On August 29, Washington Performing Arts and the United States Air Force Band co-present a YouTube Live event exploring the history of flight and exploration, alongside Christopher Tin’s new oratorio To Shiver the Sky, based on the life of Amelia Earhart, and recently released on Decca Gold.
On Saturday, August 29th, 2020, at 7pm ET, Washington Performing Arts and the United States Air Force Band co-present an online event (YouTube Live) online event exploring the call of the heavens, the history of flight, exploration, courage, and the birth of an oratorio: To Shiver the Sky.
The event will feature the world premiere of “Courage,” a setting of a poem by Amelia Earhart sung by “one of the most sought-after singers on the planet” (BBC Radio 3), Danielle de Niese; contributions from leading figures in the world of aviation and exploration; plus a live interview and Q&A with Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin.
Danielle de Niese, soprano
Christopher Tin, conductor
The United States Air Force Band
Colonel Don Schofield, Commander and Conductor
Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Launch Director, John F. Kennedy Space Center
Dr. Michelle Thaller, Astrophysicist and Astronomer – NASA
Jenny Bilfield, President & CEO, Washington Performing Arts
Originally scheduled as a live, world premiere concert in Washington, D.C. in May 2020, the event has been re-imagined in a new online format of performance, interviews and live Q&A. No payment or advance registration is required for the event on Saturday, August 29 at 7pm ET. Viewers can bookmark & watch it here. (Sat 29th - 4pm PT, 6pm CT, 7pm ET.)
To Shiver the Sky is an oratorio about humankind’s quest to conquer the heavens and the history of flight. Told through the words of 11 of our greatest astronomers, inventors, visionaries and pilots, the work offers the chance to hear from Christopher Tin (in words, music and film) his inspiration for setting to music our relentless need to explore the universe, defy our earthly bonds and ultimately claim our place among the stars.
Tin joins forces with soprano Danielle de Niese and the United States Air Force Band in a world-premiere performance of “Courage”—a filmed movement from To Shiver the Sky created especially for this event—setting to music the words of Amelia Earhart, American aviation pioneer, author, and equal-rights advocate.
The program also includes contributions from two major figures in aviation and exploration: Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Launch Director (NASA) at John F. Kennedy Space Center; and Dr Michelle Thaller, Astrophysicist and Astronomer (NASA), Goddard Space Flight Center.
The event continues with a live interview between Tin and Washington Performing Arts President & CEO Jenny Bilfield, reflecting on the themes of To Shiver the Sky and the reimagining of this event from a traditional concert to a novel online experience, and concludes with a live Q&A.
Christopher Tin states: “I’d like this music, and the album, to be a reminder of an era when humanity could pull together to achieve the incredible. We believed in our own greatness. We believed in our ability to solve the scourge of World Wars, to cure diseases, and to break the bonds of Earth. We were once great, and we can be great again.
“It's awful that live music isn't possible at the moment but, true to our nature, we find ways to overcome obstacles. And we hope that the internet can democratize the viewing experience for all to share.”
ALBUM RELEASE ON DECCA GOLD (Universal Music Group):
To Shiver the Sky (released August 21 on Decca Gold) is an epic oratorio about the power of the human spirit composed by two-time Grammy Award-winner Christopher Tin. Told through the words of eleven of our greatest visionaries, To Shiver the Sky charts our relentless need to explore the universe and ultimately claim our place among the stars. It is sung in English, Latin, Italian, German, French, Polish, Russian, and Sanskrit, and is scored for tenor, soprano, early music trio, children’s chorus, adult chorus and orchestra. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the Royal Philharmonic, Royal Opera Chorus, Danielle de Niese, and Pene Pati, To Shiver the Sky is a tale of curiosity, courage, ingenuity, passion, and shared human accomplishment that spans centuries and continents. It is the history of our ascent to magnificence, and in the words of John F. Kennedy, the greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.
Christopher Tin is a two-time GRAMMY-winning composer of concert music, film, and game scores. With his music exceeding 100 million views on YouTube, he is one of the most listened-to and performed hybrid artists straddling the contemporary classical and media worlds. From concert works for Carnegie Hall to a big-band track for the blockbuster film Crazy Rich Asians and the game franchise, Civilization, Tin’s music has global appreciation. He is published by Boosey and Hawkes and signed to Universal Music. For more information visit www.christophertin.com
Danielle de Niese has been hailed as “opera’s coolest soprano” by New York Times Magazine and “not just a superb performer, but a phenomenal one” by Opera News. A multi-faceted artist, de Niese has gained wide recognition for her superb stagecraft, assured singing and her ability to communicate on every level. She regularly appears on the world’s most prestigious opera and concert stages and is a prolific recording artist, TV personality and philanthropist.
The United States Air Force Band is the Air Force’s premier musical organization (Colonel Don Schofield, Commander and Conductor). The excellence demonstrated by the Band’s Airmen musicians is a reflection of the excellence carried out 24 hours a day by Airmen stationed around the globe. Each member is proud to represent all Airmen, whose selfless service and sacrifices ensure the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America. Since its formation in 1941, this world-class organization has inspired billions of listeners through its exhilarating music, engaging concerts and masterful recordings and continues to positively impact the global community. For more information visit www.music.af.mil.
One of the most established and honored performing arts institutions in America, Washington Performing Arts has more than a half-century history of serving artists, audiences, students and civic life. The city serves as the organization’s stage with venues ranging from concert halls and clubs to public parks. Washington Performing Arts represents a tremendous range of artists and art forms, from the most distinguished symphony orchestras to include both renowned and emerging artists in classical music, jazz, gospel music, international genres, and dance. Achievements include having been recognized with a National Medal of Arts and two Mayor’s Arts Awards from the D.C. Government. For more information, visit www.washingtonperformingarts.org.
TO SHIVER THE SKY by Christopher Tin
Movements of the oratorio:
SOGNO DI VOLARE (“THE DREAM OF FLIGHT”)
Lyrics from Leonardo da Vinci’s writings on flight (sung in Italian)
THE HEAVENLY KINGDOM
Lyrics from Hildegard von Bingen: “Scivias” (sung in Latin)
DAEDALUS AND ICARUS
Lyrics from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” (sung in Latin)
Lyrics from Dante Alighieri’s “Divine Comedy” (sung in Italian)
Lyrics from Nicolaus Copernicus’ “De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium” (sung in Polish)
TO THE STARS
Lyrics from Jules Verne’s “De la Terre a` la Lune” (sung in French)
OH, THE HUMANITY
Lyrics from speeches by Ferdinand von Zeppelin (sung in German)
A setting of Amelia Earhart’s poem ‘Courage’ (sung in English)
Lyrics from the Bhagavad Gita, as quoted by J. Robert Oppenheimer (sung in Sanskrit)
THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT
Lyrics from quotes by Yuri Gagarin (sung in Russian)
WE CHOOSE TO GO TO THE MOON
Lyrics from John F. Kennedy’s Address at Rice University on the Nation’s Space Effort
To Shiver the Sky: An Inside Look
August 29th, 2020 on YouTube Live
Sat 29th 4pm PT / 6pm CT / 7pm ET // Sun 30th 12am BST / 1am CEST / 7am HKT / 8am KST / 9am AEST
The event on August 29 is co-presented by Washington Performing Arts and the United States Air Force Band.
Washington Performing Arts’s participation in this program is made possible through the generous support of Lyn and Barry Chasen, the Dallas Morse Coors Foundation for the Performing Arts, Encompass Supply/Rudy Burwell and Mona Mohib, Washington Gas, and Daimler.
> Further information on Work: To Shiver the Sky
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