The Four Freedoms Project I: Freedom of Expression

December 15, 2018 - 8:00 pm


GNE continues its residency at Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ with the first of a series of programs called The Four Freedoms Project, based on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Four Essential Freedoms,” articulated during his State of the Union address in 1941 in support of our allies in Europe ahead of World War II.

Freedom of Expression focuses on two large works. Joshua Armenta’s Sonetos del amor oscuro, for tenor and ensemble, speak to the need to be true to oneself, even in the face of persecution. In this world premiere work, Armenta sets texts by Federico García Lorca, who, because of the mores of his day, was not only forced to live life as a closeted homosexual but eventually lost his life to a government that sought to violently suppress such voices. Armenta’s setting is a brave and honest reaction to facing those same choices in a culture that is changing, but within which acceptance is less than total.

The second work of the evening, Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together/Attica, is a classic of political expression through music. A setting of letters from Sam Melville, who was a prisoner at Attica prison in upstate New York, Coming Together/Attica is a testament to the failures of a state to keep control of its population by force. Melville was killed on September 13, 1971, when New York state police stormed Attica prison at the orders of governor Nelson Rockefeller. This work was arranged by GNE Artistic Director Armando Bayolo.

This concert will feature Blair Skinner, conductor, Josh Diaz, tenor, and Andrew Sauvageau as narrator for the Rzewski.

Tickets are available through OvationTix : $30 General Admission presale, $24 WCUCC Members /Students/Seniors & Military at the door.