WORLD PREMIERE OPERA
And did the world with devils swarm…
Sunday, November 5 at 4 p.m.
Christ Lutheran Church, 701 S. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
Thoms’s And did the world with devils swarm, all gaping to devour us…
Bach’s Cello Suite in G, Prelude
Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin, Adagio
Bach’s Chorale Prelude: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland
Thoms’ Rondo 2 for horn and marimba
Sarah Bleasdale, soprano
Jason Thoms, bass
Bach in Baltimore is pleased to present the World Premiere production of Maryland composer Hollis Thoms’ new one-act opera that commemorates the 500th anniversary of the nailing of the 95 theses by Martin Luther. Sung in English, this work quotes several of the most famous Luther hymns. The title of the work references Luther’s preoccupation with the forces of evil in the world (same text is found in “A Mighty Fortress.”) Jason Thoms will perform the role of Luther and Sarah Bleasdale as Katie. Playing in the chamber ensemble is Sonja (Thoms) Winkler, oboe and Jonas Thoms, horn. The world premiere is underwritten by The Christopher Foundation. The evening will conclude with several Bach pieces and Hollis Thoms’s Rondo 2 for horn and marimba.
Regular Admission: $20 in advance, $22 at the door
Composer Hollis Thoms has previously premiered two works with the Bach Concert Series under the direction of T. Herbert Dimmock. Passion (2007), a 90-minute piece for soloists, treble choir, and chamber ensemble premiered on March 27, 2011, and a 20-minute Isaac (2011) for soloists, treble choir, and chamber ensemble on October 7, 2012. Mr. Thoms has written over 140 works from sacred to secular, from solo and chamber to operas and symphonies. In 2015, his opera Conversations based on short stories by Joyce and Hemingway premiered at Concordia College – New York, and in 2016, his opera based on Shakespeare’s Sonnets premiered in Annapolis, MD. To find out more about his composing, visit his website at hollisthoms.com.
Sarah Marvel Bleasdale is a regular performer with Utopia Opera in New York City, where she recently appeared in Sondheim’s Assassins as Sarah Jane Moore, and the Opera at Bard Summerscape, where she has sung in productions as diverse as Schreker’s Der Ferne Klang, Taneyev’s Oresteia, and Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers. She is pleased to be working with Hollis Thoms again. She previously appeared in the premiere of his opera Conversations. Recordings include the Israel Philharmonic’s Sacred Service by Bloch which was recorded live in Jerusalem in 2008; Trinity Choir’s recording of Handel’s Messiah for the Naxos label; and the soundtrack of the film Halo: The Fall of Reach. A graduate of Yale University and the School of Music of the University of Arizona, she apprenticed with the Sarasota Opera and played Madame Giry in the German company of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.
Dr. Jason Thoms is the director of Choral Activities at Concordia College – New York in Bronxville, NY. In March 2008, Dr. Thoms had his Carnegie Hall debut as soloist in Faure’s Requiem and has since performed as a professional soloist and chorister across the country. This past year, he performed with the Spire Chamber Ensemble, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Yale Choral Artists, Bach in Baltimore Choir, and the Calvin Oratorio Society. In May 2009, Dr. Thoms had his Carnegie Hall conducting debut directing the Concordia Tour Choir in concert. He conducts the Concordia Chamber Choir, Tour Choir, Festival Choir, and the newly-formed Concordia Camerata. Dr. Thoms has conducted the Choirs at Concordia in over 200 concerts, chapels, worship services, and other events in just five years. He has embarked on seven tours with the Concordia Tour Choir, performing in 35 states and two Canadian provinces. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.