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Introducing Our 2022-2023 Season – Reflections by Artistic Director Tom Morgan

What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity…
– Henri Matisse (“Notes of a Painter,” 1908)
photo credit: Jack Paulus

Welcome to the Ars Nova Singers 2022-23 Season! We’ve assembled an extraordinary series of programs to celebrate our 37th year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about balance. This week we recognize the Autumnal Equinox, the day on which day and night are balanced in the northern hemisphere (“equinox” – the term is derived from the Latin words for “equal night”). Dark and light, motion and stasis, intimate and universal, deeply familiar and refreshingly new – our season searches for the balance point in all of these, through the power and majesty of the human voice.

To assist us, this year we’re bringing in some world-class vocal experts. Gramophone Magazine wrote, “The singing of VOCES8 is impeccable in its quality of tone and balance. They bring a new dimension to the word ‘ensemble’ with meticulous timing and tuning.” We’re ecstatic to bring this renowned ensemble to Colorado, and they will be joining our season for two performances in March, at Macky Auditorium in Boulder and St. John’s Cathedral in Denver.

Our season begins with some of the most expressive music for voices ever conceived. In November we will present WONDER, featuring the colorfully imaginative music of Carlo Gesualdo, the late Renaissance Italian eccentric. We still marvel at the ways Gesualdo stretched the musical language of his day with chromaticism and word painting. An ensemble of ten singers will present selections from Gesualdo’s late madrigals, composed between 1590 and 1610. The program will feature guest instrumentalists Sandra Wong (violin and nykelharpa) and Ann Marie Morgan (viola da gamba).

In December our concerts celebrate the imminent victory of light over darkness in the holiday season. SOLSTICE features Ars Nova’s unique balance of eclectic holiday music, ranging from early music by Dering, Parsons, and Victoria to contemporary works from composers as diverse as Laura Mvula, Arvo Pärt, and Bob Chilcott.

Join us in February for a program entitled STARDUST, as we—mere stardust-made mortals—meditate on our capacity to exert power and change the universe that we inhabit. The program features the world premiere of a new work by Joel Thompson, based on words from Ashton Crawley’s The Lonely Letters that explores individual agency and transformative joy. Arvo Pärt’s cosmic Berlin Mass drifts over the atmosphere with an expanded chorus and string orchestra.

photo credit: Jack Paulus

Vibrations, reverberations: we’ll close our season with a program entitled REFLECTIONS. Featuring contemporary works and arrangements, this program explores one of Ars Nova’s strengths: creating rich, multi-voice choral textures. The music includes resonant works for many voices by Gustav Mahler, Caroline Shaw, Thomas Jennefelt, and more, and will be performed on a Southwest regional tour including the Boulder/Denver metro area, soaring cathedrals in Pueblo and Albuquerque, the dramatic New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, and The Tank, an astounding center for sonic arts in Rangely, Colorado.

Finally, we’re recording music for an unusual, geo-located, interactive piece entitled ASCENT: A BOULDER SOUNDWALK, by composer Divya Maus. This will be installed in and around Scott Carpenter Park in Boulder from May through August, 2023, and will be accessed through an app on people’s phones. Yes, we’re truly trying to reach people where they live! More information about this special project will be coming soon.

We hope you’ll join us for this exciting season.

~ Tom Morgan, Artistic Director

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
– Albert Einstein