“Light Shall Lift Us” has a simplistic yet profoundly, fulfilling beauty in text and music alike.” And so, Gabriel Preisser — Executive & Artistic Director of Opera Orlando — introduces Paul Moravec’s newest choral work which premieres on September 11 at the Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Light Shall Lift Us is a four-minute work scored for soloists, chorus and orchestra, and features texts by award-winning librettist and Moravec-collaborator, Mark Campbell. The work was written in response to the June 12, 2016 Pulse Night Club Tragedy, and both composer and librettist have dedicated the “work to the victims and survivors, as well as to their friends and families.” The premiere is a highlight in Opera Orlando’s special season-opening event “One Voice Orlando: A Celebration in Song,” a collaborative evening that will benefit the vital infrastructure that supports diversity and understanding in the local community.
Preisser continues. “I fell in love with Mark’s gift for language and prosody while working on the 2011 world premiere of Silent Night at the Minnesota Opera; and we’ve been friends ever since. I first came across Paul’s music [last season,] with a vocal piece called Music Awake written for the Bach Festival of Winter Park – just outside of Orlando. I was absolutely floored by the unadulterated tonal beauty of it. I knew that Mark and Paul had worked together recently on The Shining at the Minnesota Opera and knew they both felt passionately about responding in some way to the Pulse tragedy here in Orlando. So, as Opera Orlando took on the task of coordinating ‘One Voice Orlando,’ it was a no-brainer to get Paul and Mark involved very early on and we are so very fortunate to have them. Light Shall Lift Us captures the spirit of this concert and cause perfectly: a community striving to move forward together from a very dark and harrowing place to a hopeful, brighter future.”
Upcoming: Moravec’s next world premiere takes place on October 28 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, when George Manahan leads the American Composers Orchestra in the first performance of The Overlook Hotel Suite.