Dallas — In this episode of Gregorian Rants, I talk to Sam Brukhman, the artistic director of the most innovative group in the DFW choral scene, Verdigris Ensemble. We talk about the full-length work Dust Bowl, which Verdigris commissioned of composer Anthony Maglione and librettist Ron Witzke. Witzke traveled the Great Plains compiling primary source documents, interviews with survivors, news reports, and original poetry into a world premiere libretto set to music by Maglione. Brukhman met Maglione while both were involved with choral studies at Westminster Choir College, and Brukhman knew that Maglione’s compositional ingenuity would bring this project to life. The work looks at life in the Great Plains in the 1930s.
Dust Bowl is presented by AT&T Performing Art Center’s Elevator Project, a series that provides performance space and production assistance to leading Dallas artists and ensembles. The work features Verdigris Ensemble’s sixteen vocalists, bluegrass band, and projections by visual artist Camron and Courtney Ware. Recognized for its historical significance to the area, The Dust Bowl production is funded in part by the Texas Historical Commission. The fully staged production will be performed on February 27, 28, and 29 at 7:30pm in Hamon Hall of the Winspear Opera House (2403 Flora Street, Dallas). Tickets are $15 for students and $35 general admission and are available at the door and online at h ttps://www.attpac.org/on-sale/2020/dust-bowl/. There will be a free, music-only performance on March 1 at 7:30 pm at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth (2700 McPherson Ave, Fort Worth).
Listen to the 16-minute interview in the player below: