Join with us and experience an evening of outstanding choral music and thought provoking visual imagery, as the Portland Symphonic Choir present’s Michael Tippett’s oratorio, “A Child of Our Time.”
Conscientious objector Michael Tippett wrote this work in the midst of WWII, and it was performed in 1944, months before the end of the war.
The work, carefully laid out in three parts, was written in response to the events that led to Kristallnacht, the wave of anti-Jewish pogroms that began in 1938. Tippett examines the underlying themes that informed that event. He interweaves African American spirituals with references to the oratorios of Bach and Handel in a timeless work about human light and darkness, despair and hope, and the dreadful destruction of war.
The Oregon Jewish Museum has partnered with the Portland Symphonic Choir to curate a series of images that will be projected during the performance, adding a powerful visual component to the event. “We are thankful for OJM’s partnership on this project,” says Dr. Steven Zopfi, Artistic Director for the Portland Symphonic Choir. “We believe that the images will truly bring to life the experience the composer was living as he wrote the work, and will engage our community in a deeper understanding of social justice issues throughout time.”
As you listen and experience the visual display, themes of light and dark resolve into optimism, and we celebrate the overcoming of adversity while still recognizing the work left to do.
Come early and discover what social justice programs and organizations are operating here in the greater Portland-Metro area. Several nonprofit organizations will be partnering with the choir and providing information about how we can all best serve our community through awareness, activism and voluntarism.
Joining 140 members of the Portland Symphonic Choir onstage will be 49 members of the Portland Sinfonietta and four outstanding soloists, featuring:
Marlette Buchanan, Soprano
Marlette is an accomplished performer of opera, musical theatre and other genres of music and has been noted by reviewers as a “soprano of extended range, flexibility, warmth, color… and beauty”. Ms. Buchanan’s operatic roles include Fiordiligi and Despina in Cosi fan Tutte, Euridice in Orfeo ed Eduridice, Marenka in The Bartered Bride, Antonia in The Tales of Hoffman, Blanche in Dialogue of the Carmelites as well as roles in Porgy and Bess. Her musical theatre credits include roles in Showboat, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Once on this Island, and Ragtime.
Marlette is a graduate of Boston University with a Master of Music degree. She attended Fisk University for a Bachelor of Arts degree where she toured nationally and recorded as the lead soloist with the Jubilee Singers. A regional finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Buchanan also was a finalist in the national MacAllister Awards and the Eleanor Lieber Awards. Her concert performances include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Fanshawe’s African Sanctus, Spohr’s Sechs Deutsches Lieder, and Carter’s Spiritual Cantata. Ms. Buchanan has recorded with a broad range of recording artists extending her versatility in vocal performance. Additionally, she can be heard as the soloist in the film documentary entitled The Freedom Riders.
Andre Flynn, Bass Baritone
An active performer in the Northwest for more than 30 years in opera, oratorio, concert and recital, Flynn’s appearances with Portland Opera include Don Prudenzio in Il Viaggio a Reims, Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata, Montano in Otello, Angelotti in Tosca and many others. Recent credits include Cadmus in Semele in the Baroque Opera Workshop, 2nd Handwerkbursche in Wozzeck in the Astoria Music Festival and Ferrando in Il Trovatore with the Portland SummerFest Opera.
With Eugene Opera, he has performed Bonze in Madama Butterfly and Simone in Gianni Schicchi. Most recent oratorio performances include Dvorak’s Stabat Mater and Handel’s Messiah with Boise Master Chorale and Mozart’s Requiem with Oregon Repertory Singers. He has been a featured soloist with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and The Basically Bach Festival. Mr. Flynn was the winner of the 1981 Alaska District Metropolitan Opera Auditions and the 1979 and 1981 Alaska Biennial Competitions. In addition to his solo performing he has been as member of Portland’s Choral Cross-Ties and The Montana Chorale.
Carl Halvorson, Tenor
Since his auspicious debut under the sponsorship of Young Concerts Artists, Mr. Halvorson has given over eighty solo recitals in America and in Europe. n 2009, Mr. Halvorson made his company debut with Portland Operaand has since performed numerous roles for the company including The Emperor (Turandot), Torquemada (L’Heure Espagnole), Don Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro, andThe Reporter(Orphée) of Philip Glass. He looks forward to additional assignments with Portland Opera including Normanno (Lucia di Lammermoor), 3rd Jew (Salome), and Dr. Caius (Falstaff).
An active recording artist, Mr. Halvorson’s performance of Haydn’s Creation was recorded on the Newport Classics label, as was his performance of Cherubini’s Médée at Alice Tully Hall. For BMG Classics, he has recorded Paul Bowles’s The Wind Remains with EOS Music. His Lieder recording “Despite and Still”, with pianist Susan Almasi, is available on the Musical Heritage Society label.
Angela Niederloh, Mezzo Soprano
Acclaimed by the New York Times as, “a charismatic mezzo soprano” Niederloh recently made her Portland Opera debut as Melibea in Il viaggio a Rheim. A recent participant in the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Ms. Niederloh was last seen as Meg Page in Falstaff, Karolka in Jenůfa and Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte. Equally at home on the concert stage, Ms. Niederloh’s solo credit’s include performances with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Columbia Symphony, Choral Arts Ensemble and Choral Crossties.
An active participant in many of the nation’s most respected competitions, Ms. Niederloh was a national finalist in the 2000 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, winner and audience favorite in the Eleanor Lieber Award Competition, second place in the MacAllister Vocal Competition, second place in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, and finalist in the McCollum Vocal Competition. Ms. Niederloh is also actively sought after nationally for music clinic workshops for choirs and individuals and currently serves as a faculty member at Pacific University.
This project is funded in part by grants from The Collins Foundation, the Regional Arts & Cultural Council and Work for Art, and the Oregon Arts Commission.