Familiar Portland Voices Launch First-of-Its-Kind Concert Series
Soprano Arwen Myers & mezzo-soprano Laura Beckel Thoreson are both very well-known to Portland audiences. Between them, they have sung with virtually every chamber group in town: Cappella Romana, In Mulieribus, The Ensemble, Musica Maestrale, Bach Cantata Choir, and Resonance Ensemble, to name a few. But now these musicians are launching an ensemble of their own to address the surprising lack of an entire repertoire of vocal chamber music in Portland and, indeed, the United States—that is, the art song repertoire.
So what is art song? Traditionally, art song is defined as vocal music composed specifically to be sung in recital, and it often refers to poetry set to music. Since this repertoire is often used as a tool by voice teachers, it is most frequently heard in the collegiate degree recital. “There’s this entire body of incredible music that is almost never performed in a professional context,” explains Myers. “We wanted to find a way to bring art song into the spotlight in a way that’s only being done in a few cities in the country, so we decided to start our own series to really get this music out there.”
Their plans come to fruition this month with the inaugural concert of Northwest Art Song, a new organization dedicated to promoting the art of the song recital. Myers & Thoreson, along with pianist Susan McDaniel, resident pianist for All Classical Portland’s live radio show Thursdays @ Three, will present a “duet extravaganza” spanning the full range of the recital repertoire. The performance will be followed by a launch party with local beer, wine, and snacks, and admission to the party is included in the concert ticket price.
“We hope that people will help us celebrate the beginning of this exciting new chapter in Portland vocal music,” says Thoreson. “We feel very strongly about personally connecting with our audiences. Music has the power to bring people together, and we can’t wait to begin to build a community around this wonderful repertoire.”
Northwest Art Song: Bach to Bernstein
Sunday, November 22 at 5:00 p.m.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Kempton Hall
147 NW 19th Ave. Portland, OR 97232
Tickets: $20 General / $10 Students / $5 Arts for All
Available at the door or in advance at http://northwestartsong.