World Premiere of Gregory Spears's The Bitter Good
Feb. 01, 2019
On February 17, New York Polyphony performs the world premiere of Gregory Spears's The Bitter Good, at The Trust in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Spears composed his new work for New York Polyphony with commissioning funding from Chamber Music America. New York Polyphony's baritone, Christopher Herbert, researched the music of the Ephrata Cloister in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As he did so, he uncovered, studied, and catalogued 122 music manuscripts created by the solitary brethren and sisters of the eighteenth-century Ephrata Cloister. One of his noteworthy findings was to prove that the sisters wrote some of the music, making them the first known female composers in the Americas. Gregory Spears wrote this new work for New York Polyphony based on Herbert’s research and using texts by various Cloister members.
Additionally, on February 7, Gregory Spears visited OPERA America's National Opera Center in New York City to discuss his creative process and present selected recent songs and arias from his operas Paul's Case, Fellow Travelers and the dance opera in progress Wolf-in-Skins, as part of OPERA America's acclaimed Creators in Concert series. The concert featured performances by Jennifer Johnson Cano, Sidney Outlaw and Aaron Blake, joined by pianist Dmitri Dover.
(Highlights from the 2016 production of Fellow Travelers at Cincinnati Opera)
The Bitter Good
for vocal quartet a cappella