FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
215 978 6933
Lyric Fest Presents Music in the White House
A retrospective of the American spirit as seen through the music of our Presidents
In collaboration with Singing City, Lyric Fest offers a musical documentary detailing the development of the American spirit as reflected in the music played for the person occupying the highest and most honored position in the land. These two premier singing groups offer an eclectic program of music in the White House – an expression of the growing pains, tragedies and triumphs of our democracy, as well as the evolution and development of our own American music. Performances are Saturday, January 28th at 7:30 pm at St. David’s Episcopal Church on the Main Line and Sunday, January 29th at 3 pm at Church of the Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square.
“We began planning this concert 18 months ago, knowing only that we would be inaugurating the 45th President on January 20th,” said Founding Artistic Director, Suzanne DuPlantis. “Who knew we would find ourselves in such a contentious situation? I guess we need to realize that this is an opportunity for Lyric Fest to truly embrace its mission – to connect people through song.”
Continues DuPlantis, “I hope our audience will come away from the concert feeling renewed and consoled by the long arc of our history, and hopeful about more unified days ahead.”
“We know,” said Founding Artistic Director Laura Ward, “that music spoke to the hearts of various Presidents. Their choices of song tell us so much about who they were and what was going on in our nation.”
Through narration and song emerges a fascinating lens to view the history of our nation and the presidency. Jefferson and Truman, both accomplished musicians, made their own music. Lincoln was a great admirer of opera and brought in European opera stars. Edith Roosevelt presented American music to foreign diplomats who clamored for the harrowing setting of the Kipling poem, Danny Deever. Spirituals also found an audience in the White House, along with other genres such as jazz or the emerging styles of Scott Joplin or Duke Ellington. Presidential tastes run from high art to the popular tunes of the day. Pianos were a common gift to Presidents and singing around a piano in the parlour was entertainment before radio and our more modern electronics.
Notes DuPlantis, “We are thrilled to be working again with Singing City, formed in in 1948 as the first integrated chorus in Philadelphia and deeply rooted in the Civil Rights movement of the Sixties.”
Both DuPlantis and Ward note that what will come next in the White House is an unwritten score, but that surely music will tell the story in years to come.
Performances by Suzanne DuPlantis, Mezzo Soprano; Christine Lyons, Soprano; Steven LaBrie, Baritone; Matthew White, Tenor; Laura Ward, Piano; with Singing City Choir, Jeffrey Brillhart conducting; and Charlotte Blake Alston, Narrator.
Tickets for refreshments and concert are $25 for advanced purchase on the secure website and $30 at the door. Special student tickets are $10 cash at the door with ID.
About Lyric Fest
“Compulsively enterprising…” (David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer)
Lyric Fest was founded in January 2003 as a 501 c.3 and is currently led by two of its founders, Artistic Directors Suzanne DuPlantis and Laura Ward. Dedicated exclusively to the voice recital, Lyric Fest occupies a singular place in the Philadelphia artscape and expands the definition of the song recital by jointly featuring regional and internationally recognized artists.
# # #