EVENT DETAILS

DATE: May 16, 2021
TIME: 3:00 PM
VENUE: Civic Center Music Hall

TICKETS NOT YET AVAILABLE

EVENT DESCRIPTION

Canterbury presents a world premiere! Of Perpetual Solace is an exciting and moving new work – a poetic and lyrical reflection on remembrance, resilience, and hope – written to honor the people of Oklahoma City and all those affected by the Murrah Building bombing. In partnership with the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum, the multimedia work by Oklahoma composer Edward Knight and lyricist/visual artist M.J. Alexander will feature guest soloist Lisa Reagan Love and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
photo credit: OKCNM

CONCERT UPDATE:

The world premiere Of Perpetual Solace will conclude our season on May 16, 2021. This performance was originally scheduled for March, 2020.
ALL tickets previously purchased will be transferred to the new date.

THE ARTISTS

Randi Von Ellefson
Conductor

Edward Knight
Composer

MJ Alexander
Librettist & Visual Artist

Lisa Reagan Love
Cantor

AND THE

OKLAHOMA CITY PHILHARMONIC

ABOUT THE WORK

Of Perpetual Solace was created in the spirit of large-scale musical works commemorating community loss and healing: John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls (2003); John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1 (1988); Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem (1961).

The 45-minute work — for full orchestra, cantor and Canterbury’s adult and children’s chorus — was commissioned from composer Edward Knight and librettist M.J. Alexander. The husband-and-wife team, who live within walking distance of the bombing site, drew inspiration from conversations with survivors and attendance at the yearly memorials.

Of Perpetual Solace embraces grief, loss, love and resilience. It was scheduled to premiere in 2020, on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the April 19, 1995 attack, which claimed 168 lives. With the pandemic shutdown, the premiere was rescheduled for August — and then postponed indefinitely.

As 2021 dawned with socially distanced and masked choral rehearsals, the possibility of a reimagined premiere took shape. The process is now underway, as collaborations, rehearsals and recordings continue toward a May 16, 2021 world premiere. This concert will be unlike anything Canterbury Voices has ever attempted: a full-blown, multimedia event.

“I wasn’t sure this could happen when we first began to talk again about presenting the premiere presentation Of Perpetual Solace after being postponed,” states Dr. Randi Von Ellefson, artistic director. “I’m now very excited that the elements are finally coming together!”

Canterbury Voices is joined by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, pared down to 55 musicians, the Canterbury Youth Voices Chorale and an 18-member Renaissance-style adult ensemble, with musical sequences included from the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Of Perpetual Solace progresses from darkness to light, moving toward an embrace of comfort, hope and serenity. Knight’s score “creates an ethereal sound world of remembrance and reflection, encompassing a storm of emotions and pulse of time representing a quarter-century of healing.” The libretto weaves original and classic poetry with excerpts from prayer services honoring the fallen; President Bill Clinton’s eulogy delivered on site in the hours after the attack; words of Martin Luther King, who preached at nearby Calvary Baptist Church; and the epitaph of Quanah Parker.

The closing notes linger with echos of the breath of life, as each singer whispers the name of a community member lost in the bombing and a continuing heartbeat, representing the hope for peace and of perpetual solace.

photography by Michael Anderson with performingartsphotos.com

COMMISSION PARTNERS

THOMAS & CYNTHIA
JANSSEN

LIVE CONCERT SPONSOR

VIRTUAL PRESENTING SPONSOR

*All productions this season are programmed to avoid intermissions and the potential spread of COVID-19.