Sing for Hope will present AIDS QUILT SONGBOOK @ TWENTY at the Great Hall at Cooper Union today, December 1st, 2012, in observance of World AIDS Day and to mark the 20th anniversary of the first AIDS Quilt Songbook performance, which took place on June 4th 1992 at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center.
Under the artistic direction of Thomas Bagwell, AIDS QUILT SONGBOOK @ TWENTY will include songs from the 1992 premiere, songs written for various regional Songbook performances over the last two decades, and new songs written especially for this performance. The performance will reflect the changing face of the disease over the two decades since the work’s premiere, and will benefit Sing for Hope’s HIV/AIDS outreach, even as it honors the memory of the many that have passed. In keeping with the spirit of the original Songbook, all artists involved are volunteering their time and talent.
The original songs for the AIDS Quilt Songbook were all written for the American baritone William Parker, who was joined for the premiere performance by three fellow baritones – Kurt Ollmann, William Sharp, and Sanford Sylvan – two of whom (Kurt Ollmann and William Sharp) will be appearing on December 1st along with many of today’s leading singers from the world of classical music.
Artists scheduled to perform on December 1st are: sopranos Amy Burton, Adrienne Danrich, Monica Yunus, and Camille Zamora; mezzo-sopranos Heather Johnson and Susanne Mentzer; tenors Anthony Dean Griffey and Michael Slattery; and baritones Kurt Ollmann, Sidney Outlaw, Randall Scarlata, and William Sharp.
Thomas Bagwell has envisioned this 20th anniversary version of the AIDS Quilt Songbook to include spoken text read by actors Alan Mingo, Jr. and Kyle Minshew, and poet Samantha Thornhill, to chronicle the three decades of the AIDS crisis in the United States. Lora Peress, artistic director of the MultiStages theater company, will direct the evening’s program.