Portland’s Choir Sings Shakespeare This Weekend

This weekend the Portland Symphonic Choir brings its 70th anniversary season to a merry conclusion with two performances of Shakespeare in Song, a program inspired by the writings of William Shakespeare. 

Saturday, May 2, 7:30pm
Sunday, May 3, 1:30pm
St. Mary’s Cathedral

Bringing together the best of the old and the new,  20th century compositions combine with 16th century texts—including the jazz legend George Shearing’s Music to Hear— in a unique tribute to the Bard.

When asked about his inspiration for this program, Artistic Director Steven Zopfi has this to say: “Shakespeare and music are intertwined. Shakespeare intended music for his stage works and actually wrote song texts in 32 of his 37 canonical plays. The trouble is we don’t have any idea what the music was. Over the years, many composers have taken a stab at setting these songs and other texts by Shakespeare. That was the impetus for this program – to explore the musical world that Shakespeare inspired, from Vaughan Williams to Rorem to Shearing.”

Members of the Portland Actors Ensemble will present sonnets and scenes from Hamlet, Richard II, Twelfth Night, and more.

Featuring: Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Three Madrigals by American composer Emma Lou Diemer, Ned Rorem’s From an Unknown Past, and Matthew Harris’s Shakespeare Songs.

Get your tickets now for a truly one-of-a-kind Shakespearean experience — in word and in song. Tickets are also available at the door 30 minute prior to each performance.