New Musical Work, ‘Handel: Made In America,’ Debuts At Met Museum

New Musical Work, ‘Handel: Made In America,’ Debuts At Met Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has commissioned a new musical composition, “Handel: Made in America,” that puts the composer’s work in the context of British Empire trading companies that exploited enslaved people.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 28: Terrance McKnight speaks during the 2018 Louis Armstrong House Museum … [+] Gala at Capitale on November 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Louis Armstrong House Museum’s 2018 Gala)

Getty Images for Louis Armstrong House Museum’s 2018 Gala

According to the museum—where the work is having its world premiere February 15 and 16—Handel’s “music spread across boundaries of genre and social class, making his operas, oratorios and instrumental works wildly popular with the British masses.

“But Handel rose to fame atop the burgeoning British Empire, history’s most influential global superpower, and in Georgian England, the same trading companies that underwrote arts and culture turned their profits from the trade of exotic goods and, most notably, enslaved people.”

McKnight’s composition, the museum added, can be viewed through the lens of Handel’s life and works and the Met’s ten British galleries, which occupy 11,000 square feet and contain almost 700 British decorative arts, design and sculpture created between 1500 and 1900. They were renovated as part of the museum’s 150th anniversary celebration and reopened in March 2020.

Describing the new composition, the museum called it “an intimate and revealing journey about art, power, history and family” that combines the history of its composer—musician and storyteller Terrance McKnight—“as a young African-American man inspired by classical music with the story of Handel’s world and the money, power and people that moved and were moved by it.”

It features soprano Latonia Moore, mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, tenor Noah Stewart and bass-baritone Davone Tines.

Speaking to Forbes this week, McKnight—also the evening host of WQXR, the NYPR Network classical music radio station, and host of its podcast, “Every Voice with Terrance McKnight”—said the concept of his composition was proposed by Limor Tomer, general manager of Met Live Arts, when the British galleries reopened.

The central message of his composition, McKnight said, is that “we as human beings can go for things in our hearts, pivot and do something different, which is what Handel did with his career.”

He also said his work presented a special and unique opportunity for the younger members of its chorus to work and perform with opera stars.

McKnight is an artistic advisor for the Harlem Chamber Players and serves on the boards of the Bagby Foundation and MacDowell Colony.

His mother’s family founded a branch of the NAACP in Mississippi and his father was pastor of a church in Cleveland, where he grew up. He studied at Morehouse College and Georgia State University, later joining the music faculty at Morehouse.

Read More

Zaļā Josta - Reklāma