VONNEGUT: REQUIEM

“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD WAS MUSIC”
Kurt Vonnegut in A Man Without a Country

 

In 1985, Kurt Vonnegut attended the premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem and was so shocked when he read the English translation, he stayed up half the night rewriting it. He referred to his new version of the Requiem as a secular humanist paraphrase of "the Council of Trent monstrosity.”

THE WORLD PREMIERE

We have commissioned eight nationally and internationally acclaimed composers to set portions of Vonnegut’s requiem text to new music for chamber choir and instruments. See below for more about the composers.

The world premiere will take place on Saturday, May 11, 2019 and Sunday, May 12, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington (2120 N. Fee Ln., Bloomington, IN)

Read the press release (12/17/2018)

TICKETS

Tickets are available through the BCT Box Office. Buy tickets online or in person (114 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN).

General admission: $25
Student & youth: $15

Saturday, May 11 at 7pm: buy tickets
Sunday, May 12 at 3pm: buy tickets (pre-concert talk with the composers at 2pm)

GET INVOLVED

Donate

Your financial contributions will help us bring this project to the stage! Donate securely online. Thank you!

Program ads

Your business or nonprofit can reach an audience of 500 or more people from Bloomington and surrounding cities by placing an ad in our commemorative program. Show your support for forward-thinking artistic creation in front of an audience that is passionate, curious, community-minded, and well informed.

For pricing information, ad specs, and deadlines, contact Abby Henkel at abbyhenkel@gmail.com.

Our commemorative program will be full of educational information, exclusive quotes and photos of Kurt Vonnegut, and special reflections from the artists involved in this ground-breaking project. It is edited by Sally Gaskill, designed by Danielle Kay Lucas, and printed by World Arts.

The Project

After securing the rights to Vonnegut’s witty, thought-provoking requiem text, we are developing an exciting new project as follows:

  • We commissioned eight nationally recognized composers to create short pieces to portions of the text. The choir began rehearsing the music in 2018, for premiere in 2019 (see above).

  • The composers were chosen for their connection to Voces Novae, for their ability to relate to Vonnegut’s trademark irreverent reverence, and for gender parity among the eight composers.

  • Each composer has created a piece of three to five minutes. We foresee a future for these pieces to be used individually or together by community, school, and church choirs.

  • Since Vonnegut also created an alternate text to Stravinsky’s chamber work, A Soldier’s Tale, we have invited the composers to incorporate some of the instruments from that work – thereby creating a clever pairing for subsequent performances and the right amount of continuity for the set.

Voces Novae performed the first movement of the Requiem, by Cary Boyce, at the inaugural Granfalloon hosted by Indiana University's Arts & Humanities Council on May 11, 2018.

Media inquiries: Contact Abby Henkel, Marketing Chair, at abbyhenkel@gmail.com. Read more in the press release, and find photos and recordings of the choir on our media page.

 

The Composers

Read more about each composer:

 

Questions? Contact Susan Swaney at sswaney@indiana.edu.