Live Arts Maryland presents The Annapolis Chorale, under the direction of J. Ernest Green, in two performances of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers” on Friday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 12, at 8 p.m. at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis. Written as service music for the Russian Orthodox Church, Rachmaninoff’s “Vespers” transcends its intended use with its deep and powerful harmonies that reach any listener’s soul. Because “Vespers” features voices with no accompaniment, it requires a venue with very special acoustics. Historic St. Anne’s is the perfect setting, offering some of the finest in the area. Joining the Chorale for these performances are soloists Madeleine Grey, mezzo, and David Merrill, tenor.
This immense work, which debuted in 1915, just two years before the Russian Revolution, is considered Rachmaninoff’s finest. It is a musical journey, from the opening call to worship through the proclamation of Christ’s Resurrection and includes several styles of traditional Russian chant. Mr. Green will talk about “Vespers” during both performances with his signature combination of enthusiasm and an amazing ability to get to the heart of the music in a way everyone understands. To give the audience a unique sound experience, he will distribute the Chorale singers around the nave, putting the audience at the center of the music. In addition, a translation of the words and images that reflect the music and its origins will be provided on two screens in front of the church.
Tickets for Friday and Saturday are on sale now and are $40 for adults, $12 for students. There is a $5 per-ticket service charge for individual tickets. They are available online at www.liveartsmaryland.org and through the Maryland Hall Box Office at 410-280-5640 or www.marylandhall.org. Live Arts Maryland offers free tickets for both performances to students through its Student Rush program.
The Annapolis Chorale is presented by Live Arts Maryland, one of the region’s largest and most active non-profit arts organizations dedicated to enhancing community life by performing and presenting high-quality music and providing music education for all ages. Live Arts Maryland is also home to the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Chorus, Cantori and St. Anne’s Concert Series. The Annapolis Chorale is a resident company of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and is supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis.