Thank you for being a part of our 2018-2019 Concert Season!
Sunday, November 11th, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
Jordan Hall, Boston
in collaboration with the Commonwealth Chorale
The combined voices of the Metropolitan and Commonwealth Chorales present Verdi’s titanic masterpiece. The 180-voiced chorus performs under the baton of Lisa Graham in New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall.
2018 Holiday Pops
We join Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops on their annual Holiday Tour
The Creative Impulse
Sunday, March 10th, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.
All Saints Parish, Brookline
Menotti: The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore
R. Murray Schafer: A Medieval Bestiary
Saturday, May 4th, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.
First Church, Cambridge
The Metropolitan Chorale is joined by fellow Boston area creative arts forces the Puppet Showplace Theater and The Callithumpian Consort to present “The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore” by Gian Carlo Menotti and “A Medieval Bestiary” by R. Murray Schafer.
The stories of both pieces will be on display through the work of the Puppet Showplace Theater, led by Artistic Director Roxanna Myhrum.
In “A Medieval Bestiary,” we invite you to explore the curious headspace of the 12th century writers of “A Book of Beasts.” The animal descriptions, while perplexing to modern audiences, reveal an ability to simultaneously see the biological, moral, and divine dimensions of each creature. The texts, and Schafer’s music, put us in touch with our very real sense of yearning to feel connected to the beauty, mystery, and meaning of the natural world. To express this complicated sentiment we have combined the medieval illustrations with contemporary shadow theater and the embodied form of worship known as liturgical dance. In this form, light can both illuminate and distort what we perceive and we can explore what it feels like for images of god, man, and beast to all occupy the same shadowy realm.
In “The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore,” we were inspired by Menotti’s allegory about the relationship between an artist, his work, and the public who receives him. Using pageant puppetry, mask performance, and commedia dell’arte, we explore the relations between creativity, commissions, and commodities. The artist, a reclusive poet, delights in the whimsical creativity that springs forth from his quill pen. The outside world sees his unique creations as a series of extraordinary pets: a unicorn, representing his innocent and naïve creative work; a gorgon, made giant through success, fame, and pride; and a manticore, weakened by age and wanting to be left alone. In each case, a wealthy countess demands to possess a similar pet, though her relationship to the creature is only about money and status rather than care and creativity. Similarly, the townspeople demand cheap replicas so they can keep up with fashions, but are willing to throw everything away when trends change. But when our lives are in their waning hours, which of these creatures will provide actual comfort?