The Unicorn

The New York Choral Society presents The Unicorn, an innovative and provocative theatrical production production of choral music, dance, and narration featuring Choruses from The Lark by Leonard Bernstein and The Unicorn, The Gorgon, and The Manticore by Gian Carlo Menotti.

The New York Choral Society joins forces with EMERGE125 in a program that  pairs these two rarely performed works from the 1950’s. that draws its  inspiration from the Lavender Scare, a dark chapter in American history. The Unicorn delves into the systemic challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals, resonating with the themes explored throughout this production. Despite notable advancements in LGBTQ rights, persistent challenges remain, compounded by a resurgence of discriminatory legislation that undermines progress. With a deliberate nod to contemporary issues surrounding LGBTQ rights and gender identity, the ensemble takes a bold step forward in reinterpreting these works while drawing parallels between historical adversity and modern-day challenges.

EMERGE125, the acclaimed Black female-led dance company, has established itself as a leader by setting new standards for dancer care; creating innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborations with leading artists; and using movement as a catalyst for community building: expanding the reach, purpose, and impact of the art of dance

And featuring soloists from the Grammy Award winning Experiential Orchestra that invites audiences to engage with orchestral music through non-traditional presentation styles and educational, interactive, and immersive concert experiences.

With Sam Turlington the acclaimed non-binary international performing artist with a passion for developing new works that has led them to collaborate all over the world bringing life to diverse and vibrant stories, especially that which center queer joy and the LGBTQIA+ experience.

And with countertenor Chuanyuan Liu (刘川源) praised for his “otherworldly flourish” (The Wall Street Journal) and  “intense stage presence” (Classical Voice North America),  Chuanyuan Liu is proving himself a strong presence amidst the new generation of countertenors. His deep passion for story-telling inspires him to connect with his audience through empathy, authenticity, and creativity.

Jean Anouilh’s 1952 play, The Lark, is based on the trial and execution of Joan of Arc. The English adaptation was made by Lillian Hellman with incidental music composed by Leonard Bernstein to accompany the play which premiered on Broadway in 1955.

Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore or The Three Sundays of a Poet, a “madrigal fable,” is based on the 16th-century Italian madrigal comedy genre. It consists of a prologue and 12 madrigals which tell a continuous story, interspersed with six instrumental interludes. The story is told by the chorus and acted by dancers. It premiered in Washington D.C. in 1956 followed by the New York City Ballet premiere in 1957.

With contemporary choreography and instrumentation, our production of The Unicorn celebrates a dynamic blend of “old and new” to bring fresh interpretations of the music of these theatrical works to contemporary audiences.

Performance time is approximately 75 minutes with a 10 minute intermission

Read our press release HERE