PIETÀ CONCERT NOW AVAILABLE FOR MP3 DOWNLOAD AT SET.FM

A Festival of Musical Passions:
Great Archetypal Stories of Suffering, Empathy, and Redemption

Passion is great suffering. Compassion is great sympathy and desire to alleviate suffering. comPassion explores these fundamental human experiences through musical settings of deeply painful stories countered by heroic acts of love.

comPassion program booklet (pdf)

Preview article from Austin American-Statesman, 05.29.14 (pdf)

comPassion at a glance

“At-a-Glance”
comPassion events pdf

Festival Events Menu

Pietà
Featured Dialogues with Robert Kyr
Considering Matthew Shepard / Requiem
A Gnostic Passion
CD Release Party
St. Matthew Passion
Open Rehearsals

VENUES & PARKING


PIETÀ by John Muehleisen

– June 7th concert now available for download at set.fm

John Muehleisen

John Muehleisen

A contemporary oratorio that explores hope and love as human responses to the tragedies and injustices we see every day. Featuring soloists Nicole Greenidge Joseph, soprano and Ross Hauck, tenor, joined by a Chanter Chorus consisting of Symphonic Choir tenors and basses (Rick Gabrillo, Conductor) and the Conspirare Youth Choirs Chamber Ensemble (Nina Revering, Director). johnmuehleisen.com

06.05.14 (7:30pm) St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Fredericksburg, TX
General Admission $20 (Student $10)

06.06.14 (8pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
$60, $48, $36, $24 (Student $10)
–Advance sales end 6/6, 4pm; Will Call / Door sales begins 6:15pm

06.07.14 (8pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
$60, $48, $36, $24 (Student $10)
–Advance sales end 6/7, 4pm; Will Call / Door sales begins 6:15pm

Extended Notes by composer John Muehleisen on his Pietà

Pietà Premiere Review, “Instant Acclaim for John Muehleisen’s Pietà” by Philippa Kiraly, The Sunbreak (Seattle), 03.15.12

Pietà archival recording of premiere from March 2012 in Seattle, WA by Choral Arts, conducted by Robert Bode (by permission of R. Bode and J. Muehleisen)

“Exhortation and Questions: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’”

“Song: ‘Just Before the Battle, Mother’”

“Resurrection: ‘Show us Thy Glorious Resurrection’”

♦ comPassion Dialogue, Pietà 06.05, 06.06, 06.07
Welcome to comPassion: A Conversation with Composer John Muehleisen with an introduction by Robert Kyr (pre-concert, included in ticket) DIALOGUE DETAILS

TALK TIMES
06.05.14 (6:15-7pm) St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Fredericksburg
06.06.14 (6:45-7:30pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin
06.07.14 (6:45-7:30pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin

Robert Kyr will introduce the repertoire and themes of the comPassion festival. To follow, composer John Muehleisen will give an outline of his Pietà, a brief explanation of each movement, and examples of how several of the movements express the themes of compassion, mercy, and love that are central to the oratorio’s message. The composer will also discuss Pietà’s relationship to the Passion Oratorios of Bach and how his work draws on musical material from both Bach’s St. Matthew and St. John Passions, honoring the Baroque tradition practiced by Bach, Handel, and others of borrowing musical material from other works, including their own. John will also explain how and why Pietà’s narrative spans three historical time frames: the Biblical times of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection, World War I, and our present time.

Please join John for this rare opportunity to understand this major new work from the composer’s perspective, and greatly enhance your experience and understanding of this Passion oratorio for our time.


comPassion Dialogue Pietà, 06.06
Pietà Talkback with John Muehleisen,
Craig Hella Johnson and Artists (post-concert, included in ticket) DIALOGUE DETAILS

TALK TIME
06.06.14 (9:45pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin

Listeners are invited to join Craig Hella Johnson, John Muehleisen, and Pietà artists to informally share responses to Pietà and ask questions about the piece.


PIETÀ SINGERS & INSTRUMENTALISTS
soprano
  • Melissa Givens
  • Estelí Gomez
  • Julie Keim
  • Julie McCoy
  • Stefanie Moore
  • Rebecca Muñiz
  • Kathlene Ritch
  • Sonja DuToit Tengblad
  • Shari Alise Wilson
alto
  • Janet Carlsen Campbell
  • Tynan Davis
  • Sarah Ihlefeld
  • Helen Karloski
  • Emily Lodine
  • Laura Mercado-Wright
  • Keely J. Rhodes
tenor
  • Dann Coakwell
  • Paul D’Arcy
  • Carr Hornbuckle
  • Scott Mello
  • Jos Milton
  • Eric Neuville
  • Wilson Nichols
bass
  • Cameron Beauchamp
  • Dashon Burton
  • Charles Wesley Evans
  • David Farwig
  • Harris Ipock
  • Glenn A. Miller
  • John Proft
  • Paul Max Tipton
Chanter Chorus, tenor
  • Bo Sicking
  • Howard Burkett
  • Robbie LaBanca
  • Seth A. Lafler
  • Jonathan Riemer
  • Eli Salazar
  • Johnathan M. Salinas
  • Chris Tuggey
Chanter Chorus, bass
  • Roland Barrera
  • Marshal Crenshaw
  • Bruce Haufler
  • Bob Karli
  • Ben King
  • Michael Kriese
  • Joseph Loukotka
  • Gary Pyle
  • Duane Roth
CYC Chamber Ensemble, Kantorei
  • Libby Rayos
  • Adi Sankaran
  • Ari Sher
  • Urvi Alamela
  • Elena Alcala
CYC Chamber Ensemble, Allegro
  • Nikhil Lyles
  • Clare Edgar
  • Chiara Alvisi
  • Carolyn Nuelle
  • Abigail Stewart
  • Alyssa Wixson
  • Sesha McMinn
  • Simone Heim
  • Lexi Anderson
  • Sarah Helmbrecht
  • Juliana Marshall
  • Lauren Datres
  • Ella Pettichord
Instrumentalists
  • Ian Davidson, oboe
  • Beth Sanders, oboe
  • Tom Burritt, percussion
  • Matt Tedori, percussion
  • Faith Debow, organ and rehearsal pianist

♦ comPassion Dialogue, A “Passion Walk” for Our Time with Robert Kyr

Free, open to the public
06.07.14 (11am-12:30pm) Grace United Methodist Church, Austin, TX

Robert Kyrphoto Tom Forgas

Robert Kyr (photo Tom Forgas)

We usually think of the passion as a story told by one of the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. However, many other people witnessed the final days of Christ’s life and also told this story. Robert Kyr has been commissioned to create a new work for Conspirare—The Passion according to an Unknown Witness—which will reveal the experience of an individual whose written gospel was never found, yet has a surprising and powerful perspective to share. The workshop will explore the passion story as a journey (or “passion walk”) that the participants will take together, guided by both Robert Kyr and Craig Hella Johnson with members of the Symphonic Choir.

♦ comPassion Dialogue, The Passion as “Text for Music” with Robert Kyr

Free, open to the public
06.07.14 (2-3pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX

Regardless of one’s faith background, the passion story is relevant to our lives as an example of the suffering that is a fundamental part of the human condition. The life of Jesus is filled with aspects of suffering that are common to all of us, and in that sense, his story is universal. For this session, Robert Kyr will give a presentation and lead a discussion about the text of the passion story and the ways in which it has inspired some of the greatest music throughout history.

robertkyr.com


CONSIDERING MATTHEW SHEPARD by Craig Hella Johnson
REQUIEM by Maurice Duruflé

Interactive workshop performance of a Passion in progress by Conspirare’s Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson, inspired by a young gay man’s senseless murder on a snow-blown night, and in response, excerpts from a beloved Requiem by a 20th-century master. With Austin Haller on organ and Requiem soloists Keely J. Rhodes, mezzo-soprano, and David Farwig, baritone. With special guest slam poet Lacey Roop. Presented with a brief intermission between works.

06.08.14 (8pm) St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Austin, TX
General Admission $15 (Student $10)
–Advance sales end 6/8, 4pm; Will Call / Door sales begins 6:30pm.

DURUFLÉ text & translation

Lacey Roop placed 6th at Women of the World Poetry Slam 2011 and has been ranked number one female poet in Austin for the past 3 years, representing the city twice at Individual World Poetry Slam (IWPS) and a two-time member of Austin Poetry Slam. Lacey has published three chapbooks, and her full-length book And Then Came the Flood is the highest seller at Timber Mouse publishing. Lacey’s work explores topics ranging from gender to magical realism.

Duruflé Requim Sample Clips (performance by Toulouse Capitole Orchestra, Orféon Donostiarra, conductor Michel Plasson) at arkivmusic.com

comPassion Dialogue, Considering Matthew Shepard / Requiem 06.08
The Passion of Matthew Shepard: “When is a Passion a Requiem?” with Robert Kyr and Craig Hella Johnson (pre-concert, included in ticket) DIALOGUE DETAILS

TALK TIME
06.08.14 (7-7:30pm) St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Austin

Matthew Shepard was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming in October 1998, the victim of an unspeakably brutal hate crime. Craig Hella Johnson is creating a work about Shepard’s profound suffering, which resonates as a passion for our time. The work is being presented during the festival as a “work-in-progress,” on a program that also features Durufle’s haunting and elegiac requiem. In a creative pre-concert dialog, Robert Kyr will moderate a discussion with Craig Hella Johnson, who will consider the question, “When is a passion a requiem?” And also, “In what ways is your new work both a passion and requiem for our time?”

MATTHEW SHEPARD / REQUIEM SINGERS
soprano
  • Melissa Givens
  • Estelí Gomez
  • Julie Keim
  • Julie McCoy
  • Stefanie Moore
  • Rebecca Muñiz
  • Kathlene Ritch
  • Sonja DuToit Tengblad
  • Shari Alise Wilson
alto
  • Janet Carlsen Campbell
  • Tynan Davis
  • Sarah Ihlefeld
  • Helen Karloski
  • Emily Lodine
  • Laura Mercado-Wright
  • Keely J. Rhodes
tenor
  • Dann Coakwell
  • Paul D’Arcy
  • Carr Hornbuckle
  • Scott Mello
  • Jos Milton
  • Eric Neuville
  • Wilson Nichols
bass
  • Cameron Beauchamp
  • Dashon Burton
  • Charles Wesley Evans
  • David Farwig
  • Rick Gabrillo
  • Harris Ipock
  • Glenn A. Miller
  • John Proft
  • Thann Scoggin
  • Paul Max Tipton

GustoEnjoy a special comPassion Prix Fixe Dinner at Gusto!

Our restaurant partner, Gusto Italian Kitchen + Wine Bar, has created a special three-course dinner menu especially for the “Considering Matthew Shepard” / Duruflé Requiem concert! Enjoy this offer June 8th. SEE MENU


A GNOSTIC PASSION by Doug and Brad Balliett

The Balliett Brothers

The Balliett Brothers

The Texas premiere of new music on ancient texts, by cutting-edge composers who happen to be identical twins. Presented in a workshop reading of a newly realized 4-hand piano version. Pianists Sheryl Stack and Brooks Whitmore.

06.10.14 (6pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
FREE and open to the public

A Gnostic Passion text (pdf)

Hear The Brothers Balliett radio show on WQXR, NY

GNOSTIC PASSION SINGERS
soprano
  • Melissa Givens
  • Estelí Gomez
  • Julie Keim
  • Julie McCoy
  • Stefanie Moore
  • Rebecca Muñiz
  • Kathlene Ritch
  • Sonja DuToit Tengblad
  • Shari Alise Wilson
alto
  • Janet Carlsen Campbell
  • Tynan Davis
  • Sarah Ihlefeld
  • Helen Karloski
  • Emily Lodine
  • Laura Mercado-Wright
  • Keely J. Rhodes
tenor
  • Paul D’Arcy
  • Robbie LaBanca
  • Scott Mello
  • Jos Milton
  • Eric Neuville
  • Wilson Nichols
bass
  • Cameron Beauchamp
  • Dashon Burton
  • Charles Wesley Evans
  • David Farwig
  • Rick Gabrillo
  • Harris Ipock
  • Glenn A. Miller
  • John Proft
  • Thann Scoggin

♦ CD Release Party: Robert Kyr: The Cloud of Unknowing / Songs of the Soul

Free, open to the public
06.10.14 (approx. 7:15pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX

A party celebrating Conspirare’s Harmonia Mundi CD release of works by Robert Kyr will immediately follow the performance of A Gnostic Passion and will take place just outside on the plaza. Composer Robert Kyr will attend and be available to sign CDs. Complimentary Amy’s ice cream (with toppings, too)!

MORE about the CD / sample clips


ST. MATTHEW PASSION by J.S. Bach

Bach’s great sacred oratorio recounts the persecution and suffering of Jesus, with tenor Dann Coakwell in his signature role as The Evangelist and baritone Paul Max Tipton as Jesus. More than 35 Company of Voices singers will be joined by the Conspirare Youth Choirs (CYC) Chamber Ensemble (Nina Revering, Director) and members of the Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra on period instruments in this not-to-be-missed Conspirare season finale.

06.13.14 (7:30pm) Victoria Fine Arts Center, 1002 Sam Houston Dr, Victoria, TX. Presented by Victoria Bach Festival
06.14.14 (8pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
$60, $48, $36, $24 (subscription $51, $41, $31, $20; Student $10)
06.15.14 (3pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
$60, $48, $36, $24 (subscription $51, $41, $31, $20; Student $10)

Austin concerts SOLD OUT except for a small number of obstructed-view general admission seats now available for $18. Not available online; buy at 512-474-5664 or the Long Center box office.

ST. MATTHEW PASSION Text & Translation

Program Notes for St. Matthew Passion

“A Visitor’s Guide To Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion'” by Tom Huizenga from NPR Music, 04.17.14

St. Matthew Passion final Chorus, “Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder” (“We sit down in tears”) from archival recording of Conspirare Symphonic Choir and Orchestra (on modern instruments), conducted by Craig Hella Johnson, April 2000, St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin.


comPassion Dialogue, St. Matthew Passion 06.13, 06.14, 06.15
Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” as the Embodiment of Compassion with Robert Kyr (pre-concert, included in ticket) DIALOGUE DETAILS

TALK TIMES
06.13.14 (6:30-7pm) Victoria Fine Arts Center, Victoria
06.14.14 (7-7:30pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin
06.15.14 (2-2:30pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin

J. S Bach’s St. Matthew Passion is not only about the suffering of Christ, but it is a profound musical journey that explores the theme of compassion. In what ways does Bach’s masterwork enlighten us about our own suffering and its relationship to the suffering of others? How does this monumental work awaken a sense of compassion within us? In this post-concert talk, Robert Kyr discusses Bach’s unforgettable work as a life-transforming experience, a musical embodiment of compassion.


ST. MATTHEW PASSION SINGERS and ORCHESTRA
soprano
  • Mela Dailey
  • Melissa Givens
  • Estelí Gomez
  • Julie Keim
  • Julie McCoy
  • Stefanie Moore
  • Rebecca Muñiz
  • Kathlene Ritch
  • Sonja DuToit Tengblad
  • Shari Alise Wilson
alto
  • Wendy Bloom
  • Janet Carlsen Campbell
  • Cina Crisara
  • Tynan Davis
  • Sarah Ihlefeld
  • Helen Karloski
  • Emily Lodine
  • Laura Mercado-Wright
  • Elizabeth Pétillot
  • Keely J. Rhodes
    tenor
  • Paul D’Arcy
  • Brian Giebler
  • Noah Horn
  • Carr Hornbuckle
  • Scott Mello
  • Jos Milton
  • Blake Morgan
  • Eric Neuville
  • Wilson Nichols
    bass
  • Jason Awbrey
  • Cameron Beauchamp
  • Dashon Burton
  • Charles Wesley Evans
  • David Farwig
  • Rick Gabrillo
  • Bradford Gleim
  • Harris Ipock
  • John Proft
  • Thann Scoggin
CYC Chamber Ensemble, Kantorei
  • Libby Rayos
  • Adi Sankaran
  • Ari Sher
  • Urvi Alamela
  • Elena Alcala
CYC Chamber Ensemble, Allegro
  • Nikhil Lyles
  • Clare Edgar
  • Chiara Alvisi
  • Carolyn Nuelle
  • Abigail Stewart
  • Alyssa Wixson
  • Sesha McMinn
  • Simone Heim
  • Lexi Anderson
  • Sarah Helmbrecht
  • Juliana Marshall
  • Lauren Datres
  • Ella Pettichord
orchestra I
  • Stephen Redfield, concertmaster
  • Karen Clarke, principal violin II
  • Bruce Colson, violin
  • Jann Cosart, violin
  • Kana Kimura, violin
  • Maria Lin, violin
  • Suzanna Giordano-Gignac, viola
  • Renata van der Vyver, viola
  • Myron Lutzke, cello
  • Dieter Wulfhorst, cello
  • Melanie Punter, double bass
  • Stephen Schultz, principal flute
  • Mindy Rosenfeld, flute
  • Marc Schachman, principal oboe
  • Lani Spahr, oboe
  • Danny Bond, bassoon
  • Keith Womer, harpsichord
  • Mary Springfels, viola da gamba
orchestra II
  • Gesa Kordes, principal violin I
  • Boel Gidholm, principal violin II
  • Susan Doering, violin
  • Joan Carlson, violin
  • Matthew Detrick, violin
  • Juan Jaramillo, violin
  • Melisa Brewer, viola
  • Andrew Justice, viola
  • Chris Haritatos, cello
  • Jane Leggerio, cello
  • J. Tracy Mortimore, double bass
  • Lars Johannesson, principal flute
  • Emi Ferguson, flute
  • Margaret Owens, principal oboe
  • MaryAnn Shore,oboe
  • Kate van Orden, bassoon
  • Thom Pavlechko, organ

OPEN REHEARSALS

Free, open to the public
06.03.14 (7:30-10pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
06.04.14 (2-5pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
06.07.14 (1-3pm) St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Austin, TX
06.12.14 (1:30-4:30pm) Victoria Fine Arts Center, Victoria, TX

Visitors are free to come and go during the open rehearsals. In order to not disrupt the artists we ask that you please treat the rehearsal environment as a concert space and move about quietly.


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