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Melodia Women's Choir of NYC

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Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC Presents “Gloria: Lifting the Veil on Vivaldi’s Masterpiece”

The untold story of a composer, an orphanage, and the music of the women and girls of the Ospedale della Pietà conservatory in 18th century Venice. Conducted by Melodia Artistic Director Cynthia Powell; Directed by Christa Scott-Reed, script by Pam McAllister

New York, NY, March 22, 2019 --( Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC, led by Artistic Director Cynthia Powell and in collaboration with Director Christa Scott-Reed, brings to life the music and the untold story behind Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria this spring in "Gloria: Lifting the Veil on Vivaldi’s Masterpiece." Audiences will have the chance to hear the voices of three 18th-century Venetian characters inspired by the real women and girls of the Ospedale della Pietà music conservatory and hear Vivaldi’s work performed by an all-female choir and chamber ensemble as it was likely originally composed for the figlie di coro female musicians of the Ospedale della Pietà in 1715.

With more than a hundred commercial recordings of Gloria in existence, this favorite of choral audiences the world over may not be new to listeners, but the story behind it is much less known. Vivaldi, who taught and worked at the Ospedale della Pietà conservatory from 1703-15 and again 1723-40, composed it for its female choir and orchestras. The conservatorio’s musicians were comprised of some of the illegitimate, sickly and deformed babies cast off by society and taken in by the ospedale. These were children who might have otherwise met their fate drowned in one of the city’s famed canals.

“This is an astounding story that somehow I knew nothing about,” said Director Christa Scott-Reed. “And yet at the same time there was a big part of me that wasn’t surprised at all to hear hundreds of years later about the massive impact that a group of talented women had in elevating the careers of talented men, without experiencing the same glory and longevity themselves.”

“The ospedale not only cared for children, but educated and gave them musical instruction, turning them into some of the finest singers and instrumentalists in all of Europe,” said Conductor Cynthia Powell. “Taking a potentially tragic situation and turning it into a wondrous and creative endeavor is what appeals to me about this story. Transforming the lives of youngsters through music can go along way to changing this world.”

Gloria: Lifting the Veil on Vivaldi’s Masterpiece

Program: Gloria, Antonio Vivaldi, feat. Melodia and an all-female chamber ensemble, conducted by Cynthia Powell
Gloria: The Untold Story, script by Pam McAllister, directed by Christa Scott-Reed

Tickets: $25/ $20 adv / $15 senior & student

Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC, with 16 years of adventurous, fresh and wide-ranging repertoire that offers rarely heard, stylistically diverse works, has established a reputation as the premier women’s choir of NYC. Called “riveting” by The New York Times and hailed by composers such as Meredith Monk, Hilary Tann and Ronald Perera, Melodia collaborates with and supports women composers, musicians and performers. Melodia was founded by Executive Director Jenny Clarke and Artistic Director Cynthia Powell in 2003.

Cynthia Powell, Melodia Artistic Director, celebrates her 16th season with Melodia. A graduate of Westminster Choir College, she has served on the guest faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, led the St. George’s Choral Society in NYC, and was a guest conductor at the International Choral Festival in Havana, Cuba. She is also the Artistic Director of the Stonewall Chorale, and currently serves as Director of Music and Organist at West End Collegiate Church in NYC, and Organist/Choirmaster of Temple Sinai in Tenafly, New Jersey.

Christa Scott Reed, Director, is a NYC-based theatre artist whose directing and acting credits include Broadway, off-Broadway, national tour, regional theatre, television and film. Most recently, she directed the off-Broadway revival of Robert Bolt’s classic “A Man for All Seasons” and is currently directing works for the Irish Repertory Theatre’s Sean O’Casey staged reading series. She is the Literary Manager for Fellowship for Performing Arts, and teaches BFA drama students at the New School. She is represented by HCKR Agency and is a member of SDC, AEA, and SAG-AFTRA.
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Melodia Women's Choir of NYC
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