2015–16 Season: Celebrating Home
Emily Isaacson, Music Director
Now in its fifth decade, the Oratorio Chorale is an organization of 80–100 auditioned, professionally directed singers committed to advancing choral music through performances, educational and community outreach, and collaborations. The Chorale’s 2015–16 season, our third under the leadership of Director Emily Isaacson, includes five concert programs, with thirteen performances. This year we inaugurate the new Young Artists Program and “Sweetest in the Gale,” the Oratorio Chorale’s new women’s chorus. Community events include a salon series in collaboration with Victoria Mansion, singers’ sight-reading salons, and numerous educational outreach activities.
Titled “Celebrating Home,” the season pays tribute to exceptional musicians from Maine alongside nationally recognized soloists. (For concert locations, please see Concerts.)
Three performances Nov. 21 and 22 in Brunswick and Portland: This concert explores the works of wunderkind prodigies Purcell, Mozart, and Mendelssohn and celebrates Maine virtuoso pianist Christopher Staknys in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor. With the Maine Chamber Ensemble.
Sing We Noël
December 18 and 19 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick; our very popular annual holiday program with brass quintet, organ, and audience carol sing-along.
Dvořák’s Mass in D and Bright Mass with Canons by Nico Muhly
March 5 and 6 in Brunswick and Portland: organist Ray Cornils joins us in Dvořák’s Mass in D and an acclaimed Mass by Nico Muhly, an outstanding young composer whose work includes commissions from Carnegie Hall, the Tallis Scholars, and the Metropolitan Opera. Soloists are Deborah Selig, soprano, Margaret Lias, alto, Greg Zavracky, tenor, and John D. Adams, bass.
Women Composers from the 12th Century to the Present
April 9 and 10 in Brunswick and Falmouth: Sweetest in the Gale, the Oratorio Chorale’s new women’s chorus, in a vocal survey of works by women composers from 12th-century Hildegard von Bingen to 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw.
May 14 and 15 in Lewiston and Topsham: Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, with the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Oratorio Chorale, and Vox Nova, plus noted vocal and orchestral soloists.
This work for chorus, large orchestra, and operatic soloists is rarely performed in Maine. Traversing the heights and depths of emotion, and requiring virtuosity from all the performers, it enacts a thrilling dramatic and spiritual journey.