January 31, 2019

Songs from the Tundra Press Release

PHILADELPHIA, PA , December 2018
Contact: Suzanne DuPlantis
suzanneduplantis@gmail.com 215-432-5946

Lyric Fest presents a rare opportunity to hear off-the-beaten-path songs from Slavic and Scandinavian countries.Lyric Fest in Collaboration with Variant 6

Saturday, January 12th, 2019 at 4:00 PM at The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
Sunday, January 13th, 2019 at 3:00 PM at The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral

Running Time of Music: 90 minutes
Artistic directors Suzanne DuPlantis and Laura Ward are long-time enthusiasts of the art songs of Scandinavia and the Slavic lands. “Like the allure of a spectacular, but hard to get to region, this repertoire makes you work for it,” says DuPlantis, ” – the languages mainly – all those nuanced phonemes, the lack of cognates, not to mention a scarcity of nearby native speakers to help! But believe me, the musical payback is big. These songs are breathtaking.”
Ever since “White Nights and Northern Lights,” a concert mounted in the early days of Lyric Fest, the directors have been contemplating another program to share more of this repertoire with Philadelphia audiences. Now, with soloists, Maeve Höglund, soprano; Maren Montalbano, mezzo soprano; Cody Müller, bass-baritone; Laura Ward at the piano; and in collaboration with Variant 6, a virtuosic vocal sextet in Philadelphia, Lyric Fest explores the songs that come from the experience of life in the Tundra.
Featured will be works from Norway, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Iceland, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark and Estonia – and composers will include Jean Sibelius, Karol Szymanowski, Yrjö Kilpinen, Arne Dørumsgaard, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Sigfús Einarsson, Edvard Grieg, Gunnar de Frumerei, among many others. Many of these works have rarely, if ever, been heard before in Philadelphia.
Joining LF for this first-time collaboration is Variant 6, whose mission is to explore and advance the art of chamber music in the twenty-first century. The virtuosic sextet will be offering mostly late 20th century and newer 21st century works from Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The music will explore the haunting sound world that characterizes the choral tradition of these lands. Two songs of Iceland that span some 800 years will be sung: a newly discovered 800 year-old Icelandic hymn, “Heyr himna smiður,” together with “Heyr thu oss himnum á” by Anna Thorvaldsdottir, a living Icelandic composer.
SONGS FROM THE TUNDRA presents songs tell the story of vast, scarcely populated lands and quiet, soulful lives. The story of dark, endless winters, and ecstatic but fleeting summers, all performed in the ethereal acoustics of The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill and the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral.

VARIANT 6 TUNDRA ENSEMBLE:Jessica Beebe, soprano; Rebecca Myers, soprano; Elisa Sutherland, mezzo soprano; Steven Bradshaw, tenor;Robby Eisentrout, baritone; Daniel Schwartz, bass
Details on the concert season, featured artists and more may be found at www.lyricfest.org.

About Lyric Fest
Lyric Fest’s mission is to bring people together through the shared experience of song by offering to diverse audiences lively, theme-oriented voice recitals designed to engage, educate, stimulate dialogue and foster community. LF is committed to expanding the region’s interest in and knowledge of song as an important and relevant art form, and to access through affordable ticket prices. With a growing national reputation for excellence and innovation, LF receives critical acclaim and attention in a number of national publications such as Opera News.
Lyric Fest was founded in 2003 with the shared goal of celebrating and revitalizing the song tradition. It has produced and presented over 100 concerts and recitals featuring more than 200 local, regional and national artists, actors, dancers and choral groups. Artistic Directors: Suzanne DuPlantis and Laura Ward

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