Merkin Hall to Premiere Aaron Siegel’s ‘I Will Tell You The Truth About This, I Will Tell you All About It’

By David Salazar

Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center is set to present the world premiere of “I Will Tell You The Truth About This, I Will Tell you All About It,” a new oratorio by Aaron Siegel.

The 10-poem work, which is set for Nov. 2, 2023, features poems from Tracy K. Smith and spotlights the lost voices and stories of African American Soldiers who fought in the Civil War.

“The musical material in this oratorio is in conversation with some of the baroque and romantic music that is so important to the choral repertoire. I think there’s an opportunity to engage with what was going on musically in other parts of the world during the Civil War. The voices of these black soldiers and families mapped onto this Euro-centric music, which was really living a world apart, is an interesting juxtaposition that speaks to the ways that history is never happening only one way in one place,” said Siegel in an official press statement.

The performance will feature such vocal artists as Michele Kennedy, Veronica Chapman-Smith, Guadalupe Peraza, AnnMarie Sandy, Andrew Fuchs, Gregorio Taniguchi, Dana Whiteside, and Wayne Arthur. They will be accompanied by the Longleash piano trio.