Classical Action Benefit on May 22 to Feature New Vocal Works by Heggie and Gordon

Classical Music   Classical Action Benefit on May 22 to Feature New Vocal Works by Heggie and Gordon
An evening of New York- and world-premiere vocal chamber works make up the program for New Vistas, a Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS benefit on May 22.

The concert at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall marks the 10th anniversary of artists' representatives Janice Mayer & Associates.

Composer Ricky Ian Gordon will perform three world-premiere songs on the piano with soprano Indira Mahajan: "Pont Mirabeau," with lyrics by X. J. Kennedy and based on works by Apollinaire, "Widow's Lament in Springtime," based on poetry by William Carlos Williams, and "How Happy," based on poetry by Emily Dickinson.

Jake Heggie will accompany mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle on piano in the world premiere of the piano version of his Statuesque, based on texts by Gene Scheer. The world premiere of the tenor version of Carlisle Floyd's Soul of Heaven will be performed by tenor John McVeigh with pianist Ted Taylor.

Floyd's adaptation and Heggie's work were both commissions facilitated by JM&A.

All other works on the program are New York premieres, including selections from William Bolcom's song cycle Open House, which is based on works by poet Theodore Roethke; John Tavener's "Herbstlaub" from Schuon Lieder; and Yoko Nakatani's Ancient Voices From Manyo. Works by composers Earl Kim, Tom Vignieri, Jorge Martin, and Michael Ching round out the evening.

Janice Mayer, founding president of JM&A, said that a public and fund-raising anniversary celebration "meets all of our goals in one event: we—our artists, the musical community, and the public—will come together with energy and spirit, to celebrate ten years of success in the world of music, as well as to raise awareness of the work yet to be done for the AIDS epidemic. With ten premieres, it is a local celebration with global ramifications, through the work of Classical Action and by shining a spotlight on the diverse group of composers writing for voice today."

Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS raises money through events, donations, and other performing-arts projects for AIDS service, education, and prevention programs. The organization was founded in 1993 by Charles Hamlen, and in 1997 it became part of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Tickets to New Vistas include drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and dessert, and are $100 and $250. For tickets or information call Classical Action at (212) 997-7717 or email

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