The New York Choral Society presents The Unicorn, a theatrical production of choral music featuring Choruses from The Lark by Leonard Bernstein and The Unicorn, The Gorgon, and The Manticore by Gian Carlo Menotti.
This exciting production pairs two rarely performed works from the 1950’s as it takes a fresh look at how composers and playwrights responded to a fraught period of cultural panic with stories of outsiders who are persecuted as much they are celebrated.
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.