Help Spread the Word!
September 2019: The Constitution Returns
We met and exceeded our initial $2,500 goal! We have now raised our sights to a new goal of $4,500 and four more performances in September, including Constitution Day on September 17th.
The whole cast is very excited about getting back together as it has been an especially meaningful experience for us all. It should be cooler by then, and more people will be able to see it. We've also been approached with interest in taking it to other, larger, historic locations...more on that anon.
The performances were very well received. OperaWire put us on the national list of "5 Operas to See This Weekend," and called The Constitution " one of the most unique and fascinating works in New York."
Parterre Box praised VPR's "lively, impassioned performances," and "nuanced, vibrant interpretation of the composer's score." The reviewer wrote further: "the words of the Constitution felt increasingly personal sung at me, fortissimo, by a soprano just two feet away," and, in the new-word-a-day department: "Yarmolinsky found poetry in even the most periphrastic of the Constitution's articles."
Please join us in bringing the words of the U.S. Constitution to a larger audience in Ben's timely, engaging, and necessary piece.
Update June 29th: we're only $50 away from our goal! We opened on Thursday to a very warm reception and a standing ovation at the end! Last performance today--but we're discussing a revival in the fall. Every penny helps us to envision more performances of this consciousness-raising piece. Please help get us over the top and maybe even exceed our goal.
Please help us raise money for this wonderful production! It is timely, it is important, and it is fun! We are in the home stretch of rehearsals with an absolutely top-notch cast and team and can't wait to present our work befre the public. Every little bit helps!
The Constitution, A Secular Oratorio by Benjamin Yarmolinsky sets major portions of the United States Constitution, Articles 1-7, the Bill of Rights, and subsequent amendments. The work, recently re-composed as a setting for chorus and soloists, will receive its first public performances at Vertical Player Repertory on June 27th and 29th in Brooklyn, NY.
The U. S. Constitution has been much mentioned in recent news. We're inviting our audience to revisit our democracy's rule book in a new way, and reflect on the rights it guarantees. Yarmolinsky, a composer called “wildly eclectic” by The New York Times, specializes in tackling legal texts, for example, the Miranda Rights, the IRS 1040, and the transcripts of the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings set as an opera (Clarence & Anita). In this oratorio, he draws from the history of American and European music, combining jazzy rhythms, blues, folk, gospel, and Handelian flourishes, to give voice to the Constitution’s iconic words in a clear, vigorous, and highly singable style.
Words set to music linger in the memory, and Ben's music is very catchy—people might walk away from this performance humming an amendment or two!
Besides being enjoyable, we hope the experience will spark the resolve to uphold our constitutional ideals of justice, freedom, human dignity, and participation in government, ideals which are in constant need of our awareness and protection.
Conducted by Peter Szep
Directed by Judith Barnes and James Rutherford
Scenic design by Karni Dorell
Matthew Lobaugh, piano, Sarah Krauss, assistant director, Christopher Denver, stage manager, Lydia Barnes, assistant scenic artist, Steve Witting, director of productions
Liz Lang, soprano
Michelle Trovato, soprano
Linda Collazo, mezzo soprano
Andrew Egbuchiem, countertenor
Anthony P. McGlaun, tenor
Byron Singleton, tenor
Blake Burroughs, bass-baritone
Roland Burks, bass-baritone
THE VPR CHORUS
Sarah Arena, Frances Burgos-Linares, Sarah Downs, JoAnne Hoffman, Jeanne Marie Holcomb, Laura Kolb-Araujo, Susan Kommel, Robert Lewis, Isaac Mann, Richard Mann, Ittai Ratzersdorfer, Gordon Reynolds, Ulises Solano, Lena Wu
Additional musical preparation by Lina Tetriani
We The People, March on Washington 63, and Women's March images by Karni Dorell