MasterVoices Announces Its 2019-20 Season

By Nicole Kuchta

New York-based ensemble MasterVoices has announced its 2019-20 season.

Music Director Ted Sperling will lead a concert staging of George and Ira Gershwin’s musical “Let ‘Em Eat Cake.” Bryce Pinkham stars as President Wintergreen, alongside Christopher Fitzgerald, Solea Pfeiffer, Chuck Cooper, Fred Applegate, and Kevin Chamberlin. The performance, to be held at Carnegie Hall, will feature choreography by Andrew Palermo, sound design by Scott Lehrer, lighting design by Maarten Corelis, and costumes by Tracy Christensen.

Performance Date: Nov. 21, 2019

Kevin Newbury will direct the New York premiere of Jeremy Schonfeld’s rock-opera “Iron & Coal,” which will be held at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. MasterVoices will be joined by theatre artist Rinde Eckert, tenor Lincoln Clauss, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the Contemporaneous. The production will feature arrangements by David Bloom, movement by Natalie Lomonte, projection design by S. Katy Tucker, and animation design by Tom Seltzer.

Performance Dates: Jan. 10 & 11, 2020

Sammi Connold will direct a concert staging of Bizet’s “Carmen,” which will feature dialogue instead of recitative, as translated by Sheldon Harnick. Mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell will star in the title role, alongside tenor Noah Stewart as Don José, Nicole Cabell as Micaela, Steven LaBrie as Escamillo, MasterVoices, and the Manhattan Girls Chorus. Sperling will conduct the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Gustavo Zajac will provide choreography. The performance will be held in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall.

Performance Date: Apr. 2, 2020

In collaboration with the Bronx’s East Side House Settlement, MasterVoices will present Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” and the world premiere of a newly commission “inspired by the diverse communities of the South Bronx,” Tariq Al-Sabir’s song cycle “#UNWANTED,” as part of the company’s Bridges Connecting Communities Through Music project. The new work will be scored for piano duo Anderson & Roe, five percussionists, three vocal soloists, amassed choir, and children’s chorus. Performances will be held at Cardinal Hayes High School and Baruch Performing Arts Center.

Performance Dates: May 9 & 11, 2020

Additionally, MasterVoices will celebrate the 16th anniversary of its Side-By-Side Program, which “nurtures the next generation of singers and choral music lovers . . . [giving them] the opportunity to sing ‘side by side’ with experienced chorus members. The program provides mentoring, musical training, master classes, and unprecedented concert performance opportunities at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and New York City Center, among others.”