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April 7, 2004

CONTACT: Mary Avrakotos, 312-4581,


    OSWEGO -- The first time he saw Carl Dreyer's 1928 silent film classic "The Passion of Joan of Arc," composer Richard Einhorn said he felt a "sense of utter amazement and wonder." That experience led him to create the multimedia experience "Voices of Light," which will come to SUNY Oswego's Waterman Theatre for shows at 8 p.m. May 6 and 7.

    Einhorn encountered Dreyer's masterpiece in January 1988 at the Museum of Modern Art's film archives in New York City. A friend had recommended he compose a piece on Joan of Arc at some point, so Einhorn viewed the film.

    "Some 81 minutes later, I walked out of the screening room shattered, having unexpectedly seen one of the most extraordinary works of art that I know," Einhorn explained. "I immediately began to plan the piece about Joan of Arc that my friend had suggested."

    Premiering in 1994, "Voices of Light" uses "The Passion of Joan of Arc" as its visual backdrop with live music composed by Einhorn.

    He described the production's libretto as "a patchwork of visions, fantasies and reflections assembled from various ancient sources, notably the writings of medieval female mystics" that can denote "the spiritual, political and metaphorical womb in which Joan was conceived."

    "Voices of Light" represented a new challenge for Einhorn, whose work includes opera, orchestral and chamber music, song cycles, film music and dance scores. His popular projects include the score for the New York City Ballet's "Red Angels" production, which had its television debut on PBS' "Live from Lincoln Center" in May 2002.

    Einhorn's film credits include the Academy Award-winning short HBO documentary "Educating Peter" and the Arthur Penn thriller "Dead of Winter." He has also received a Grammy for best instrumental performance for his production of the Bach Cello Suites with Yo-Yo Ma.

    His recent work includes "The Spires, The City, The Field," a 9/11 memorial piece performed by the Albany Symphony, and a piece penned for award-winning vocalists Anonymous 4 titled "A Carnival of Miracles," which garnered a sold-out crowd and was simulcast on WNYC-FM.

    For "Voices of Light" at Oswego, Anonymous 4 will provide the voice of Joan of Arc, with Oswego's College Choir, Festival Chorus, Chamber Singers and College-Community Orchestra supplying additional musical accompaniment. Julie Pretzat, professor and chair of music at SUNY Oswego, will serve as musical director for the performances.

    Entergy Nuclear Northeast provided funding support to bring the production to Oswego. Media support is provided by WCNY Classic FM and Clear Channel Radio through its affiliate station, 570-WSYR.

    Tickets cost $22, $18 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students. A special family package, which includes two adult and two child passes, is available for $72.

    For information, details about group rates or reservations, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141 or visit the college's performing arts Web site at

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Composer Richard Einhorn

SEEING THE 'LIGHT' -- Award-winning composer Richard Einhorn created the multimedia production "Voices of Light," which will grace the stage of SUNY Oswego's Waterman Theatre at 8 p.m. May 6 and 7. The production will feature Carl Dreyer's 1928 silent film classic "The Passion of Joan of Arc" complemented by live performances by Anonymous 4 and Oswego's College Choir, Festival Chorus, Chamber Singers and College-Community Orchestra. For information, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141.

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