Mark Walters (baritone), Faith Sherman (mezzo-soprano), Matthew Tuell (tenor), Kevin Moreno (baritone), Aundi Marie Moore (soprano), Virginia Arts Festival Orchestra, Rob Fisher (conductor), Margaret Lattimore (mezzo-soprano), Ricky Ian Gordon (piano)
Inspired by diaries, letters, and personal accounts from the 1860s, Rappahannock County is a music-theatre work which movingly and dramatically commemorates the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. The location of the Rappahannock River as a border between North and South is a metaphor for the region's many conflicts. Performed by a cast of five singers who play over 30 roles, the piece brings this dramatic historical period to life in songs which express the devastating impact of the Civil War on all of the people who endured it. Ricky Ian Gordon's music has been described as 'caviar for a world gorging on pizza' (The New York Times), and Rappahannock County has been commended for its 'effusiveness and accessibility' (The Washington Post). Gordon is yet to become a household name outside the USA, but with its remarkably strong cast Rappahannock County is a richly expressive and fresh new work, having a global and contemporary appeal its universal messages of human suffering and survival amidst conflict and crisis. Rappahannock County was summed up by The Washington Post as the 'continuation of a tradition of American works poised on the cusp of opera and Broadway (think Gershwin, Weill or Sondheim).' It follows a series of remarkable operatic successes for Ricky Ian Gordon, including the award winning Orpheus and Euridice, and The
Grapes of Wrath, described as 'the Great American Opera' by Musical America. Late Afternoon is a cycle of six songs for mezzo-soprano and piano which was presented by Ned Rorem in 2000 at The 92nd Street Y, which commissioned it, and later presented at The Ravinia Festival.
Gordon Rappahannock County, Late Afternoon
Running Time: 1 hr 53 min