"With Voices Raised," the new Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty composition for orchestra, mixed chorus and speakers, commissioned by the Boston Pops, has its recording premiere June 29, when the patriotic-themed "A Splash of Pops" is released on the RCA label.
Brian Stokes Mitchell, Judy Kaye, Donna Bullock, Alton White, Tommy Hollis and LaChanze, all linked to Ragtime, are heard on the disc. Keith Lockhart conducts the Boston Pops. "With Voice Raised" premiered May 5, 1999 in Boston.
The text, by Ahrens, draws on American historical figures who raised their voices in the name of freedom and equal rights.
Lyricist Ahrens and composer Flaherty won the 1998 Tony Award for Best Score for Ragtime, and enlisted the show's alumni for the new recording (which is one track on a 12-cut disc that includes such American orchestral classics as "The Stars and Stripes Forever" and "The Star- Spangled Banner"). The musical arrangements for "With Voices Raised" is by William David Brohn (Ragtime).
Tenor Jason Danieley, who played the title role in Candide on Broadway in 1997, is principal singer. Speakers include Bullock, LaChanze, Kaye, White and Hollis (all currently in Broadway's Ragtime), Blair Brown (formerly of Broadway's Cabaret), Mitchell (Ragtime's original Coalhouse Walker Jr.) and Chuck Cooper (of Broadway's The Life). Also heard are the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the Boston Pops Gospel Choir and members of the Boston Gay Men's Chorus.