”
“I hope to be present for all three shows!” enthuses Allegra Silberstein, poet laureate of Davis and self-proclaimed VAE fan.
Three performances will take place: Friday, May 11, 7:30PM at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento (2620 Capitol Avenue), Saturday, May 12, 7:30PM at United Methodist Church of Davis (1620 Anderson Road), and Sunday, May 13, 4:00PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis (27074 Patwin Road). A suggested donation of $6-20 will be collected at the door.
“I strive to create a multi-dimensional experience in my programming, combining varied musical flavors and textures that have a common theme,” adds director Barbieri. “This time, Frost, Rumi, and Shakespeare are some of our main ingredients. Through them, we hope to create magic!”
For more information, visit www.vae.trug.com or call (530) 757-2396.