THE CONSTITUTION, a secular oratorio

The Constitution, a Secular Oratorio
by Benjamin Yarmolinsky

Grace Chorale of Brooklyn
Jason Asbury, Music Director

Vertical Player Repertory
Judith Barnes, Artistic Director

Composer Ben Yarmolinsky has set the text of the U.S. Constitution to be sung, chanted, and celebrated, just as many ancient laws have been sung throughout history. VPR is thrilled to collaborate on this work once again, this time for the orchestral premiere.

Join the Grace Chorale of Brooklyn, in collaboration with Vertical Player Repertory soloists and members of the VPR Chorus, accompanied by orchestra, for the staged premiere of this work’s orchestral scoring. Immerse yourself in the words and meaning of our essential and precious social contract, illuminated by Yarmolinsky’s music and vibrant, glorious singing. 

“…one of the most unique and fascinating works in New York” Operawire
Liz Lang, soprano*
Michelle Trovato, soprano*
Linda Collazo, mezzo soprano*
Andrew Egbuchiem, countertenor*
Byron Singleton, tenor*
Blake Burroughs, bass baritone*
Isaac Mann, baritone
Gavin McDonough, baritone

Jason Asbury, conductor
Judith Barnes, director
James Rutherford, consulting director
Karni Dorell, set design
David Frutkoff, stage manager

Saturday, May 14th, 2022, 7:00 pm & Sunday, May 15th, 2022, 3:00 pm
St Ann & the Holy Trinity Church
157 Montague St, Brooklyn Heights, NY

“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

Given the lamentable drift towards fascism and oligarchy in our world today, the importance of engaging with the document that defines our rights and freedoms as citizens, aspiring citizens, and residents of this country can’t be overstated. Words set to music linger in the memory, and artistic engagement can transform us viscerally in ways that intellectual study sometimes does not. Experiencing these carefully crafted legal phrases set as song invites these concepts to enter us and work upon our understanding. I hope our collective experience of this piece, as performers and audience members, will spark our resolve to uphold the precious constitutional ideals of justice, freedom, human dignity, and participation in government, ideals which are in perpetual need of our conscious awareness and protection. Know your rights. They may not be what you think.
-Judith Barnes
image by Karni Dorell

*soloist at the 2019 VPR premiere