Sing Out

Artsy group's new season makes choral music hip — and adds beer for good measure

Artsy group makes choral music hip — and adds beer for good measure

Verdigris Ensemble
Verdigris Ensemble uses original staging and multi-sensory collaboration in its choral concerts. Photo courtesy of Verdigris Ensemble

The choral group Verdigris Ensemble has announced its 2019-20 season, titled "The World Within Me Is Too Small." It includes three world premieres, one Texas premiere, and plenty of local collaborations.

Founded in 2017 with the mission to make choral music accessible and even fun, Verdigris is also launching a new community initiative called Drink & Sing, which will gather in several local Dallas breweries and teach participants how to sing drinking songs from around the world.

In collaboration with Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, visual artist Ofelia Faz-Garza, and choreographer Alexandra Hernandez, the first offering is Dia De Los Muertos October 31-November 2, 2019, at Arts Mission Oak Cliff. From mystical legends to celebratory rituals, Verdigris Ensemble will open a portal into the spirit world to celebrate with our ancestors through ​Latin American choral music, dance, and visual art​. Verdigris founder Sam Brukhman directs.

'Twas The Night Before Christmas is next, being performed December 6-8, 2019, at Royal Lane Baptist Church. Poems, hymns, narrated story, and even a sing-along form the basis for this world premiere by Kirsten Broberg and Blake Henson, with accompaniment by Chris Brunt and direction by Brukhman.

With music by Anthony J. Maglione and libretto by Ron Witzke and Brukhman, Dust Bowl is a world premiere piece that mixes bluegrass music, video projection (by Ariana Zhang), and choreographed movement to tell the stories of this 1930s man-made environmental disaster while asking the question: how did this happen, and have we learned from our mistakes? It runs February 27-March 1, 2020, at St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church.

A new piece for next year's Soluna Festival will be directed by Joshua Peugh, of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, and done in collaboration with Voices of Change and UTD ATEC LightSquad members Omar Davila and Pablo Reyes. The untitled piece will run at Hamon Hall April 19-21, 2020, and will be an immersive, intimate, and thought-provoking contemporary performance. It will be Verdigris' most ambitious collaborative production since its inception, and a full announcement with more details coming on January 15.

As for the Drink & Sing series, here are times and places:

  • Oktoberfest:​ October 18, 2019, 7 pm at White Rock Alehouse
  • Christmas Cheer: ​December 1, 2019, 7 pm at Peticolas Brewing Company
  • Valentine's Day: ​February 7, 2020, 7 pm at Steam Theory Brewing Company

Verdigris Ensemble season VIP subscription passes are $70 for general admission, $56 for seniors (50-plus), and $28 for students and Teachers (ID required). In addition to receiving a 30 percent discount on the season, subscribers receive ​one rare behind-the-scenes rehearsal and lunch with Verdigris Ensemble, one invitation to the exclusive Verdigris Ensemble season launch party on September 19, and one complimentary ticket and VIP seating to Drink & Sing events.

Single ticket prices range from $10-$25 for all regular season productions. Single tickets for ​the Soluna Festival show ​are $35. Drink & Sing admission is $7 online and $10 at the door.