Conspirare Concert to Celebrate the Journey of Women

(Photo: Scott Van Osdol)

The Grammy-Award winning vocal ensemble Conspirare will present Unclouded Day, a concert featuring new work by composer Jocelyn Hagen on Sunday, May 21 at Temple Beth-El.

The concert, directed by Craig Hella Johnson, will explore the varied ways in which “words and music encompass the journey of women.” It includes additional work by Benjamin Britten, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Hildegard von Bingen, Maddalena Cassulana and Shawn Kirchner.

The concert’s signature piece, Songs for Muska, written by Hagen, is based on poetry by Pashtun women. It includes landays (2-line folk couplets) translated by author and journalist Eliza Griswold and poetry by Farzana Marie, poet and president of Civil Vision International.

“This new work brings life to poetry written by repressed female poets of Afghanistan, and sheds light on an astounding oral tradition that not even the harshest of regimes could completely suppress,” the composer said in a release.

Conspirare’s latest recording, Considering Mathew Shephard, drew praise from the Washington Post which called it “immediate, profound, and, at times, overwhelming” and debuted at number four on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart.

A talk with Jocelyn Hagen will precede the performance at 3 p.m.

Conspirare: Unclouded Day, $35, $10 student admission, 4:00 p.m., Sunday May 21, Temple Beth-El211 Belknap Pl, conspirare.org, (210) 733-9135

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