06.29.18 (8pm), Friday
06.30.18 (8pm), Saturday


Bernstein’s Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers

The Long Center 
Presented by Merick Strategies 
701 W Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78704

Conspirare will join the Austin Symphony, Ballet Austin, The University of Texas Butler School of Music, Austin Opera and other collaborators for the Bernstein Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, And Dancers.

“Mass was Bernstein’s most ambitious theater work. Despite its adaptation of the Latin text interspersed with songs, “numbers,” choreographic sequences, and symphonic interludes, Mass is ecumenical in nature and cannot be categorized. Perhaps the most accurate description of the piece is “pageant.” With approximately 200 performers, including dancers, singers, a boy chorus, rock and blues singers, actors, and two orchestras, as well as a marching band—who play through the audience—Mass is a musical and theatrical experience.”

History of Bernstein’s Mass

Austin 360 on Bernstein’ Mass

The Mass Project: A Listening Tour, Carnegie Hall and New York Philharmonic, 2008

“Written by Bernstein and with lyrics by him and Stephen Schwartz (then of Godspell, now of Wicked, fame) for the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Mass deals with a couple of themes that were very close to Bernstein’s heart at the time, namely the anti-Vietnam War movement and something he came to call the “crisis of faith.” The latter involved aesthetic, cultural, political, and spiritual components but can be summed up as the dilemma of having and maintaining religious faith amid the entanglements and distractions of the modern world.”

Composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz on contributing lyrics to Berntstein’s Mass (video).

Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Schwartz, producers, performers, and musicians from opening production of Mass, 1971. Photo Credit: Photofest NYC © 1971