On Friday 6 and Saturday 7 April 2018, Southbank Centre presents a production of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, conducted by Marin Alsop, the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms, and featuring the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Chineke! Junior Orchestra.
We would like to invite you to take part.
About the MASS
Leonard Bernstein’s seminal work speaks of a moment of crisis in America, after the assassination of JF Kennedy and the end of the golden age of optimism created by the 1960s. Vietnam, Kent State massacre, the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement, the backlash against feminism, and the disintegration of Flower Power were some of many elements that caused a moment of existential meltdown in the confidence of the USA as the philosophical leader of the Western world.
The word Mass refers both to the Catholic religious ceremony that forms the spine of the dramatic structure and also to the concept of a mass of people, a crowd, a mob, that without direction can become a terrible, anarchic, potentially destructive force but, through self discovery and with thoughtful leadership, can be a force for good. The work also builds on the symbolism of a multitude of voices and cultures, like the Tower of Babel, to emphasis the challenge of building harmony.
The cast of musicians, actors, singers and dancers, which includes children and elders, reflects the multiracial nature of the USA, which is, in turn, a metaphor for the world as a whole. One professional soloist plays the role of The Celebrant. The rest of the ensemble is made up of students and young people's groups, schoolchildren and older people. All of these groups reflect a multi-ethnic world. MASS serves as an education programme on the history of modern America and the work and ideals of Bernstein.
Find out how to join the cast for Bernstein’s MASS:
We have now closed recruitment for the MASS choirs. If you are interested in other singing projects at Southbank Centre please keep an eye on our Voicelab page.
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