I’m thrilled to be working with The Crossing again, and on such an imaginitive and momentous project. The commitment of so many to Donald Nally and this outstanding group of musicians has always been inspiring, but now, to see Eric Owens joining The Crossing family in this way, to support our music-making together in this new piece, is both humbling and exhilarating.
Here’s the news release from The Crossing:
International opera star Eric Owens has made a great gift to The Crossing: a $10,000 commissioning grant by which we have invited Kile Smith to write a new and substantial work. Kile’s piece will serve as a companion to David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion and will be of equal length and similar orchestration. The texts of the libretto revolve around the moving transcript of the decade-defining Christmas Eve 1968 broadcast of Apollo 8 orbiting the moon, with the astronauts reading Genesis to the largest viewing audience to date.
“I have been a huge fan of The Crossing, since its inception. Whenever I’m able to attend a concert, it’s unfailingly an awe-inspiring experience. It gives me great pleasure to be able to assist one of Philadelphia’s cultural treasures in their mission to bring new music into the world.”—Eric Owens
Conductor Donald Nally said,
“We are so grateful to Board Member Beth van de Water for bringing together our friend Eric and this project with Kile. The Little Match Girl Passion has become a signature piece for The Crossing, yet I am always frustrated that we cannot find ‘just the right’ piece to complete that concert program; so, with Eric’s support and Kile’s great talent and feel for The Crossing’s sound, we’re making our own. It is a gift in so many ways, and we’re very grateful to Eric.”
Eric is a busy man: he was just appointed as Lyric Opera of Chicago’s first Lyric Unlimited Community Ambassador, as well as chairman of the artistic advisory board at the Glimmerglass Festival in New York. This is, of course, in addition to his consistently acclaimed singing in opera and oratorio as wide-ranging as Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera and Bach’s St. John Passion in Berlin.