A concert version of Leonard Bernstein's Mass will be performed by The Collegiate Chorale and soloists to launch the chorale's 61st anniversary season at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, November 19 at 8pm. According to a press release, this will be the first New York performance of the work in almost 30 years.
Defined by its composer as "A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers," the Mass was created for the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 1971, where it was first performed under Bernstein's baton. The Collegiate Chorale's concert version will be conducted by the group's music director, Robert Bass. The challenging central role of the Celebrant will be sung by Douglas Webster, who made his debut in this role for Bernstein's 70th birthday gala at the Tanglewood Festival in 1988 and has performed it in venues all over the world. Webster will be joined by boy soprano Jamie Danner, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's in addition to The Collegiate Chorale. A pre-concert discussion -- "Leonard Bernstein: A Permanent Case of Questioning" -- will be held beginning at 7pm.
Bass feels that Bernstein's Mass "may be the composer's most eclectic piece. With almost every musical genre represented and text based on issues surrounding the Vietnam War, the Mass becomes as much a political statement as a religious one, offering hindsight into chaos in the past as well as insight into the war on terrorism in the present."
Tickets are available at prices ranging from $15 to $80. For information, phone The Collegiate Chorale at 917-322-2140 or visit the website www.collegiatechorale.org.