Voices of Light /
The Passion of Joan of Arc

An oratorio with silent film

 

Thursday June 9 at 8:30pm

Princeton University Chapel
Princeton, NJ 08544

Tickets: $50 Preferred | $35 General | $15 students

General admission seating by section
Approximate End Time: 10pm

Student tickets may only be purchased by contacting the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office by phone at 609.258.2787 or in person.

Jessica Beebe, soprano
Eve Gigliotti, mezzo
Casey Finnigan, tenor
Christopher Job, bass

Notre Dame Vocale
The Princeton Festival Chorus

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra

Carmen-Helena Téllez, Conductor

Free Pre-Performance Talk

Join us on Thursday June 9 at 5pm at The Garden Theatre for a free Conversation on Voices of Light / The Passion of Joan of Arc with composer Richard Einhorn, Andrew Lovett of Princeton University and Daniel Hobbins of The University of Notre Dame.


The Princeton Festival, in partnership with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the Princeton Garden Theatre, presents the legendary silent film masterpiece The Passion of Joan of Arc, widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, with a live performance of a ravishing score by award-winning composer Richard Einhorn.

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s film – a haunting and powerful depiction of the trial of Joan of Arc – is enhanced with a live performance of Einhorn’s superb score for orchestra, chorus and soloists for a deeply moving and unforgettable experience. The visual intensity of the performances – actress Renée Falconetti’s role as Joan is by itself extraordinary – is brilliantly supported by Einhorn’s skillful use of vocal parts inspired by Medieval song and instrumental writing based on layered minimalist note-patterns

The soaring Gothic spaces of the Princeton University Chapel, one of the great religious edifices in the United States, is an inspirational venue for this stunning multi-media experience.


The Story Behind the Music

Voices of Light - Sony Classical CD cover

Sony Classical CD

Richard Einhorn’s unique music has been described as “hauntingly beautiful,” “sensational,” and “overwhelming in its emotional power.” In particular, his Voices of Light oratorio combined with Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 classic silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc has been hailed in reviews as “a great masterpiece of contemporary music” and “a work of meticulous genius.” The libretto of Voices of Light is drawn from a variety of ancient texts, and its music is influenced by plainchant and Medieval troubadors. The Sony Classical CD recording featuring Anonymous 4 as the voice of Joan of Arc was a Billboard classical bestseller upon its release.

“A rapturous, overwhelming performance … inspired” – L.A. Times

» Listen to excerpts from “Exclamavit” and “Torture” (Sony Classical)


The Story Behind The Film

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc has achieved a reputation as one of the greatest films of all time, regularly making the top ten list of major film critics around the world. The story behind the movie is itself a dramatic one. The director created the film during the 1920’s, the same decade in which Saint Joan was canonized, focusing on Joan’s trial and execution, and using transcripts from the original 15th century trial. Shortly after the film’s successful premiere, a fire destroyed what was then thought to be all existing prints. When Dreyer created a new print from outtakes, it too was lost to fire, and Dreyer abandoned the project. In 1981, a mental institution in Oslo found a pristine print of the original film within its walls — apparently, it had been shown to inmates decades earlier and never returned. Since then, the film, though rarely shown, has garnered a reputation as one of the great films of all time. Einhorn viewed the film in 1988 at the Museum of Modern Art’s Film Archive and was so deeply moved that he was inspired to begin work immediately on a musical score, which became Voices of Light.


The Story Behind the Performers

Jessica Beebe, soprano – “sealed the deal with her honey-colored tone” – Opera News

Eve Gigliotti, mezzo – “spirited, handsome- toned Mercédès” in Met’s Carmen – Opera News
FinniginCaseyCasey Finnigan, tenor – “a sit-up-and-take-notice tenor voice” – Dallas Morning News

Christopher Job Christopher Job, bass – “commanding sonority,” “raucously virile” – Opera News

 

Notre Dame Vocale (Jessica Bush, Katie Surine, Halle McGuire Hobbins and Erin Donegan) – An advanced vocal ensemble intended as the performing arm of research and creative projects in sacred music composition and sacred music drama at the University of Notre Dame, the Notre Dame Vocale will represent Joan of Arc’s holy voices.
Notre Dame Vocale

Princeton Festival Chorus – The Princeton Festival has selected 24 voices from its highly praised professional chorus for this special performance. Our choral ensembles can also be heard in the Choral Concert with Baroque Orchestra on June 25 and in this year’s opera production, Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, on June 18, 23 and 26.

 

Princeton Symphony OrchestraPrinceton Symphony Orchestra logo – Equally fluent in the languages of orchestral, pops and chamber music, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra is widely recognized as one of the region’s finest music organizations. The orchestra’s 35th anniversary season, themed “Celebrating the Creativity of Women,” has featured female guest artists such as Dawn Upshaw and works by four living female composers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw and Princeton’s own Sarah Kirkland Snider. This collaboration with the Princeton Festival brings its 2015-2016 season to a fitting conclusion.
Princeton Symphony Orchestra


Carmen-Helena Téllez, conductor – Venezuelan-American conductor, scholar and interdisciplinary artist Carmen-Helena Téllez has been called “a quiet force behind contemporary music in the United States today” by the New York-based journal Sequenza21. A multifaceted artist, she takes a co-creative approach to new music performance, devoting special attention to vocal-instrumental and staged genres, involving interdisciplinary media and musical scholarship, in an approach that The Washington Post has called “immersing and thrilling.”
Carmen Helena Tellez


THE STORY BEHIND THE SCREENING

Princeton Garden TheatreThe Princeton Garden Theatre is a member-supported nonprofit movie theater in the heart of downtown Princeton. With a focus on arthouse and independent titles, the theater is also a home for family films, local filmmakers, classic Hollywood cinema, and community events. Dedicated to the celebration of the community film-going experience, the Garden Theatre is pleased to provide projection equipment and screen for this event in the Princeton University Chapel.