Flight by Mastervoices

Fall of Icarus by Mark Chagall. Public Domain
Fall of Icarus by Mark Chagall. Public Domain

This first installment, entitled Flight by MasterVoices, begins with a characterization of the nature of religious faith during these secular times, perhaps more poignant under the crushing effects of the international Covid-19 virus. 

In Flight, Music and Lyrics are by Adam Guettel with additional lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh. Orchestrations are by Don Sebesky and Jamie Lawrence. Ted Sperling is the Artistic Director and Conductor.

This amalgam of 19th-century protestant hymnody and Greek myths begins with a musical exploration of the legend of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun only to crash. Icarus’ struggles to escape his father’s dominance only to plunge to his demise is characterized by this venue with a rich musical mixture of Rhythm and Blues, gospel, and classical venues enriched by musical theater. A true multi-media experience reimagined for the virtual stage. Comments from YouTube listeners included “love love LOVE this”, Take 6 = Heaven, in the hands of the masters, I’ve been singing this all day, Love Take 6, chilz, bless, Best thing ever, Bravo all, I’m watching again!.

This fabulous multi-media was beautifully filmed with artists at their individual locations presenting the stories of Prometheus, Icarus,  a segment entitled Migratory V, Pegasus, and Jesus The Mighty Conqueror through song. Masterfully recorded and mixed soundtracks were best experienced using high-quality headphones. The songs were clever, original, chromatically complex, and effective in telling a story and moving the listening participant. The singers and musical accompaniment were outstanding… world-class musicians all.

Tonight’s performance opened with duo pianists Anderson & Roe, and performances included work by a cappella gospel music groupTake 6; soloists from the pop, opera, and theatrical landscapes, including Julia BullockRenée FlemingJoshua Henry,Capathia JenkinsMykal Kilgore,Norm LewisJose LlanaKelli O’Hara, and Elizabeth Stanley; with contributions by directors Greg Anderson, Sammi Cannold,Lear deBessonet,Khristian Dentley andTed Sperling; visual artists Yazmany ArboledaCloud Chatanda, Steven Kellogg,Lucy Mackinnon, and Danny Mefford; arrangersGreg AndersonandMark Kibble; lyricist Ellen Fitzhugh; and orchestrators Don Sebesky and Jamie Lawrence.

The three subsequent chapters, streaming on February 24, April 14, and May 26 will feature the MasterVoices chorus; soloists Daniel Breaker, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Joshua Henry, Cheyenne Jackson, and Nicholas Phan; actor John Lithgow; directors Trip Cullman, Doug Fitch, Anne Kauffman, and Ted Sperling; visual artist Manik Choksi; lyricist Ellen Fitzhugh; and orchestrators Don Sebesky and Jamie Lawrence, as well as additional artists to be announced at a later date.

I highly recommend tuning in to the upcoming three follow-up performances. Be sure to use your stereo system for full aural submersion.

You can also attend private screening events at 6 p.m. on the eve of each Public Premiere release date, hosted by Ted Sperling and the Master Voices Gala Committee. For information, click here, reserve seats here,  or go to mastervoices.org. Each event includes:

  • a live Q&A with the artists
  • an online auction
  • a virtual cocktail session with the artists.

The three subsequent chapters, streaming on February 24, April 14, and May 26, will feature the MasterVoices chorus; soloists Daniel Breaker, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Joshua Henry, Cheyenne Jackson, and Nicholas Phan; actor John Lithgow; directors Trip Cullman, Doug Fitch, Anne Kauffman, and Ted Sperling; visual artist Manik Choksi; lyricist Ellen Fitzhugh; and orchestrators Don Sebesky and Jamie Lawrence, as well as additional artists to be announced at a later date.

The runtime was about 25 minutes.

Readers may also enjoy reviews of Americano the MusicalBirthday CandlesThe Music Man, and Kafka Metamorphosis.


Icarus, performed by Mykal Kilgore and Norm Lewis

Flight by Mastervoices


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