In celebration of Pride Month and in preparation for the group’s July performance at the GALA X Festival in Denver, The Esoterics will present a concert of music by six openly gay and lesbian composers that explore the theme of love in its many different forms – from the affection between parents and children, siblings and friends, to the compassion of community and all humanity, both platonic and romantic.
In Earth seen from above, a newly-published score by MacArthur ‘genius’ Meredith Monk, a reflective, ambient soundscape arranges singers around the audience and choreographs their movement in order to create an all-encompassing sense of love for the planet, our ecological origin and only home. In Beauty is before me, Seattle composer and conductor Karen Thomas has found solace and comfort upon the death of a friend by setting a Navajo prayer about the timelessness of nature, in which we find beauty in every direction. In Awakening, a triptych by The Esoterics’ composer-in-residence, Donald Skirvin sets three poems by the late Gordon Abshire as a valediction to honor their long artistic collaboration and as a memorial to Gordon’s friendship. With titles like Across startled rain, Finally fragrant dawn, and Live with me this night, this work explores personal and universal themes by using scenes from nature and from Gordon’s life.
In this program, The Esoterics will also present five works by the Pennsylvania composer Steven Sametz: Two love songs for women’s voices setting luminescent poetry by the Spanish mystic St John of the Cross, and Amo!, a cycle of three Latin pieces describing fraternal love by two medieval clerics, Alcuin of York and Baudri of Bourgueil. In addition, The Esoterics’ will present Two portraits – You and She – by Eric Banks. In these portraits, Banks sets two excerpts from the coming-of-age novel Vill gå hem by the Swedish author Jonas Gardell, in which the protagonist is described by her lifelong friends in a summer downpour, and witnesses the death of her own father on a starry winter night. Finally, the ensemble will present Five romantic miniatures from The Simpsons, during which the iconic animated characters of Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa gain the rare choral opportunity (through the genius of Paul Crabtree), to express their love for secret admirers, pork chops, and each other.
Please join The Esoterics for one of these three performances:
Friday • 29 June 2012 • 8 pm • Seattle
All Pilgrims Christian Church • 500 Broadway E
Saturday • 30 June 2012 • 8 pm • West Seattle
Holy Rosary Catholic Church • 4152 42nd Avenue SW
Sunday • 1 July 2012 • 3 pm • Bellevue
First Congregational Church of Bellevue • 752 108th Avenue NE
The Esoterics is happy to announce that AGAPĒ is sponsored in part by the Pride Foundation.