Lee: Aesthetic, Emotional & Spiritual

James Lee Jetro and Offinia Vocalis

Conductor Jetro de Oliveira and Officina Vocalis

On September 22 and 24, conductor Jetro de Oliveira presents the world premiere of James Lee III’s new oratorio A Revelação Através do Santuário (The Revelation through the Sanctuary) in Americana (Sao Paulo State), Brazil.

Lee Sukkot scoreThe Revelation through the Sanctuary is a five-movement, large-scale work for chorus and orchestra featuring Lee’s text- settings from the Book of Revelation as well as the composer’s own prose based on those texts. Oliveira conducts the choral ensembles UNASP Music Education Chorale and Officina Vocalis, along with the Municipal Symphonic Orchestra of Americana. Both concerts will also showcase the South American premiere of Lee’s orchestral work Sukkot Through Orion´s Nebula, which was commissioned by the Sphinx Organization and premiered in 2011 by the New World Symphony, led by Michael Tilson Thomas.

James Lee Officina“I met James only once,” Oliveira shares, “and it was many, many years ago… At that time, I was finishing my master’s degree in conducting at Andrews University (MI), and James was starting college. One of our professors introduced us, and said that perhaps we might do something together in the future. Well, the time has come! As a musician, I’m interested in the aesthetic, emotional, and spiritual qualities of music; [and both of James’] works are full of these qualities! For his oratorio, James chose a very complex text, full of metaphors and fantastic visions, and his setting brings [the metaphors and visions] alive through the music.”

“I decided to compose ‘A Revelação Através do Santuário’ (The Revelation Through the Sanctuary) using texts from the Biblical book of Revelation and some of my own words which were inspired by that book. Revelation is constructed with the theme of the sanctuary (or tabernacle) of the Old Testament [and] I wanted to provide musical commentary on some of [its] themes. Humanity is full of hope for equality and for everyone to have a good quality of life. The Revelation Through the Sanctuary is a musical work that uses voices of humanity and orchestral instruments to tell an experience that will follow through to a path of peace.”    — James Lee III


More September news: On September 20-22, Lee’s new commissioned-arrangement Fantasy on the Star Spangled Banner receives its world premiere at the Baltimore Symphony.