Back to All Events

The Words Beneath the Sound at McConnell Arts Center

  • McConnell Arts Center 777 Evening Street Worthington, OH, 43085 United States (map)

Bronwyn Theatre

Chelsea Hart Melcher, soprano
Jennifer Hambrick, narrator and guest poet

CHRISTOPHER WEAITEmily’s Bees and Bells for voice and orchestra (World Premiere)
JACOB REED: *The Poet’s Song Project for voice and orchestra (World Premiere)
IGOR STRAVINSKY: Histoire du soldat: Suite

*New Commission in Collaboration with the Johnstone Fund for New Music

Poets, playwrights, and literary greats have proven to be some of the most powerful muses for composers. The plays of William Shakespeare—OthelloMacbethRomeo and JulietHamlet, and Midsummer’s Night Dream— have inspired composers like Rossini, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Verdi, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, and countless others to write some of their most beautiful soul-stirring music.

This concert explores the collaboration among poetry, literature, and the music. Columbus composers, Jacob Reed and Christopher Weait have been commissioned by the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra and The Johnstone Fund for New Music to write new works for voice and orchestra. Christopher Weait’s new composition, Emily’s Bees and Bells for voice and orchestra, features the poetry of Emily Dickenson while Jacob Reed’s new compositions will feature the poetry of Rumi, poet Jennifer Hambrick, and the students of Worthington. Soprano, Chelsea Hart Melcher will premiere both works with MACCO.

William Walton’s Façade and Igor Stravinsky’s suite from The Soldier’s Tale will join words and music in two very different ways: as recitation of poetry over music, and as the narration of a story along with music. Coupled with Walton’s witty jazz-influenced music, Edith Sitwell’s Façadepoems are studies in word-rhythms and onomatopoeia. Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale (Suite), inspired by a Russian folk tale (The Runaway Soldier and the Devil), tells the story of a soldier who enters into a classic Faustian bargain with the Devil. Jennifer Hambrick, midday host of WOSU Public Media’s Classical 101, will provide recitation and narration for the Walton and Stravinsky works.

*Featured photo of the orchestra courtesy of Ronald Hoehn.