Sparks of Glory: After Life

Free to the public.

Music of Remembrance opens its eighteenth season with a free community concert on Saturday, September 26 at the Seattle Art Museum.  The afternoon’s program, “After Life,” begins at 2:00 p.m. at the museum’s Plestcheeff Auditorium. The varied program includes works by Darius Milhaud, Rosy Wertheim, Henriette Bosmans and Tom Cipullo. MOR’s Artistic Director Mina Miller will introduce the concert with commentary that links the music with the museum’s exhibit Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art which opens on October 1. The exhibition is comprised of 71 extraordinary paintings, considered to be jewels of one of the finest collections of French Impressionism in the world. 

The program features highlights from Tom Cipullo’s After Life. This compelling new opera, premiered by Music of Remembrance earlier this year, reunites the ghosts of Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein in a dramatic encounter. Stein and Picasso were towering artistic figures of the 20th century and among its most influential. For decades they maintained an unusual friendship, but they held starkly opposed views and responded in strikingly different ways – in their lives and their art – to the Second World War and the Nazi occupation of Europe.  When they meet again in After Life, they debate the responsibility of artists to address the evil they see in the world.  They confront each other’s weaknesses, and their own, in succumbing to vanity and ego.

The concert begins with Darius Milhaud’s 1936 Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano. This engaging work is drawn from the composer’s incidental music for Jean Anouilh’s play “Le voyageur sans baggage” (“The Traveler without Luggage”). The play is an ironic critique of identity and class, and Milhaud’s sprightly music captures the play’s existential absurdity. The clouds of World War II were forming, though, when Milhaud wrote this music.  Born to a Jewish family in Marseilles, Milhaud was forced to leave France in 1940 until the end of the war. We also perform short pieces by Rosy Wertheim and Henriette Bosmans, two Dutch women composers whose lives and art were profoundly affected by the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.  

Our guest vocalists – sopranos Karen Early Evans and Courtney Ruckman, and baritone Erich Parce – will be joined by MOR’s stellar instrumental ensemble drawn largely from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and by pianists Mark Salman and Mina Miller.


After Life

Concert Ticket Information

Free and open to the public.

Saturday, September 26, 2015, 2:00 P.M.

Plestcheeff Auditorium, Seattle Art Museum

1300 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101





Darius Milhaud
Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Op. 157b (1936)

Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mark Salman, piano


Rosy Wertheim
Le Tsigane Dans La Lune

Courtney Ruckman, soprano; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Mina Miller, piano


Henriette Bosmans
Nuit Calme (1926)

Walter Gray, cello; Mina Miller, piano


Tom Cipullo
After Life (2015) – selected arias

Libretto by David Mason




           Karen Early Evans, soprano

            Erich Parce, baritone

           Courtney Ruckman, soprano


Zart Dombourian-Eby, flute; Laura DeLuca, clarinet; Mikhail Shmidt, violin; Walter Gray, cello

Mark Salman, piano