The Virtual Constitution

The VPR Chorus and Soloists from the original cast are back at work under the direction of conductor Peter Szep and artistic director Judith Barnes, making videos of selected Articles and Amendments from Ben Yarmolinsky’s setting of the text of the United States Constitution, including those addressing Voting Rights, Treason, Cruel and Unusual Punishment and others. We’re also collaborating with the Grace Chorale under Jason Asbury to record the 5th and 6th Amendments with orchestra.

VPR Constitution performance shot Behind the Door, featuring Peter Szep, conductor, soloists Linda Collazo, Liz Lang, Michelle Trovato and Andrew Egbuchiem with the sopranos and altos of the chorus, singing in front of the doors open onto Court Street in Brooklyn. Photo Chris Walker
Virtual Performances of selected Articles and Amendments
of The Constitution, A Secular Oratorio by Benjamin Yarmolinsky,
will be released in October and November, bringing back the original soloists and the VPR Chorus from our 2019 world premiere.
  • Voting Rights*
  • The First Amendment (Treason)
  • The Fifth Amendment (Self-Incrimination)**
  • The Sixth Amendment (Impartial Jury)**
  • The Eighth Amendment (Cruel and Unusual Punishment)
  • The Thirteenth Amendment (Abolition of Slavery)
Featured soloists under the musical direction of Peter Szep:
Adrienne Danrich, Liz Lang, and Michelle Trovato, sopranos
Linda Collazo, mezzo soprano
Andrew Egbuchiem, contertenor
Byron Singleton, tenor
Roland Burks, Blake Burroughs, bass-baritones
Felix Jarrar, piano

All our videos are being made following safe social distancing practices, and we are recording from our respective homes. The videos will be available to watch on YouTube, Facebook, and on our website.

In November, we collaborate with The Grace Chorale of Brooklyn for a recording of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, with orchestra–the first hearing of the orchestral colors and textures as the composer imagined them.

“During these complex political times, it is especially unique to see a work that puts the Constitution front and center. This is an opportunity for audiences to familiarize themselves with a document that represents the soul of the U.S.” Operawire


*A Vertical Player Repertory commission
**In collaboration with the Grace Chorale of Brooklyn