Oratorio Society of New York to Present World Premiere of ‘A Nation of Others’

By Afton Wooten

The Oratorio Society of New York will open its 2022-23 season with the world premiere of Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s “A Nation of Others.”

The Pulitzer Prize-winning, composer/librettist team’s “A Nation of Others” explores the individual and collective experiences of immigrants and refugees who arrived on Ellis Island in 1921. The 55-minute-long oratorio tells imagined stories that show the struggles and celebrations of cultural fusion and diversity among immigrants.

“The honesty of Mark’s libretto voicing immigrant stories is powerfully embraced by Paul’s harmonies and captures the true essence of what being an American really is,” said soprano soloist Maeve Höglund in an official press release. She added, “It strikes a very personal chord to some of my own family’s history, many of whom immigrated alone and without many resources to start a new life.”

Featured soloists include sopranos Susanna Phillips and Maeve Höglund, mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis, tenor Martin Bakari, baritone Steven Eddy, and bass-baritone Joseph Beutel, with the Orchestra of the Society under the baton of Music Director Kent Tritle.

Also on the program is “Whitman’s America” by Robert Paterson. “Whitman’s America” is a compilation of six selected poems from the author’s final version of “Leaves of Grass.” Phillips and Eddy also join the Society’s chorus and orchestra for this piece.

The concert takes place in Stern Auditorium on the Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall on Nov. 15  at 8 p.m.

Later in the season the Oratorio Society of New York will present Handle’s “Messiah,” J. S. Bach’s “Mass in B Minor,” and host the 46th annual Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition.