Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Sarasota Opera House will be alive with the sounds of the world renowned American Spiritual Ensemble.

The American Spiritual Ensemble will perform two concerts on Sunday, December 5 at 1:30pm and 6pm.

The Spiritual as a musical form has a distinct place in this country’s history. “The spirituals are the folk songs of the American negro slaves. And from the spirituals, many sorts of music and art forms grew,” says Dr. McCorvey( who holds an endowed professorship in voice and is director of opera at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY). Spirituals were often crafted with hidden or secret meanings, which only the Christian slaves understood. The word “home” can mean heaven, but covertly means a free country, a haven for slaves. The Negro Spirituals “The Gospel Train” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” actually refer to the Underground Railroad, which aided many slaves in finding freedom.

Founded in 1995, the American Spiritual Ensemble’s mission is to keep the American Negro Spiritual alive. The Spiritual Ensemble also has recorded four CDs and is featured in the 2007 PBS documentary “The Spirituals.” Members of the ensemble have sung in theaters and opera houses around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and abroad in Italy, Germany, Britain, Scotland, Spain and Japan.

Don’t miss this exciting event! Tickets, priced at $15 for the matinĂ©e, and $25-$75 for the evening performance, are on sale now at the Box Office, by phone at (941) 328-1300, or online at http://www.sarasotaopera.org/.