Grammy-winning new music choir The Crossing is set to perform the world premiere of Aniara: fragments of time and space in five performances – Thursday, June 20, through Sunday, June 23, at Christ Church Neighborhood House in Philadelphia.
The last spaceship to leave a dying earth veers off course and heads into eternity; her passengers are left to face the emptiness within and without. Based on the iconic poem by Nobel Prize winner Harry Martinson, Aniara: fragments of time and space follows the physical and emotional voyage of this group, headed toward the constellation Lyra, forever. Like many of The Crossing’s commissions, Aniara shines a light on issues humanity faces today, such as environmentalism, social order and its breakdown, and fanaticism. Sometimes cold and brutal, at other times touching, Aniara is a ruthlessly honest view of human nature that also brings art into the picture as a tragic character.
Aniara: fragments of time and space is an epic collaboration developed by The Crossing, Klockriketeatern of Helsinki and American composer Robert Maggio over a period of three years, with artistic direction by Dan Henriksson and Donald Nally. The culmination of The Crossing’s 2018-2019 season, Aniara is the ensemble’s most ambitious theatrical project to date, featuring Beijing Opera-inspired choreography and dance by Antti Silvennoinen of Wusheng Company, costumes by Erika Turunen, scenic and lighting design by Joonas Tikkanen, and sound design by Paul Vasquez.
Future performances of Aniara: fragments of time and space include The Crossing’s European debut on July 3 and 4 at the The Haarlem Choral Biennale in The Netherlands and performances from September 17-21 at The Finnish National Opera in Helsinki.
About Klockriketeatern of Helsinki
Klockriketeatern is a nomadic theater company led by artistic director Dan Henriksson that collaborates with new partners and artists from various countries, in different spaces, working in several languages, and continuing stories about contemporary vagabonds and trails outside the norms of societies. Established in 1991 in Helsinki, their name is drawn from Harry Martinson’s Vägen till Klockrike (The Road).
About Robert Maggio
Robert Maggio is an accomplished composer and long-time member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City. He has composed songs and incidental music for numerous professional theaters, including productions at Yale Repertory Theater, Philadelphia Theater Company, Peoples Light and Theater Company, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. His music for theater has received several Barrymore Award nominations in Philadelphia, and he is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Pew Fellowship from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Composers Forum, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, ASCAP, BMI, New Music USA and Meet the Composer.
Published by Theodore Presser Company, Hickman Music Editions and Yelton Rhodes, Maggio’s music is recorded on the Summit, Albany and New World/CRI labels. A graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania, he is a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Music Theory, History and Composition at West Chester University’s School of Music in West Chester, PA. Learn more at Maggio’s website.
About The Crossing
The Crossing is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its over 70 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues.
Highly sought after for collaborative projects, The Crossing’s first collaboration was as the resident choir of the Spoleto Festival, Italy, in 2007. The Crossing has appeared at Miller Theatre of Columbia University with the International Contemporary Ensemble, with whom they have appeared at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. They joined Bang on a Can for its first Philadelphia Marathon; and have sung with the LA Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Toshimaru Nakamura, Beth Morrison Projects, Dolce Suono, Allora & Calzadilla, Pig Iron Theatre Company and The Rolling Stones. Venues include National Sawdust, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, The Kennedy Center in Washington, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Northwestern University, Colgate University, and the Winter Garden in New York with WNYC. In the 2018-19 season they made their debut at the New York Philharmonic, Park Avenue Armory, and Peak Performances at Montclair State University.
With a commitment to recording their commissions, The Crossing has 15 commercially-released recordings, two Grammy Awards, and three nominations. Their collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), was the winner of the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance and named one of The Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Classical CDs of the 2016. Lansing McLoskey's Zealot Canticles won the 2019 Grammy and Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer (Albany 2016) was nominated for the 2017 Grammy, both as Best Choral Performance.
Learn more on The Crossing’s website.