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Ethel Smyth’s THE PRISON to receive North American Premiere

by Liane Curtis - April 5th, 2018.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

“She is a hero, and it so relates to the things that we are going through with the #MeToo movement, she dealt with problems that women are still having to deal with today.”  Soprano soloist Chelsea Shephard, about composer Ethel Smyth

Two major ensembles in the northeastern U.S.  will be performing the North American premiere of Dame Ethel Smyth’s great work, THE PRISON (1930), composed for two vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra.  The directors have been working together (which is wonderful!) and decided to call it a co-premiere.  This nine-minute short video introduces us to Dame Ethel Smyth, the work, and the two conductors who will lead this important co-premiere!

I was fortunate to see the performance of The Prison with piano reduction, that Mark Shapiro conducted two years ago (reviewed here), as well as the excerpts that Jim Blachly led as part of the visionary “Sing her Name” concert performed by The Dream Unfinished Orchestra.

Now (April 7) Blachly leads the Johnstown Symphony in The Prison  and Mark Shapiro will conduct The Cecilia Chorus of New York  on May 12 in Carnegie Hall.  BRAVI to both ensembles for bringing this important and unknown work of Smyth to audiences!

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