Our opening performance features our Ad Astra Chamber Choir, the Russell Community Choir, and the High School Honor Choir in a performance of Arvo Pärt’s Te Deum. This hauntingly spiritual work uses ancient music traditions in a mystical atmospheric work. John Irving, artistic director, will lead this performance.
For Prairiesta 2021, the festival is commissioning an opera about the life of beloved art teacher, Trudy Furney from composer, Anna Pidgorna. Anna was in Russell last summer to get a feel for our community and gather information about Trudy. This summer, we’re presenting an afternoon of her music. Meet Anna and hear some of her fantastic works.
A new opera by Missy Mazzoli tells the story of a Nebraska family trying to prove up their government issued land from the Homestead Act of 1862. Their hardships are explored in a brilliant score by Mazzoli that was co-commissioned by The Kennedy Center, Colombia University, and Opera Omaha.
Two of our festival favorites, Katelyn Mattson-Levy and Matthew Piatt will collaborate on a recital program exploring different archetypes of women: maiden, mother, crone, and enchantress.
Formed while students at Northern Arizona University, Unaccompanied is a vocal ensemble blurring the lines between vocal jazz and pop a cappella. Somewhere between Ella Fitzgerald and Pitch Perfect lies this fantastic ensemble. They’ll sing music from their debut album, Pinetones.
In true Ad Astra fashion, we’ll close our season with a major Baroque work. This year, Handel’s Theodora brings to life the trials of Christian martyrs under Roman rule in the fourth century. A romance between a Christian woman and a Roman guard is at the crux of the drama. Alex Underwood will lead this performance.