Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Gay Marriage Cantata

A professional choral group called "Volti"...

...performed a free program on Wednesday the 16th in San Francisco's City Hall.

The founder and artistic director of the group, Robert Geary, was conducting.

Volti (under various names) has been performing for 27 years. For more information on the group, click here to get to their website.

If you ever go to hear music in the City Hall Rotunda, here's a tip.

The sound goes straight up and sounds much more wonderful the higher you climb in the building.

An older woman sitting next to me on the ground floor mentioned that she absolutely loathed Willie Brown, Jr., the gangsterish ex-mayor of San Francisco.

"However, I am happy that he left us this," she added, sweeping her arm around the gilded, restored, and retrofitted City Hall building.

Plenty of wedding couples and their photographers feel the same way.

The occasion for this public concert was the world premiere of a new a capella choral piece called "No More to Hide: An American Wedding Cantata."

It was written by the composer Alan Fletcher (pictured above) "in honor of the same-sex marriages performed in City Hall," according to the program.

The 20-30 minute piece consisted of three Emily Dickinson poems sandwiching two Walt Whitman poems, and ended with "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God" from the New Testament.

The soloist's part was being sung by the opera/oratorio star, Christine Brandes.

To my utter delight, the composition was challenging and beautiful, not some piece of schlock written for the San Francisco Gay Mens Chorus (I can see the hate mail already).

The chorus was also extraordinary in its musicianship and sound.

There are two more performances in more conducive acoustics this Sunday and Monday with tickets from $8-$20. Sunday at 4PM they'll be at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley. Monday they'll be performing at 8PM at St. Francis Lutheran Church at 152 Church Street. If you like choral music, check it out.


Houston said...

Thanks for mentioning this. I'd have liked to have seen them and heard them at City Hall, but I'll settle for St. Francis on Monday. Just saw Fidelio. Met up for dinner with another blogger for dinner beforehand. Let's meet for coffee soon.

AlbGlinka said...

Love the City Hall pics, especially the ones from overhead. Groovy-sounding music event too.

It's nice to be able to comment here!

Lynne Brooks-Korn said...

It looked like the entire event was amazing. Great photography, too. I'll be sure and attend more Volti performances after the ones this week-end.