Notes & Reviews:
An opera without an orchestra? Composer Michael Ching's A Midsummer Night's Dream, uses a "voicestra," an ensemble of a cappella singers, instead of instruments in the pit. As Hedi Waleson of The Wall Street Journal commented, "Mr. Ching's remarkably inventive opera is a celebration of what voices can do and still, with the exception of a few startling vocal percussion effects, sound like voices. The voicestra... supports the singers on the stage, its overlapping lines and syllables weaving around them, amplifying their characters and conflicts, sometimes echoing their words (or even their thoughts), or supply atmosphere... " Commissioned by DeltaCappella, a contemporary a cappella group in Memphis, Michael Ching's A Midsummer Night's Dream has the passion and finesse of classical opera, the vernacular phrasing of musical theater, and the organic voicing of contemporary a cappella, which all combine to produce a unique and powerful fusion of traditions. This is a live recording of the original cast production made in January, 2011.
American Record Guide, January/February 2015
Michael Ching's opera on Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream is "a cappella": instead of an orchestra or instrumental ensemble of any kind, support for the soloists is supplied by an a cappella group - the kind of "a cappella group" that sings cheesy arrangements of current pop songs to half empty auditoriums on college campuses across the United States.. They are seriously impressive, and Ching has written very demanding music that brings out their collective virtuosity. If you like a cappella merriment, then you might enjoy Ching's music.
Recording information: Ardent Studios, Alpha Sound, Memphis, TN (02/2011-04/2011).
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Works DetailsChing, Michael : A Midsummer Night's Dream, opera a cappella
- Performers: Jennifer Cooper (Voice); Kent Fleshman (Voice); Jeremiah Johnson (Voice)
- Conductor: Curtis Tucker
- Ensemble: Riva
- Running Time: 1 min. 45 sec.
- Period Time: Contemporary
- Form: Opera/Operetta