Seattle Men’s Chorus
SPRING/SUMMER 2014 VOL. 2 NO. 2
Seattle Women’s Chorus
Seattle Men’s Chorus performs Falling in Love Again Previewing Seattle Women’s Chorus’s 2014-2015 season: Hallows in the Cathedral: Moonshadow & Reel Women !
F LY I N G H O U S E . O R G
SMC/SWC SEASON SPONSOR
DENNIS COLEMAN ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Photo by John Pai
As our 2013-2014 season draws to a close, I am overwhelmed as I reflect on yet another tremendous year of music, celebrating our mission of inclusion and acceptance, and feeling such incredible support from the community. Each concert presents another opportunity to share joy, tell stories, impact lives, and of course, showcase the remarkable talents of the Choruses. And so long as we see and experience discrimination, inequality, and bullying within the LGBTQ community, we’ll continue to lift up our voices in song, fighting hatred and fear with passion and love. It’s with this notion of celebrating love in the face of adversity that Seattle Men’s Chorus (SMC) presents Falling in Love Again, rounding out the season and kicking oﬀ Seattle Pride 2014 and a Germany tour (June 18 – 29). For one night only at the Paramount Theatre, audiences can experience Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s stunning one-act opera For a Look or a Touch. Directed by Intiman Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Andrew Russell, this musical drama chronicles the relatively untouched and unknown subject of gay persecution during the Holocaust. This is Gad Beck (actor Kip Niven) and Manfred Lewin’s (operatic baritone Morgan Smith) tragic but true wartime love story. Balancing out the concert, Act II features upbeat music of celebration. Here in Seattle we’ll share some of my favorite American Jazz arrangements, paying tribute
to George Gershwin and Duke Ellington, as well as a few gay choral power ballads including “Worthy,” from the musical web series The Hinterlands. And watch out! There may even be a sneak peek of next season! You won’t want to miss it. In Germany we’ll turn things up a notch with some fun selections from ABBA and Stephen Schwartz as SMC headlines the 2014 Christopher Street Gay Pride Celebration in Berlin. From Berlin, the summer tour continues through Leipzig, Dresden, Buchenwald, and Cologne. I’m excited to share this concert with our audience here at home and our friends in Deutschland! But once we return to Seattle, it’s full steam ahead preparing for our highly anticipated 2014-2015 Season! In October, Seattle Women’s Chorus (SWC) returns to Saint Mark’s Cathedral for the third consecutive year, bringing you Hallows in the Cathedral: Moonshadow. I’m quite excited about this new tradition of Halloween-themed concerts each fall, and there’s really no better venue for such haunting music than the Cathedral. It’s my hope that this production will have a little something for everyone, with a wide variety of music from choral art pieces to pop to an audience sing-a-long! It’s sure to be a beautiful, mysterious, and alltogether magnificent show. As we say farewell to fall, Seattle Men’s Chorus welcomes the holidays and their 35th season (wow!) with Seattle’s OTHER Holiday TraditionTM. …Our Gay Apparel is a
bright and festive production featuring fresh twists on holiday classics, complete with the campy humor and fun you’ve come to expect from SMC. The men will don their favorite gay apparel, from funky sweaters to leather to sparkly stilettos, transporting you to a winter wonderland that’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. I hope you’ll join us for a magical holiday extravaganza! In February, SWC returns to the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center for another unique show. Reel Women pays tribute to some of the illustrious and talented women of the silver screen, exploring some of our most beloved films and the extraordinary women who bring them to life. Prepare to be dazzled by this journey through motion pictures – oh, and don’t forget the popcorn! SMC will present LEGACY: Tyler’s Suite / I Am Harvey Milkk in the spring, a powerful production paying homage to the lives of Tyler Clementi and Harvey Milk. I am humbled to honor the lives of these men and the incredible legacies they’ve left in the gay community. Then, closing the season in June is Queen – need I say more? If you haven’t already, there’s still time to purchase season tickets! What better way to support the Choruses you love and be part of all the fun? As always, thank you for your continued support in all we do, and for being part of our Chorus family.
Dennis Coleman Artistic Director FH. |
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Dennis Coleman
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Frank Stilwagner
ARTISTIC/PRODUCTION ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Eric Lane Barnes PRINCIPAL ACCOMPANISTS Evan Stults, Nancy Otness Bent COMPANY MANAGER Halie Looper BOX OFFICE MANAGER Kevin Carson PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER Nancy Hautala ASSISTANT PRODUCTION/STAGE MANAGER William Frantz
DEVELOPMENT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: STRATEGIC SERVICES & GRANTS Jacquelyn Rardin COMMUNITY RELATIONS MANAGER Gerry Kunkel FUNDRAISING EVENTS MANAGER Tina Davis
A Successful Auction!
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE Thom Courcelle GRANT WRITING Julie L. Wilchins, LLC
FINANCE FINANCE DIRECTOR Jennifer Wood ACCOUNTING ASSOCIATE Alison Coates
MARKETING MARKETING MANAGER Matthew Arnold MARKETING & OUTREACH ASSOCIATE Liz Dawson PUBLIC RELATIONS Jennifer Rice LLC GRAPHIC DESIGN Alan Jazak/Formation Studio
BOARD OF DIRECTORS PRESIDENT Steven B. Crandall VICE – PRESIDENT Mieke Brouwer SECRETARY Michael Hughes TREASURER Bob Davidson Jonathan Bowman, Jon Frank, Ken Inoue, Fritz King, John Lindgren, Adrienne McEntee, Leann Nester, David Nilsson, Constance Wilkinson
OUR VISION A world that accepts and values its gay and lesbian citizens.
OUR MISSION Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus entertain, enlighten, unify, and heal our audience and members, using the power of words and music to recognize the value of gay and straight people and their relationships. The Chorus Prelude is a triannual newsletter published by Flying House Productions. To subscribe, please contact us using the information below. ADDRESS
319 12th Avenue, Seattle WA 98122–5504
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FlyingHouse.org SeattleMensChorus.org SeattleWomensChorus.org 206.388.1400 (Mon-Fri, Noon–7:00)
On Saturday, May 10th we hosted our 18th Annual Black Tie & Sequins Dinner, Dance, and Auction: A Venetian Ball. It was a night filled with excitement, joy, and philanthropy. Our 300 guests enjoyed cocktails, a four course dinner, entertainment and dancing all while supporting the choruses by bidding on the 300+ items available via the Silent and Live Auctions. By the end of the night, the auction had raised just over $280,000, our largest fundraising event in years! Thanks to everyone who contributed to the event, whether by donating an item, volunteering, attending or bidding. You helped to make the auction a success. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support. Be sure to mark your calendars now, the 19th Annual Black Tie & Sequins Dinner, Dance, and Auction will be held on Saturday, May 9th at Fremont Studios.
FRANK STILWAGNER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Dear dedicated supporters and patrons: As we close out our 2013-2014 season and begin looking to the future, one of the aspects of our mission and goals that most motivates me is our outreach. Outreach has long been a vital component of our organization, but as we move forward it will continue to take on an increased role in our endeavors. You may already know that we’ve had a Youth Ticket Outreach Program for years now, and we are proud to give away hundreds of tickets for each concert run to LGBT youth, along with their friends and families. Just over a year ago, we added bus transportation to
the program. So now we send buses out to outlying areas like Olympia, Lacey, Federal Way, Everett, and more, to pick up youth who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend our concerts. Even in western Washington, students and youth often feel isolated. Providing them free transportation and tickets to our concerts shows them that they’re not alone and that they have a welcoming community within our organization. The bus portion of our outreach has grown from three participants the first time we did it, all the way to 75 this spring. We hope to continue growing this critical program. I’m also thrilled to announce that during July of 2015 both Choruses will take a trip to Spokane to perform a concert wholly in support of the local LGBT community. We’ve begun working with some of the agencies and youth centers in Spokane, and all ticket proceeds will go directly back to those organizations. It means so much to me personally to see our Choruses fulfilling our mission and spreading our vision of acceptance throughout the state. Our plan is to take an outreach trip to
underserved areas on a regular and ongoing basis. Finally, as you’ll read more about in this issue, Seattle Men’s Chorus is about to fly the skies over to Germany in an outreach tour of great proportions. We’ll take our one-act opera, For a Look or a Touch, on tour through five cities in Germany, and we’ll perform at Berlin’s Pride Festival. It’s going to be a blast, but it’s also important for us to have the opportunity to tell the story of how two gay lovers were torn apart during the Holocaust. This, of course, is in addition to the regular outreach performances we present in and around western Washington. Seattle Women’s Chorus recently presented a concert in Bremerton to support Kitsap Pride. The Men’s Chorus took a short trip to Langley (Whidbey Island) to help raise funds for Citizens Against Domestic Violence and Abuse. We are deeply committed to our outreach, in order to help us realize our vision of a world that accepts and values ALL of its citizens. Thank you for your support of the Choruses and the work we do. Yours in song, g
YOUR DOLLARS AT WORK Each year, the Choruses entertain and enlighten more than 30,000 people. Through the power of music, we continue breaking down barriers, inspiring hope, and changing lives. Yet, our impact would not be nearly as far-reaching if not for the generosity of our patrons, members, friends, and community grantmakers. It’s thanks to people like you that we are able to share a message of acceptance through our concerts, events, and outreach. And trust us - your dollars are hard at work! CONNECTING OUR COMMUNITY TO A SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT: Youth Ticket Outreach Program For over two decades, our Youth Ticket Outreach Program has connected LGBT youth (ages 13-21) and their friends and families to an inclusive, supportive community. Through collaboration with nearly 50 youth service providers and schools throughout the greater Seattle area, the Choruses are able to distribute more than 1,500 free tickets to each of our five main stage concerts throughout the season.
In April 2013, we added a firstof-its-kind, FREE chartered bus service, providing transportation to and from our Seattle shows, enabling us to eliminate the barrier of transportation to our concerts for LGBT youth living in more remote areas. What started with three students from Everett attending Seattle Men’s Chorus’ (SMC) Dancing Queen, grew to over 70 participants from Everett, Federal Way, Olympia, Tacoma, and Lacey d at attending SMC’s Totally Wicked McCaw Hall, just one year later. The Choruses are excited to continue expanding this outreach initiative, ensuring that more youth from
SMC CONCERT SPONSOR
more remote parts of our state have the opportunity to connect with people who celebrate and accept them just as they are. Through a recent Power2Give campaign, hosted by ArtsFund, we raised nearly $3,000 to support this program. Thanks to the generous gifts of our beloved patrons, friends, and allies, youth who face daily discrimination, have feelings of loneliness and despair, or think that there’s no one else like them, have a place to call home when they attend a chorus concert. It’s a positive, powerful, and life-changing experience for these youth, many of whom are seeing the Choruses for the first time. And for our members, either those who volunteer on the buses or those who perform, it’s an equally rewarding and eye opening experience, directly witnessing the impression our Chorus family can have on young people. Here’s what some of our participants have had to say about the Youth Ticket Outreach Program: “We were brimming with excitement the whole way home! We had so much fun and the show was absolutely incredible. Thank you again for thinking of Stonewall and making that happen!” – Stonewall Youth, Olympia
“Thank you for inviting the members of Oasis to see your performance! We enjoyed your beautiful voices and lovely acting skills!” – Oasis Youth Center, Tacoma
“As a singer I have always been moved by the idea of the program, tearing up on stage the nights the youth are present, but being in the audience directly with them was a rare and very moving moment.” – Joe Hopkins, SMC member and Youth Ticket volunteer | T C P
On the Rise
SMC/SWC SEASON SPONSOR
New Performance Risers for our Choruses
At our last couple of concerts, you may have noticed that Seattle Men Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus singers are standing a little taller, having a little more movement and are just generally easier to see and hear. Thanks to grants from 4Culture and The Norcliﬀe Foundation, we were able to successfully purchase new performance risers in January! Because our core mission involves providing accessible high-quality choral performances throughout the region, it was essential that we have safe risers on which our performers can stand during concerts. Our old risers dated from 1993, and were no longer safe for use, as well as being extremely bulky and diﬃcult to transport. Due to their instability and increasing risk of harm to our members, it became necessary for the organization to recycle them after our June 2013 concert last year. The new risers by Staging Concepts are portable, and can be used at all of our performance venues in various configurations and sizes, providing maximum flexibility for venues—large or small, ample room for performer choralography, and high-quality sound production. In addition, the risers will provide a tremendous resource to other performing arts groups and venues in the region. Since we will only use the risers on our concert dates throughout the year, we will make the risers available for use by other arts groups on over 300 days per year. Because of the risers’ modularity, groups will be able to easily use some or all of the modules and set them up elsewhere as needed. The new risers’ features will maximize their utility for various groups. They are wide enough to accommodate chairs for seated performers. For the safety of all performers, including those with mobility impairments, they can be configured with multiple options for escape stairs, guide rails, and wheelchair ramps. An excellent way to support our fellow art community at large!
FIVE EASY WAYS TO GIVE
Call 206.323.0750 Mail or Visit Us in Person! 319 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
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Checks payable to Flying House Productions, credit card, and cash. Flying House Productions is a 501(c )(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible as permitted by law. Got questions? Please email Giving@FlyingHouse.org, or call (206) 323-0750 x222
HALLOWS IN THE CATHEDRAL: MOONSHADOW SAINT MARK’S CATHEDRAL
Photo by Conrado Tapado
FRI, OCT 17, 8:00PM SAT, OCT 18, 2:00PM SAT, OCT 18, 8:00PM FRI, OCT 24, 8:00PM SAT, OCT 25, 8:00PM
On April 22nd, the singers of Seattle Women’s Chorus (SWC) gathered together for the first rehearsal of the season. Energy was high as old friends embraced, new members nervously found their seats, and Artistic Director Dennis Coleman took the podium to present the music for the fall show, Hallows in the Cathedral: Moonshadow. The night flew by as we worked the music, learning measure by measure about the vision Dennis and Associate Artistic Director Eric Lane Barnes have pieced together for a captivating show in Saint Mark’s Cathedral this fall. Eric generously took the time to answer some questions about the upcoming season. The concerts for the 20142015 season are Hallows in the Cathedral: Moonshadow and Reel Women. How were these themes chosen? Eric Lane Barnes (ELB): Last October SWC presented Hallows in the Cathedral, a mystical journey with musical themes of light and dark, good and evil, the sacred and profane, all performed by a chorus of extravagantly costumed witches. We are continuing the autumn tradition this year with themes of the moon. Many of the songs are moon-centric (‘Moonlight Serenade’, ‘Moondance’, ‘Old Devil Moon’) while others are atmospheric, textural pieces that lend an air of mystery to the time of year when the days shorten, shadows lengthen and the air is misted with a smoky tang. The word ‘hallows’ refers to that which is sacred; having this concert in the | T C P
Assistant Artistic Director, Eric Lane Barnes
magnificent open space of Saint Mark’s Cathedral allows Seattle Women’s Chorus to explore new and ancient ideas of what ‘sacred’ means. Reel Women delves into the role of women in film, both behind and in front of the camera, with a lively selection of songs, film clips and live narration. The show will explore the history of women in film, from the many women directors of silent film through the glamorizing of women in Hollywood’s golden age up to recent films made by women. The show will be intercut with several short films made by local women filmmakers recreating
famous male scenes with women, and several hilarious ‘coming attractions’ for non-existent films. Unsung women pioneers of film will be featured, alongside Hollywood female trailblazers such as Mary Pickford, Hedy Lamarr, Ida Lupino, Judy Holliday, Sigourney Weaver, Oprah Winfrey, Veronica Roth, Penny Marshall, Tilda Swinton and Lupita Nyong’o. The message in the music of Reel Women will be how much women have contributed to the film industry, and how far they have yet to go before they are considered equal with their cinematic male counterparts. What is the most surprising or delightful moment in the fall show? ELB: There is a piece called ‘Ritmo’ which is an exuberant potpourri of body rhythms and voices; a hilarious song in which a lady astronomer reveals that the man in the moon is a lady; a dance beneath a full moon and a group of singing werewolves.
(Mon-Fri, Noon-7:00 PM)
REEL WOMEN CORNISH PLAYHOUSE AT SEATTLE CENTER
How does Saint Mark’s Cathedral lend itself to the programming of the Halloween show? ELB: Since the audience and performers are in the same space at Saint Mark’s Cathedral, it allows SWC to, at times, perform around and within the audience. The acoustics of the Cathedral are quite live and built for choral music; this is a venue where Seattle Women’s Chorus is able to shine like the grand choral group it has become. When programming each show, what balance do you look for? Are there slots in each show that you look to fill with certain categories/ types of numbers (i.e., a funny number, a serious number, a big production number, a crowd favorite, etc.)? ELB: We like to program as wide a variety of music as we can manage for the Chorus. With the shows in the Cathedral we can focus on the beauty and grandeur of the choral sound – this is where more classical or musically challenging pieces can take shape. At The Cornish Playhouse there is more of an emphasis on show production; here we can do performances that are more theatrical in nature, allowing for video, scripts, choreography and lighting that are not part of the Saint Mark’s experience. In both venues, however, we always try to
achieve a balance of songs that will elicit wonder, laughter, tears, encouragement, and hopefully a better understanding of our world and what it is like to share it with one another. Did you incorporate any of your own favorite movie tunes into the spring show? ELB: The songs for the spring show are still being selected. The first step is to find a theme that works. Then we set to work infusing that theme with specific stories and ideas that excite the imagination, and then gathering these stories and ideas into sections that flow from one to another. Into this
flow we will weave songs, scenes, monologues and videos to tell the story of women in film. The show will feature a dazzling collection of well-loved songs from movies, songs written about movies and movie stars as well as a few original pieces composed specifically for the show. Many thanks to Eric for his beautifully evocative words. I know you can’t wait to see what fantastic elements Dennis and Eric weave into this season. I can’t wait either. See you in the fall! Tiki Naccarato Andrew Upper First Alto
Photo by Conrado Tapado
Photo by Conrado Tapado
THU, FEB 5, 2014, 7:30PM FRI, FEB 6, 2014, 8:00PM SAT, FEB 7, 2014, 2:00PM SAT, FEB 7, 2014, 8:00PM SUN, FEB 8, 2014, 2:00PM
What do “gay apparel”… “two gay icons”… and a big ol’ Queen have in common? The 2014/2015 Seattle Men’s Chorus Season … that’s what!
Dennis Coleman, Artistic Direction, and Eric Lane Barnes, Assistant Artistic Director have done it again … oﬀering an exciting season of diverse and intriguing programming that runs the gamut of emotions and musical styles sung with the rich choral tones of 200 males voices.
On March 28, SMC returns with a compelling tribute to two gay men whose lives (and deaths) have had a profound impact on the LGBT community – Harvey Milk and Tyler Clementi. Through new, original commissions, this incredibly moving production honors the lives of these two men. Divided into two halves, the first act features the story behind fallen Rutgers University student and violinist, Tyler Clementi, and the second act depicts the life and impact of LGBT hero, Harvey Milk.
The season begins with the Seattle Men’s Chorus Holiday Show, “Our Gay Apparel”, which opens Saturday, November 29 at Benaroya Hall kicking oﬀ SMC’s 35th season! “I know that our audiences look forward to hearing a beautiful male choral sound at the holidays each year … and I’m confident this concert will more than fulfill that tradition,” Dennis said. “The concert features several lush, warm arrangements of holiday favorites, including some brilliant mash-ups of carols with songs you might not expect.” Eric agrees! “This holiday show will be bright and splashy, with several fun production numbers,” he added. “Don’t be surprised, for example, if you see a full-on Ziegfeld Follies number featuring a parade of ugly Christmas sweaters, North Pole resort togs, and Scrooge telling us all what not to wear.” Ho-hohilarious!
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The creators of “Tyler’s Suite” include: composer Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Wicked); John Bucchino, whose songs have been performed by artists from Art Garfunkel to Patti LuPone; multiplatinum-selling singer, composer, lyricist, pianist, and actress Ann Hampton Callaway (Swing! ); composer and singer Craig Carnelia (Working, Sweet Smell of Success); Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, three Grammy Awards, and an Academy Award, John Corigliano; composer Jake Heggie (For a Look or a Touch, Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers); Emmy winner Lance Horne and lyricist and librettist Pamela Stewart, who wrote lyrics for the entire work. “Tyler’s Suite” is a poignant, heart-rending, soaring and ultimately uplifting piece that will touch your very soul.
“I Am Harvey Milk” was written by award-winning composer and lyricist Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party, Big Fish). The show weaves the story of Harvey Milk’s life – from boyhood to his rise as the first openly gay man to hold public oﬃce in California to his assassination. Part choral work, part theater piece, “I Am Harvey Milk” is an emotional celebration of an American icon. Seattle Men’s Chorus is very pleased that Andrew Lippa – an accomplished singer and pianist - will be performing the title role in our presentation of “I Am Harvey Milk.” “Both ‘I Am Harvey Milk’ and ‘Tyler’s Suite’ will be given their Seattle premieres at this concert,” Dennis said.“I Am Harvey Milk” received its first performance last year at the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus June concert. Coincidentally, that was the same night that the US Supreme Court overturned Prop 8 in CA. “To say that the concert was electric (in no small part because of the powerful music) is an understatement,” Dennis said. “The uplifting nature of these stories and music will demonstrate that we’ve come a long way in society, but still have a long way to go.”
...OUR GAY APPAREL
SAT, NOV 29, 2:00PM SUN, NOV 30, 2:00PM FRI, DEC 12, 8:00PM SUN, DEC 14, 2:00PM SUN, DEC 14, 7:30PM SUN, DEC 21, 7:30PM MON, DEC 22, 7:30PM
TACOMA / Pantages Theatre THU, DEC 4, 8:00PM
GAYEST! And, if you’re going to end a powerful season, end it big – with Queen! Opening on Saturday, June 20th, the men of SMC perform your favorite Queens hits like “We Are the Champions” “Another One Bites the Dust” “We Will Rock You” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The list goes on! “QUEEN with Freddy Mercury defined a certain gay sensibility in rock music,” Dennis said. “It’s also music that works for a choral group...along with a knock-out lead guitarist. Everyone knows and loves the music.” Get ready to experience the delights of the holidays, the impact of an individual’s life on the world, and the full power of Queen, produced with the magic and flair that you know and expect from Seattle Men’s Chorus. Come join us in 2014/2015 … it’s a season you won’t forget!
(Mon-Fri, Noon-7:00 PM)
EVERETT / Everett Civic Auditorium SAT, DEC 20, 8:00PM
Captain Smartypants Goes to the Movies!
THE TRIPLE DOOR SAT, SEP 13, 8:00PM SAT, SEP 20, 8:00PM SUN, SEP 21, 7:00PM
We’re all a little “starstruck” when it comes to our favorite movie stars. But nobody does it better – or more hilariously - than musical funnymen Captain Smartypants. From silent film star Charlie Chaplin to noisy film star Sandra Bullock, Starstruck shines the spotlight on the movies we love the most, and those we love to roast. A few of the sights you’ll see on the Starstruck red carpet: • A Disney princess duking it out with a Disney villain in song. • Batman jazzing it up with three of his nemeses. • Oscar-losing songs strutting their stuﬀ in front of Oscarwinning songs. • Macho movie hunks proving their sexy mettle to us mere mortals (in song). Starstruck also includes three very personal “movie song stories” in which movies and their music played a pivotal role in a life-changing event. In one such story, a young gay man decides Beautiful Thing and its Mama Cass soundtrack is the perfect opportunity to dramatically come out to his family. Another story relates a coming-of-age tale that takes place at a Dustin Hoﬀman drive-in double-feature (Midnight Cowboy and Tootsie), with a painfully awkward double date and a surprising first kiss from the coolest guy in high school. Starstruck also features a touching tribute to the beautiful actresses that gay men have fallen in love with through the years, a raft of movie mashups (including “Man of Steel Magnolias” and “Jesus Christ Superstar Trek”) and what theme songs from Gravity, Cabin in the Woods, and Prometheus would have been like. Starstruck is Captain Smartypants’ first feature-length appearance at The Triple Door. With a state-of-the-art sound system, concert grand piano, and full-sized movie screen (for the many videos that accompany the show), you will imbibe and dine in comfort and style (The Triple Door shares a kitchen with Wild Ginger, housed upstairs.) Come see why artists like Suzanne Vega, Vicci Martinez, Rufus Wainwright, Quincy (and Jack) Jones and Sweet Honey in the Rock have earned The Triple Door the title ‘Seattle’s best live music venue.’
“For a Look or a Touch” An 80-year-old man tries to forget the cruel pain of his past. The ghost of his young boyfriend gently urges him to remember. he For a Look or a Touch, a stunningly beautiful mini-opera about th fate of two gay lovers in Nazi Germany and the redemptive pow wer of memory decades later, debuted in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall in May 2007. Written by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, the drama chronicles what Heggie says is the often-overlooked persecution of gays during the Holocaust and is based on the true story of Gad Beck and Manfred Lewin. The remarkable and poignant account, suppressed for decades, finally came to light in the powerful HBO documentary, Paragraph 175, a reference to a provision in Germany’s legal code criminalizing homosexuality. On the books since 1871, the anti-gay law wasn’t fully repealed until 1994, eﬀectively silencing many of the war’s survivors, including Gad. The Seattle-based chamber music organization Music of Remembrance commissioned For a Look or a Touch to help reclaim that history, and Seattle Men’s Chorus and Boston Gay Men’s Ch horus recommissioned an expanded version that debuted in Seattle in April 2011. The Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC) in Kansas City subsequently performed the piece last year, and the opera’s haunting choral anthem, “A Hundred Thousand Stars,” a reference to the 100,000 gay men arrested by the Nazis, has been sung by choruses across the country. Opera star Morgan Smith, an acclaimed baritone who originated the role of Manfred, will return to reprise his riveting performance. He will be joined by Kip Niven, a professional Kansas City-based actor best known fo or his stints on Alicee and The Waltons, who will play the part of Gad. “Once I read the script I was taken by the power of the piece,” Niven says. “Once I heard it sung—first during a rehearsal of the HMC, I was flatknocked outt.” Andrew Russell, Intiman Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director, will once again direct the show’s dramatic staging. And the chorus will portray nightclub singers and concentration camp prisoners in a production that has left audiences breathless. The lasting message, says SMC Artistic Dirrector he Third Dennis Coleman, is less about condemning the past horrors of th vivor who Reich and more about celebrating the personal triumph of a surv finally found peace with who he was and what he had overcome e.
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“Falling in Love Again” in Deutschland The German word for love is “liebe.” It’s only fitting that a labor of love about an enduring love aﬀair — the mini-opera For a Look or a Touch — will finally be showcased in the setting for this story: Germany. The idea of a German tour sprang from SMC’s 2011 performance of the powerhouse production, says SMC Artistic Director Dennis Coleman. “The reaction of both the singers and the audience in those performances was so profound,” Coleman says, “that a groundswell began to move among some key players about doing the piece again in Germany, where the story happened.”
Silence,” a call to come out and engage in political action, references the life of gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk. “The Narrow Bridge” honors Tyler Clementi, a gay teen who took his own life after being shamed and bullied. And “Worthy,” from the web series The Hinterlands, speaks to the dignity and worth of all people.
Sie sind der Liebe wert. You are worthy of love. The carefully chosen songs, Coleman says, “speak to who we are as a community here.”
One of those early enthusiasts was opera star Morgan Smith, an acclaimed baritone and regular artist at Oper Leipzig who had been part of For a Look or a Touch from the beginning. The role of Manfred Lewin was written specifically for him, and Smith was passionate about bringing the production and its message “home” to Germany.
On the road between Leipzig and Cologne, the Choruses will pay their respects at the infamous Buchenwald concentration camp, where they will sing “The Buchenwald Song” during a special ceremony. In addition, all proceeds from the performances in Germany will go to the Buchenwaldand Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, established to preserve and commemorate the history of three concentration camps in the Weimar region.
Frank Stilwagner, Executive Director of Flying House Productions, says the chorus sent DVDs of its production to multiple LGBT choruses in Germany, and they agreed that the mini-opera delivered a potent and meaningful message that they wanted their audiences to see and hear.
The once-in-a-lifetime trip, Coleman says, shows the dedication of chorus members willing to pay for the tour out of their own pockets. “It shows the conviction of the individual singers, to make their music be heard and be an eﬀective voice for the things we believe in,” he says.
Three years later, that dream is being realized with a 10-day tour that will include performances in Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden and Krefeld. A fully costumed and orchestrated production of the mini-opera will showcase Smith, professional actor Kip Niven playing the role of Gad Beck, and over 100 singing members from SMC and the Heartland Men’s Chorus from Kansas City. Niven says he’s delighted to have the privilege and “profound honor” of joining the tour to Germany after his role in HMC’s well-received production. “I am confident that the weight of the message of this piece will have profound resonance in the land where the story had its beginning,” he says.
It won’t all be work. Beyond the incredible sightseeing opportunities, the singers will stay in two of Germany’s most gay-friendly cites, Cologne and Berlin. In Berlin, SMC and HMC will take part in the Christopher Street Day celebration, Europe’s largest gay pride event. Organizers expect 800,000 to one million people or more for the four-mile-long parade and rally. And after the parade, the choruses will perform by the Brandenburg Gate, the dramatic backdrop for the 1989 dismantling of the Berlin Wall.
Stilwagner agrees. “It’s a piece that speaks to our humanity and a part of our history as gay men and women that not a lot of people are aware of,” he says. “I think it’s fantastic that we get the opportunity to ‘bring it home’ and experience this piece in the country where the story started.”
Liebe erträgt. Love endures. SMC and HMC will also bring a strong repertoire of American jazz standards, gay pride anthems, and social justice pieces to German audiences. “Tired of the
“The remarkable transformation from a place where gay men were killed and imprisoned just for being who they were to one that hosts one of the most exuberant gay pride celebrations on Earth,” Stilwagner says, “is nothing short of stunning.” Gad Beck, who was born in Berlin and died there two years ago, would have been 91 this June. But in the end, his story lives on. Love endures. Love tears down walls.
Liebe gewinn. Love wins.
“For a Look or a Touch” Educational Opportunities Daniel Cords
Not often do I get a chance to combine my two passions – theatre and education – but when it came time for the chorus to reprise For a Look or a Touch (as part of the show Falling in Love Again in June 2014), I knew that I had to get involved. I have an undergraduate degree in Human Development and Learning, a Master’s in Education, and I am excited to announce that a mutually beneficial partnership presented itself. In May 2013 I was honored with an opportunity at Antioch University to design and implement curriculum based on our June 2014 production. Initially, needing to fill a ten-week quarter, I was a little apprehensive. It quickly became apparent, however, that ten weeks is not enough time. As I began to uncover the rich history that had been lost to a dominant heterosexual narrative, I realized just how powerful this educational opportunity is. My philosophy as an educator for this project has revolved around one question – Why teach about homosexuals aﬀected by the Holocaust? The answer is simple and important: if we (as performing educators) do not embrace this opportunity to speak, then the voices of those who could not speak will forever be silenced. Silence, a central theme in For a Look or a Touch, is continued today, and the homophobia and ignorance expressed during the Nazi Holocaust, in many ways, continues today. The course I designed at Antioch, Teaching Crisis and Conflict, connects elements from our past and present in a way that reflects the style of our production. When the character of Gad Beck encounters the spirit of Manfred Lewin in the show, he battles in the present with the conflicts of his past, returns to the past with Manfred, and then returns to the present transformed by his experiences. Similarly, the content of my workshops begin in the present, examining the evolution of oppression and prejudice since the 1920s.
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My most requested workshop is definitely my favorite. In a workshop titled Harvesting Diversity, students explore the Eugenics Movement (the theory of breeding a superior race) as it began in the United States and then migrated into Nazi Germany. After Ernst Röhm, and upon the appointment of Heinrich Himmler, homosexuals became a direct target of German eugenic science. Perceived as evolutionary “dead-ends,” the Nazi state considered homosexuality to be a Jewish conspiracy, and therefore a threat to the Nazi nation. Eugenic science aﬀected many, and as students encounter this, they explore current social injustice through prejudice and oppression. In this stage of the workshop, students find connections to the eugenic movement, either through themselves or their ancestors. As I direct students to the past, I introduce them to David Starr Jordan’s publication, Blood of the Nation, which gained the attention of Hitler in Mein Kampf, who wrote: “I have studied with great interest the laws of several American states concerning the prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock” (Hitler, 1924). Students are encouraged to participate in the lecture by reading aloud statements from victims of the eugenics movement, as well as statements from the media during that time. The students are often shocked to learn that German eugenic science was supported, and then envied by, the United States. The Rockefeller Foundation, for example, donated over $400,000 to Josef Mengele’s work. As students approach this, someone reads aloud a quote from Leon Whitney: “While we were pussy-footing around the Germans were calling a spade a spade” (1940).
The final element of this workshop involves students reading comments from eugenics survivor Elaine Riddick, and testimony from Buck v. Bell, a 1927 Supreme Court case that questioned the constitutionality of the eugenics movement. Coming to two quotes, a student reads aloud Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ statement that upheld the commonwealth eugenic laws of Virginia:
It is a great honor to be teaching about such an important part of our history and I am humbled by the great support of Flying House Productions and our community. We have had a great response from the community, partnering with several universities, the 5th Avenue Theatre’s education department, and the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center (WSHERC).
“It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate oﬀspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” (1927)
I want to encourage you all to take a moment during this concert to experience the lobby display from WSHERC, to engage in the pre-show conversation, and to educate yourselves about this powerful production.
Another student replies, reading aloud Elaine Riddick’s testimony:
“I had to have a child at the age of 14, and when I had my son, they went into me at the same time they gave me a cesarean birth and they took my child and sterilized me. What do you think I’m worth? What do you think I’m worth? The main reason, reasons is because I was poor and out and Black. I believe that with all of my heart.”
For additional information or education materials, please contact me directly: email@example.com
SMC/SWC SEASON SPONSOR
The workshop comes to a close and I reveal that Elaine Riddick’s testimony was collected in 2012, and that Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ ruling (as stated above), upheld the common-wealth eugenics laws in Virginia until 1976. This workshop encourages students to question their assumptions about the Nazi Holocaust, realizing that history has far-reaching implications into their everyday lives. Further, students are encouraged to examine oppression, and with inspiration from Paulo Freire, I highlight the concern that oppression against one person is oppression against every person – it is universally harmful. Finally, and most importantly, students are left to question – why haven’t I learned this before? Their minds are exposed to narratives that have been intentionally forgotten. This prepares them to better understand For a Look or a Touch, which highlights the perpetuation of Paragraph 175 in Germany, and the important theme of silence following the Nazi Holocaust.
2013 was the first year that Wells Fargo Private Bank sponsored Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus. What drew you to support us?
over the years so as we looked to expand our support of the LGBT community last year, the Choruses quickly jumped to the top of the list. We admire and appreciate the role that Flying House plays as one of the nation’s largest and most impactful cultural institutions promoting acceptance and providing a voice for the LGBT community. It is an honor to be able to support the continued growth of this amazing organization that has positively impacted the lives of our team members and so many others.
The Chorus’s vision is to work towards a world that accepts and values its gay and lesbian citizens. What does that mean to you as a company to be tied to that statement through your sponsorship of SMC and SWC?
That vision of acceptance aligns perfectly with who Wells Fargo is as a firm—we value and promote diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business and at every level of our organization. We want to build and maintain a culture where our team members feel valued and respected for who they are as well as for the skills and experiences they bring to our company. We want team members to feel comfortable and enjoy being part of our community, knowing they can build a career at Wells Fargo and help the company succeed. That view extends into the community and to valuing other organizations that share that vision of acceptance and inclusion like the Chorus’s.
What is the greatest benefit you receive by sponsoring Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus (tangible or otherwise)?
In addition to supporting the great work of this organization—and indirectly those team members who care deeply about the Chorus’s success—our financial support also allows us the opportunity to entertain hundreds of our very best clients with beautiful music, many of whom are new audience members.
What is one thing our patrons should know about Wells Fargo that they don’t already know?
Wells Fargo was one of the first large companies in the United States to implement policies allowing same sex couples the same benefits as any other employee. We have a long and proud history of leadership, commitment, and support in the LGBT Community. In fact, last year we were recognized by Diversity Inc. as the Top Company in the United States for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Employees. In addition, every year since 2003, we have received a perfect score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index: Rating American Workplaces on LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.
What sets Wells Fargo Bank Private Bank apart from other financial institutions that should make our patrons want to do business with you?
The Private Bank has local specialists who help wealthy Washingtonians in non-traditional, same sex or unmarried relationships navigate the myriad of life and financial planning issues post R74 and the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling. We are very good wealth managers and if you aren’t already working with us, we would like to start a conversation. And some of our team members have beautiful voices.
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Don’t miss a single beat! SEATTLE WOMEN’S CHORUS
OCTOBER 17, 18, 24 & 25, 2014 SAINT MARK’S CATHEDRAL
SEATTLE MEN’S CHORUS
NOVEMBER 29 – DECEMBER 22, 2014 BENAROYA HALL
SEATTLE WOMEN’S CHORUS
FEBRUARY 5-8, 2015
CORNISH PLAYHOUSE AT SEATTLE CENTER
SEATTLE MEN’S CHORUS
MARCH 28 & 29, 2015 MCAW HALL
SEATTLE MEN’S CHORUS
JUNE 20 & 21, 2015 MCAW HALL FH. |
Groups of 10 or more qualify for special discounts and advance purchase privileges. Group tickets can be purchased any time and are not restricted by on-sale dates. Ten to 49 receive a 10% discount, 50 or more receive a 20% discount. For more information, contact the box oﬃce.
Subscribe today and reap exclusive benefits all season long: 10% oﬀ single ticket prices, advance purchasing privileges, best seats in the house, free exchanges, and more.
To purchase our CDs please visit FlyingHouse.org or call 206.388.1400. All of our music is now available to buy online as MP3s through iTunes and Amazon.
Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus conduct auditions twice per year. Auditions are by appointment only. To request an audition, visit FlyingHouse.org.
BOX OFFICE 206.388.1400 (Mon-Fri, Noon–7:00) ONLINE FlyingHouse.org SeattleMensChorus.org SeattleWomensChorus.org
U P COMIN G 201 4- 2015 SM C & SWC CON C E RTS SEATTLE MEN’S CHORUS
FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN DEUTSCHLAND
SEATTLE MENS CHORUS SEATTLE WOMENS CHORUS
GERMANY TOUR CAPTAIN SMARTYPANTS
THE TRIPLE DOOR
SEATTLE WOMEN’S CHORUS
HALLOWS IN THE CATHEDRAL: MOONSHADOW
SAINT MARK’S CATHEDRAL
U P COMI NG SMC & SWC F UND RA I SI NG E V E N TS INTERLUDE BREAKFAST GATHER & GIVE
HERBAN FEAST /FLYINGHOUSESEATTLE
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SMC SEASON SPONSOR
ARTFULLY YOUNIQUE In town to catch a show, play, symphony or visit a museum? Stay at the Renaissance Seattle and save with our Explore the Arts Package!
To reserve your room, call 800-228-9290 or visit renaissanceseattle.com
RENAISSANCE SEATTLE HOTEL 515 Madison Street Seattle, WA 98104 t: 206.583.0300
Photo by Conrado Tapado
SMC/SWC EVENT SPONSOR
MISSION Seattle Menâ€™s Chorus and Seattle Womenâ€™s Chorus entertain, enlighten, unify and heal our audience and members, using the power of words and music to recognize the value of gay and straight people and their relationships.
VISION A world that accepts and values its gay and lesbian citizens.
Flying House Productions 319 12th Avenue Seattle, WA 98122-5504