Leonard Bernstein’s Mass
2 Jun 2018, 7:30 PM - 9:10 PM
What is the role of faith in times of social and political disillusionment? When Jacqueline Kennedy approached composer Leonard Bernstein to compose a piece for the 1971 inauguration of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the composer had a surprising inspiration amidst the political and social turmoil of the 1960s—the Roman Catholic Mass. At the heart of Mass: A Theatre Piece is the Celebrant, who, disillusioned by the doubts of his community, goes through a crisis of faith.
Arguably Bernstein’s most ambitious work, Mass receives its long overdue Singapore premiere in the composer’s birth centennial. Joining the Orchestra of the Music Makers are two choirs, rock musicians, and a cast of Broadway-styled vocalists, epitomising the West Side Story composer’s deftness at fusing diverse styles. From solemn hymns and soothing meditations to edgy symphonic dances, and with an exciting infusion of Broadway, blues, rock, jazz and pop idioms, this eclectic musical-theatrical work is led by conductor Joshua Kangming Tan and directed by Edith Podesta, with production design by Brian Gothong Tan. Kevin Vortmann plays the Celebrant, following a sensational debut in the role with the Philadelphia Orchestra that was described by Opera News as “an exceptionally good choice for this central role…(with) immaculate dynamic control into the part’s many challenges."
Performed by Orchestra of the Music Makers (Singapore)
Joshua Kangming Tan, Conductor
Kevin Vortmann, Celebrant
Vilancico Vocal Ensemble, (Eudenice Palaruan, Vocal Coach)
Symphonia Choralis, (Chong Wai Lun, Chorus Master)
Volare Treble Voices, (Darius Lim, Chorus Master)
Edith Podesta, Director
Brian Gothong Tan, Multimedia Designer
Esplanade Concert Hall
1 Esplanade Drive