Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Chicago AIDS Quilt Songbook, in Honor of World AIDS Day, Announced

My colleague Eric Reda in Chicago forwarded this to me. Please take note:


Chicago Opera Vanguard presents the World Premiere of The Chicago AIDS Quilt Songbook - a one-night only benefit concert of 18 art songs by Chicago artists responding to the HIV/AIDS crisis on World AIDS Day 2008, Monday December 1 at the Court Theater, 5535 S. Ellis Ave in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. The concert will be presented in conjunction with Seasons of Concern’s annual Larry Sloan Awards honoring William Petersen (Golden Globe & Emmy nominated star of "CSI"), Larry Baker & The Cast of Jersey Boys and Actors Equity Association.

All proceeds from this event will go to Seasons of Concern, the Chicago theater community’s fundraising effort to support people dealing with the effects of HIV/AIDS.

Traditionally a “Day Without Art,” the concert tradition of The AIDS Quilt Songbook was started on World AIDS Day 1992 by the late baritone William Parker, himself a 1993 casualty of AIDS related illness. For this event, Parker invited composers to add a "song panel" to a quilt of remembrance commemorating those infected or affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis.

For this new incarnation, The Chicago AIDS Quilt Songbook, Chicago Opera Vanguard Artistic Director Eric Reda has commissioned works from a wide variety of Chicago based and associated artists – from classical to pop; from traditional to experimental; from theater to cabaret.

“I am so excited to help facilitate the revival of this powerful tradition,” said Chicago Opera Vanguard Artistic Director Eric Reda. “This is an amazing opportunity for Chicago’s rich and active musical community, both composers and performers, to share their voices in remembering those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS.”

The composers include former CSO Composer-in-Residence Augusta Read Thomas, “Adding Machine” composer Josh Schmidt, “Meet the Parents” writer Greg Gliena, CUBE Ensemble members Patricia Morehead & Lawrence Axelrod, DePaul University professor Robert Steel, Columbia University professor Natasha Blogojevich, Accessible Contemporary Music Artistic Director Seth Boustead, international Maverick Ensemble Artistic Director William Jason Raynovich, cabaret artist George Howe, Anomie Ensemble Artistic Director Evan Kuchar, jazz saxophonist Amos Gillespie, Joshua Stephen Kartes, Chicago Opera Vanguard Artistic Director Eric Reda and the vocal quartet 4NOW. Additionally, works by former Lyric Opera of Chicago Composer’s in Residence Ricky Ian Gordan and William Bolcolm will be presented.

Among the lyricists are Chicago Dramatists’ Artists-in-Residence Lisa Dillman, Hell in a Handbag Artistic Director David Cerda, Caffeine Theatre Artistic Director Jennifer Shook, UIC Professor Ivan Fuate and playwright Philip Dawkins.

Under the baton of conductor Chris Ramaekers, the talented cast for this performance includes sopranos Roberta Duchak and Rebecca Prescott; mezzo-sopranos McKinley Carter and Laura Quest; male soprano Nicholas Marotta; tenors Michael Bragg and Herb Lenz; baritones Michael Hoag and Eric Wallbruch. Musical support provided by accompanist James Moorehead and the vocal ensemble VOX3.

The concert will be preceded by an exclusive wine reception featuring the presentation of the 2008 Season of Concern Larry Sloan Awards honoring William Petersen (Golden Globe & Emmy nominated star of "CSI"), Larry Baker & The Cast of Jersey Boys and Actors Equity Association. Born in 1959, Chicagoan Larry Sloan, Season of Concern’s first Executive Director, died of complications from AIDS on January 19, 1995. The Larry Sloan Awards are presented annually by Season Of Concern to honor members of our community who exhibit the same compassion, dedication, and force for change that Larry exemplified.

Season of Concern is the Chicago-land theater community's fundraising effort, providing compassionate care to those in our community who are experiencing the effects of catastrophic illness. This effort supports the fight against HIV and AIDS by contributing to programs that provide direct care (personal financial support, housing care, meals, medications, legal assistance, and other services) to members of the Chicago and Midwestern theatre community; and by addressing emergency needs expressed by theatre community members in their struggles against other life-threatening illnesses. More information on Season of Concern can be found at

Employing the daring aesthetic of an off-Loop theater, Chicago Opera Vanguard is dedicated to creating the Mid-West’s foremost home for engaging new opera by commissioning new works, giving a second-voice to daring music-theater pieces, and by completely re-imagining operatic favorites. This season marks the inception of Chicago Opera Vanguard, with its experimental Season 0. More information on current and future Chicago Opera Vanguard productions can be found at

The Chicago AIDS Quilt Songbook performs 8:00PM Monday, December 1, World AIDS Day 2008. Pre-concert reception featuring the presentation of the 2008 Larry Sloan Awards begins at 6:00PM. Tickets to the Concert & Pre-concert Reception are $75. General Admission tickets to the Concert Only are $25. Tickets are available online at

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: