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Saturday, April 127:30pm
Sunday, April 13
1525 S. Rogers St.
Click here for a press packet (PDF) of information about ANNELIES.
Bloomington Chamber Singers will present the regional premiere of James Whitbourn’s Annelies on Saturday, April 12 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, April 13 at 3pm, in a site-specific performance at The Warehouse, 1525 S. Rogers Street, Bloomington. Gerald Sousa, now in his 25th year as Artistic Director of the Chamber Singers, will conduct the sixty-voice choral ensemble. The role of Anne Frank will be sung by Elizabeth Toy, a professional soprano currently completing her doctorate in voice at the Jacobs School. Joining Sousa and Toy will be a distinguished quartet of chamber solo musicians who will provide the instrumental foundation for Whitbourn’s remarkable score.
British composer James Whitbourn’s Annelies is the first adaptation of the Anne Frank’s diary into a major choral work. Whitbourn, a graduate of Magdalen College, University of Oxford, began his musical career in the BBC, for whom he has worked as composer, conductor, producer and presenter. His compositional output has achieved acclaim for its direct connection with performers and audiences worldwide and for its ability to “expand the experience of classical music beyond the edges of the traditional map of classical styles.” Several seasons ago, BCS performed to great acclaim Whitborn’s Son of God Mass, scored for the unique and remarkably effective sonority of chorus, organ and soprano saxophone.
Whitbourn originally conceived of Annelies as a work for chorus and large orchestra, and it had its first complete performance in that version on 5 April 2005 in London, conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Following that performance, Whitbourn rescored the work as chamber music, replacing the orchestra with a quartet of violin, clarinet, cello, and piano. In its recast form, the work takes on a intimate, transparent, and vulnerable quality, poignantly reflecting Anne’s isolation and inner struggles as she confronts her loneliness and fear, all the while seeking to retain her trust in hope, truth, and goodness.
Annelies is structured as a sequence of fourteen chronological vignettes, beginning with the Franks’ plan to go into hiding, and ultimately ending with their capture and final transfer to the concentration camp. The diary itself, and Whitbourn’s intensely expressive musical vocabulary, inspire profound reflections on issues that are universal and relevant in our time. BCS will present Annelies as a dramatic, multimedia work, with hundreds of images projected during the course of the work, compiled and sequenced by BCS Artistic Director Sousa. The venue for the evening, The Warehouse, is just that—a huge warehouse in Bloomington that is currently in the process of being converted into a youth center. The open expanse and stark atmosphere of the vast space was chosen specifically to provide an immersive environment for Whitbourn’s music. Our work on Annelies has fostered a number of collaborations with other local and regional groups, including local schools, religious organizations, and the Candles Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute, which is loaning exhibit material that will be displayed before and after the performances.
Be sure to join us for what promises to be an extraordinary evening. The 65-minute work will be performed in English with supertitles without an intermission.
Tickets for the production are $20 general admission ($10 students) and are available from BCS members and through the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office, (see the links at the top of this page). Tickets will also be available at the door before each performance. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And be sure to pick up a copy of the current issue of Bloom magazine for a special preview of Annelies!