FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sarah Snyder
College Park, MD—Known for its cross-disciplinary programs that immerse audiences in the historical context of musical works, PostClassical Ensemble (PCE) will present Mexican Revolution, a multimedia program that explores themes of human rights and cultural expression, on May 10 at 7:30pm in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center’s Dekelboum Concert Hall.
The first half of the program will feature songs from the Mexican revolution performed by PostClassical Ensemble and the legendary singer Eugenia León. A continuous visual track will display the murals and paintings of Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Orozco, and Ruben Tamayo. The host of this segment is Jonathan Palevsky of Baltimore’s WBJC.
In the second half of the program, audiences will experience the Mexican film Redes (1936), the iconic 60-minute black-and-white film that tells the story of poor fishermen victimized by monopoly control of their market. PCE will perform the searing score by Silvestre Revueltas live, led by PCE Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez, and will also record the score for a future release on the Naxos label.
Join PostClassical Ensemble’s Artistic Director Joe Horowitz, Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez and Mexico-based Roberto Kolb, the world’s leading Revueltas scholar, for a pre-show discussion at 6:30pm. There will also be a Talk Back conversation following the performance.
Redes is about the fishing community of Alvarado on the Gulf Coast of Mexico during the 1930s. The film shows the struggle of the poor fisherman to overcome monopolization and corruption of the fishing industry. With lush cinematography by renowned photographer and cinematographer Paul Strand, Redes argues for organized resistance as a necessary means of political reform.
In 1934, Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas was commissioned to work on the score for Redes. Although it was his first time writing film music, today the score is considered a classic in music for film. Redes was also co-directed by Emilio Gómez Muriel and Fred Zinnemann, who later directed High Noon, From Here to Eternity and A Man for All Seasons.
In a program note for the May 10 concert, PCE Executive Director Joseph Horowitz writes: ”Visually, Redes is a poem of stark light and shadow, of clouds and sea, palm fronds and thatched huts, with Strand’s camera often tipped toward the abstract sky. Metaphor abounds: a rope is likened to a fisherman’s muscled arm. Pregnant, polyvalent, the imagery invites interpretation equally poetic: music. For a child’s funeral, Revueltas furnishes more than a dirge: his throbbing elegy combines with Strand’s poised, hypersensitive camera to fashion a transcendent tableau. The recurrent visual motif of nets that catch fish subliminally suggests the confinement of men: a metaphor underlined by the musical motif of massive tolling brass. At every turn, Strand and Revueltas elevate the film’s simple tale to an epic human drama. Redes was first screened with live musical accompaniment in Mexico City, and subsequently given in this fashion by the Santa Barbara Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and PostClassical Ensemble. The 1930s soundtrack is as transformed as a painting restored from centuries of grime.”
About PostClassical Ensemble
PostClassical Ensemble was founded in 2003 as an experimental orchestral laboratory by Music Director Angel Gil-Ordóñez and Artistic Director Joseph Horowitz. Its tagline — “More than an Orchestra” — suggests its unique mission. All PCE programming is thematic, cross-disciplinary, and educational.
PCE has presented more than six dozen events in the DC area and toured festival programs to New York City, including “Falla and Flamenco” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the sold-out American stage premiere of Falla’s El Corregidor y la Molinera. The Ensemble made its sold-out Kennedy Center debut in fall 2005 with “Celebrating Don Quixote,” which featured a commissioned production of Manuel de Falla’s puppet opera Master Peter’s Puppet Show.
About Eugenia León
Born in Mexico City, Eugenia León began her career in the 1970s as a member of groups performing the nueva cancíon, Latin American folk music that urged social and political action and voiced the concerns of young adults and students.
In 1982, León began appearing as a solo act, performing selections written by popular songwriters of her generation such as Marcia Alejandro, Pepe Elorza and Jaíme Lopez. Her popularity grew in 1985, with her emotional performance of Marcial Alejandro's song "Fandango" that earned her the top prize at the OTI Festival in Sevilla, just two days after a catastrophic earthquake destroyed a large part of her hometown.
León has recorded over twenty albums, most recently recording the two-volume Ciudadana del Mundo in 2013. She has performed internationally and across the U.S. Praised for the strength and versatility of her voice, León is committed to maintaining her Mexican cultural heritage through song.
Located on the University of Maryland campus and a part of the College of Arts and Humanities, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is a premier presenting arts venue and collaborative laboratory shared by the School of Music (SOM), the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) and the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library. The Center made its debut in 2001 and has grown into a national model for campus performing arts centers, presenting performances and programs by visiting artists as well as by students and faculty of SOM and TDPS in an environment of creative learning, exploration and growth. The Center remains active in the larger university community through its innovative partnerships and extraordinary experiences.
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
This event is part of the Civil War to Civil Rights: The Well-Being of a Nation series.