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Ted Sperling, Artistic Director of MasterVoices, announced details of the 79th season of the acclaimed ensemble, which celebrates the power of the human voice to unite, inspire, and connect. The central project of MasterVoices’ 2020-2021 season will be a virtual rollout of award-winning composer Adam Guettel’s theatrical song cycle, “Myths and Hymns,” in an online staging conceived by Ted Sperling. Inspired by Greek myths and a 19th-Century Presbyterian hymnal, the 1998 cycle is a kaleidoscopic collection of musical genres as it explores the nature of faith and longing in a secular world. New short musical films will illustrate the protagonist’s exploration of Flight, Work, Love, and Faith over 23 episodes. The four chapters of this personal voyage will be released in free digital installments throughout the winter and spring. The first chapter will be available for streaming starting on January 13 at 6:30 PM ET on mastervoices.org and the ensemble’s YouTube channel. Aligned with MasterVoices’ notable tradition of reclaiming hidden gems, Myths and Hymns (“Gabriel Fauré meets Stevie Wonder, Caetano Veloso embraces Earth, Wind and Fire, and they all dance together around the tribal hearth,” raved Stephen Holden in The New York Times) will feature new choral arrangements by Ted Sperling and will involve dozens of artists. The first chapter, Flight, features the MasterVoices chorus; duo pianists Anderson & Roe; a cappella gospel music group Take 6; soloists from the pop, opera, and theatrical landscapes, including Julia Bullock, Renée Fleming, Joshua Henry, Capathia Jenkins, Mykal Kilgore, Norm Lewis, Jose Llana, Kelli O’Hara, and Elizabeth Stanley; with contributions by directors Greg Anderson, Sammi Cannold, Lear deBessonet, Khristian Dentley and Ted Sperling; visual artists Yazmany Arboleda, Cloud Chatanda, Steven Kellogg, Lucy Mackinnon, and Danny Mefford; arrangers Greg Anderson and Mark Kibble; lyricist Ellen Fitzhugh; and orchestrators Don Sebesky and Jamie Lawrence. The three subsequent chapters, streaming on February 24, April 14, and May 26 will feature the MasterVoices chorus; soloists Daniel Breaker, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Joshua Henry, Cheyenne Jackson, and Nicholas Phan; actor John Lithgow; directors Trip Cullman, Doug Fitch, Anne Kauffman, and Ted Sperling; visual artist Manik Choksi; lyricist Ellen Fitzhugh; and orchestrators Don Sebesky and Jamie Lawrence, as well as additional artists to be announced at a later date.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 6:30 PM ET Myths and Hymns – CHAPTER ONE: FLIGHT
Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 6:30 PM ETMyths and Hymns – CHAPTER TWO: WORK
Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 6:30PM ETMyths and Hymns – CHAPTER THREE: LOVE
Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 6:30 PM ETMyths and Hymns – CHAPTER FOUR: FAITH