UCF Celebrates the Arts 2018 opens with a tip of the hat to one of classical music’s most iconic artists: Leonard Bernstein. Leonard Bernstein at 100, a two-year global celebration of the life and career of the 20th century cultural giant with more than 2,000 events on six continents, kicked off in the fall of 2017 and UCF is pleased to be able to honor this musical composer, conductor, and educator.
Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers is an enormous and ambitious piece, with more than 200 musicians, vocalists, and dancers on stage. Written for the inauguration of the Kennedy Center in 1971, the controversial piece gave voice to an anti-war youth culture that was seeking truth and transparency from its government. Though Mass challenges divine authority, exposing its contradictions and questioning religion’s relevance to contemporary life, it ultimately serves as a reaffirmation of faith and hope for universal peace.
The eclecticism of Mass‘s music reflects the multifaceted nature of Bernstein’s career, with blues, rock, gospel, folk, Broadway, and jazz idioms appearing side by side with 12-tone serialism, symphonic marches, solemn hymns, Middle Eastern dances, orchestral meditations, and lush chorales, all united in a single dramatic event with recurring musical motifs. Bernstein uses the uninhibitedly tonal rock ‘n’ roll of the Street Chorus to challenge the dogmatic, atonal music of the Church; ultimately, the musical argument is resolved with a glorious, tonal chorale (“Almighty Father”) sung by the entire company.
Join the UCF Symphony Orchestra, UCF Choirs, Theatre UCF singers and dancers, and School of Performing Arts alumni at this “Massive” centenary event!
Tickets for UCF Celebrates the Arts will be available starting March 1. For a complete schedule, ticket reservations and other information, visit the festival’s website at www.arts.ucf.edu.