Mirror Visions Ensemble – The Disappearing Art of Letter-Writing
Where: Sheen Center for Thought & Culture
18 Bleecker St.
212-925-2812 Price: $22
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Mirror Visions Ensemble explores The Disappearing Art of Letter Writing: letters of love and vengeance, reports from the North Pole, missives asking for money or forgiveness. Featured is the correspondence of Abraham Lincoln, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Gertrude Stein, and Sullivan Ballou. Tom Cipullo provides indispensable instruction with a newly commissioned Guide to Letter Writing, along with works by Gwyneth Walker, Cole Porter, Wolfgang Erich Korngold, Dominick Argento, Richard Pearson Thomas and Christopher Berg.
Mireille Asselin, soprano
Scott Murphree, tenor
Jesse Blumberg, baritone
Grant Wenaus, piano
with guest Daniel McGrew, tenor.
Mirror Visions Ensemble (MVE) was founded from a desire to explore the relationship between music and text, initially through the creation of “mirror visions” — settings of the same text to music by different composers. The group’s passion for storytelling has produced thematic concerts on surprising subjects, based on scholarly research and laced with humor, leading to the revitalization of art song programming. Featuring soprano, tenor, baritone and piano, often joined by other instrumentalists, MVE’s programs take audiences on an imaginative journey through song, showcasing both well-known and oft-neglected pieces, set to texts by poets and historical figures.
Now in its 28th season, Mirror Visions Ensemble has fostered the work of new composers through the commissioning of nearly 100 works by more than 30 composers. The ensemble has presented its programs, residencies, and masterclasses both in the U.S. and abroad at concert halls, schools, libraries, and museums such as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Music Center, Le Poisson Rouge, California State University at Fullerton, University of Southern California, New York University, Yale University, Welshpool Music Club (Wales), Pollok House Arts Society (Scotland), and France’s Musée Carnavalet, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and American University of Paris. MVE’s concerts are often free and open to the public, continuing the ensemble’s tradition of providing access to the arts.
Founder Tobé Malawista was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2008. MVE’s discography includes Américain à Paris (Albany 2003), Secrets (Albany 2004), Cosmic and Domestic Matters (Albany 2008), and The Three-Paneled Mirror (Centaur 2015).