Susquehanna Valley Chorale to Present Voices of Light

The Susquehanna Valley Chorale (SVC) will present Voices of Light, a work for chorale and orchestra featuring the 1928 silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc on Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m. at the Campus Theatre, 413 Market Street, downtown Lewisburg. Parental guidance is suggested.

The performance will feature four local soloists: Emily Martin, Soprano, Dianna Grabowski, Alto, Stephen Ng, Tenor and Brian Mextorf, Baritone.

Seating is limited; special seating arrangements will be made for SVC season subscribers. Subscribers are encouraged to inform the SVC of their attendance by calling 570-547-0455.

According to composer Richard Einhorn, Voices of Light explores the patchwork of emotions and thoughts that are stitched together into the notion of a female hero. Joan of Arc was deeply religious, utterly chaste, and astonishingly brave in the face of horrific abuse. In 1920 nearly 500 years after her death, Joan was declared a saint, the only saint who was first excommunicated and then burned.

Voices of Light uses a libretto that is a montage of ancient writings assembled primarily from female medieval mystics, including Joan of Arc. The music is scored for soloists, chorus, orchestra, and one very special bell. The backdrop for the performance is a screening of the 1928 silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928).

Carl Dreyer, the director of the film The Passion of Joan of Arc, rejected most of the script that the studio commissioned and used excerpts from the trial transcripts. The film is set entirely at Joan’s trials and burning, compresses the action from seven months into a single day. Joan’s “character” is sung neither in a soprano or alto range, but in both simultaneously, with simple harmony and in rhythmic unison.

Voices of Light was performed by the Acadia Players to sold-out audiences at the Academy of Music in Northampton MA in February 1994. Since then, it has been featured at the Brooklyn Academy of Music New Wave Festival and recorded by Anonymous 4 and the Radio Netherlands Philharmonic and Choir.

The sponsor for the performance is the Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts, Inc. Co-sponsors include Anne & Tom Gates and Mifflinburg Bank & Trust Co. Underwriters include Brad Miller & Cheryl Stayton and Hank & LaVina Truslow.

Tickets for the performance are $20 for adults and $8 for students. A Season Subscription costs $70 and consists of four “freestyle” tickets that can be used at any SVC concert in any combination.

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 570-547-0455.

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