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Now in their sixteenth year, Conspirare was born out of a love for singing and a belief in its power to enrich the lives of all who hear it. Under the leadership of esteemed Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson, Conspirare is known for emotionally evocative singing and an extraordinary ability to connect with the audience, providing listeners with a meaningful and often transformative cultural experience.
“Conspirare means to breathe with or to breathe together,” explains Johnson. “It is what we do together as a choir. Breath is the one thing we all share as human beings. We think of breathing with our audience, both in the literal sense and in a symbolic sense -- seeking that sense of understanding and continuity and finding common respect for everyone in the human community.”
Conspirare garners rave reviews, awards and international acclaim for its refined artistry, virtuosity and expressive singing. In 2005, they were honored with the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence presented by Chorus America. In August 2008, Conspirare performed at the Eighth World Symposium of Choral Music in Copenhagen – the only choir from the United States to have been invited to this prestigious event.
Conspirare’s CD release Requiem received two 2006 Grammy nominations including one for Best Choral Performance. The choir’s most recent CD, Threshold of Night, featuring the works of Tarik O’Reagan, received two 2008 Grammy Award nominations – Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance. The prestigious label, Harmonia Mundi released Threshold of Night, is rereleasing Requiem, and will produce and release the CD and DVD of A COMPANY OF VOICES.
About Craig Hella Johnson
About A Company of Voices: Conspirare in Concert
Harmony, connection and community inform A COMPANY OF VOICES. The rich and resonant program includes twelve songs that take the audience on a journey of innovative sound, vibrant images and thought-provoking ideas. Among them, Craig Hella Johnson’s distinctive arrangements of Let the River Run (Carly Simon), Light of a Clear Blue Morning (Dolly Parton), A Thousand Beautiful Things (Annie Lennox), Requiem (Eliza Gilkyson) and What A Wonderful World (Robert Thiele & George Weiss); the rousing spiritual, Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel; Ennio Morricone’s haunting Gabriel’s Oboe; and two major television premieres, What If from award-winning American composer Eric Whitacre’s new musical, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings; and He Shall Arise, the third movement from dynamic young British composer Tarik O’Regan’s Triptych.
The thirty Conspirare singers are joined by internationally acclaimed cellist Bion Tsang, internationally celebrated oboist Ian Davidson, dynamic, young percussionist Thomas Burritt, six of Burritt’s talented University of Texas protégés and double bass player, Marcos Machado. Conspirare’s vocal soloists include the extraordinary sopranos Melissa Givens, Kathlene Ritch, Nancy Curtis, Stephanie Moore and vibrant alto Wendy Bloom.
A COMPANY OF VOICES is a production of KLRU, Austin, Texas, executive producers, Dick Peterson and Marion Lear Swaybill. Karen McLaughlin is the director and Jeff Peterson is the producer. The CD & DVD has six additional songs. The DVD includes two special features – an in-depth interview with Craig Hella Johnson and Midge Woolsey and a round table with the Conspirare singers and Craig Hella Johnson. Both features also include rehearsal footage and music.