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Terra Nostra — A Tour de Force For Composer and Singers


Terra Nostra, the world-premiere recording of Stacy Garrop’s groundbreaking oratorio, explores humanity’s relationship with the earth, including climate change. An enormous artistic undertaking and a true collaborative effort, the album features the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Northwestern’s Alice Millar Chapel Choir, Uniting Voices Chicago (formerly Chicago Children’s Choir), and professional vocal soloists (soprano Michelle Areyzaga, mezzo-soprano Leah Dexter, tenor Jesse Donner, and bass-baritone David Govertsen), all conducted by Stephen Alltop.

Garrop reflects:

Terra Nostra focuses on the relationship between mankind and our planet, how this relationship has shifted over time, and how we can re-establish a harmonious balance. Featuring poetry by Walt Whitman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and Wendell Barry, among others, the work is divided into three parts titled Creation of the World, The Rise of Humanity, and Searching for Balance.

Garrop’s work has been featured on a dozen Cedille albums (including an all-Garrop orchestral CD). She credits this documentation and promotion of her artistry with her emergence as a full-time freelance composer. About Cedille’s recordings she has said: “These recordings have opened doors for me that I otherwise would not have been able to get through. And that leads to lots more performances, not just nationally, but internationally, and also to commissions from groups that I never would’ve had any contact with.”

The oratorio was recorded in February 2023 and is scheduled for April 2024 release on Earth Day. The album is funded by James H. Stone, Theodore Foss & Kent Dymak, and the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Fund for Vocal Recordings.


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