Dallas choral group Verdigris Ensemble promises multi-sensory new season
A mere month after announcing the hiring of its new executive director, acclaimed choral group Verdigris Ensemble is lifting the curtain on its seventh season.
It centers on the theme of “Regrowth,” with each multi-sensory performance telling a Texas-based story focused on both challenges and opportunities for environmental justice and community renewal.
To actually walk the walk, every ticket purchased this season will support Texas Trees Foundation’s planting efforts in the state to deliver on the promise of regrowth.
The season opens with The Endangered, a synergistic collaboration between Verdigris Ensemble and Dallas Contemporary Museum of Art.
This vocal and orchestral experience combines with movement and projections to look honestly and compassionately at natural preservation. The work is firmly planted in Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Mass for The Endangered, with a libretto by poet/writer Nathaniel Bellows.
Text from five Dallas poets is set to music by five regional composers. It runs October 27-29, 2023, at Dallas Contemporary.
The second performance series, Beautification, continues at the Dallas Contemporary December 1-3, 2023, and celebrates a unique collaboration inspired by site-specific work with visual artist Bianca Bondi.
Commissioning 8-10 composers, this work weaves together a narrative of Ladybird Johnson’s Highway Beautification Act and the native flowers of Texas. The Act was passed in 1965 and created restrictions on highway billboards that detracted from the natural beauty of Texas landscapes, and seeds of native flowers were distributed to bring native beauty to road travelers.
Projections of individual flowers envelop audience members in an experience much like driving a car on a highway. Iconic audio pieces of Ladybird’s speeches make the program a cohesive experience.
Dust Bowl, the season’s third performance, combines a unique medley of bluegrass band, video projection, and choreographed movement. The work shares stories from the period of the Dust Bowl through previously unexplored mediums and confronts questions of what caused this ecological disaster and what was learned from it.
This fan favorite debuted in 2020 and returns to Dallas in 2024 with an original libretto and added musical material.
The Dust Bowl began in 1931 and lasted for almost a decade, displacing entire populations in the Southern Plains region of the United States. Setting texts from newspaper articles, diaries, and oral accounts of survivors, the work pieces together a period of human struggle, hopefulness, and perseverance in the face of constant catastrophe. It runs February 23-25, 2024, at the Wyly Theatre' Potter Rose Performance Hall.
The season finale, Mis-Lead, is composed by Kirsten Soriano and premieres featuring 16 vocalists and basic percussion instruments found in factories that resonate throughout the production.
In 1934, a lead smelter was opened in West Dallas, resulting in toxic byproducts being dumped into nearby landfills and around people's homes. For over four decades, residents suffered consistent symptoms resulting in chronic diseases and death due to higher-than-normal levels of lead in their bodies.
This artistic piece brings attention to these communities, documenting the facts to prevent similar events in our future, while fostering human connection from all sides of the cultural spectrum. It runs April 5-7, 2024, at the Kalita Humphreys Theater.
Founded in 2017, Verdigris Ensemble is a Dallas-based professional choir dedicated to bringing choral music to the modern audience through creative concert programming, unconventional use of space, and collaboration.
Focusing on story-driven musical narratives, Verdigris Ensemble commissions new works, collaborates with interdisciplinary artists, inspires new audiences, and invests in the next generation of musicians.
Tickets may be purchased at www.verdigrismusic.org. Discount pricing is available for students.