On July 6 and 7, the Oregon Bach Festival presents its first-ever performance of Michael Tippett's powerful choral work, A Child of our Time. Both concerts, conducted by Matthew Halls, will open with Bach's celebratory Lutheran Mass in G, performed for the first time at the OBF since 1983.
"Sir Michael Tippett began A Child of our Time within days of war being declared in Europe in 1939," expresses John Evans, OBF President & Executive Director, in our preview video. "He spent two years at the start of the war working on this oratorio, which was very personal to him."
Tippett modeled A Child of our Time after a work at the heart of this year's OBF, Bach's St. Matthew Passion. In an interview for our program book, Matthew Halls says "Tippett searched for a contemporary equivalent to the Lutheran chorale - something that would draw in the audience at key points during the piece and serve to dissipate the tension. He found the perfect solution in the spiritual...they seem to reach out to the collective subconscious in such a way as to unite us all in the major themes of the work."
Tippett created rich orchestrations for the spirituals Steal Away, Go Down Moses, Deep River and others and incorporated them into his masterwork.
Performances are 7:30 PM in Portland on July 6, Friday at Trinity Episcopal Church and in Eugene on July 7, Saturday at Silva Concert Hall.
Tickets can be purchased online for the Portland performance and Eugene performance.
The OBF video preview was shot and edited by Cal Lewin of Opticus Media.