By Dan Miller for Playbill
The short film presentation of Adam Guettel’s song cycle Myths and Hymns will conclude with feature solos by Tony winner Jennifer Holliday, Broadway alum Mykal Kilgore, and opera favorite Anthony Roth Costanzo. The fourth and final installment, titled “Faith,” premieres May 26 at 6:30 PM ET on MasterVoices.org and the ensemble’s YouTube.
The lineup also includes the MasterVoices chorus, Theresa McCarthy, Miles Mykkanen, Ailyn Pérez, Nicholas Phan, and The Gospel Soul Children of New York along with dancers Emma Lou DeLaney, Milan Magaña, Justine Rafael, and Katja Stoer.
The short musical films are directed by Costanzo, Trip Cullman, Andrew Palermo, and Ted Sperling, the latter also creating all choral arrangements for the production. Don Sebesky and Jamie Lawrence serve as co-orchestrators and Erik Freer provides visual art for “The Great Highway,” which kicks off the installment. Other tracks featured are “There’s a Land,” “There’s a Shout,” “Awaiting You” “Saturn Returns: the Return,” and “Light After Darkness (Encore).”
The orchestra features Chuck Wilson, Dan Willis, and John Winder on woodwinds, Larry Lunetta on trumpet, Antoine Silverman on violin, Steve Bargonetti on guitar, Douglas Romoff on bass, Norbert Goldberg on percussion, and Todd Ellison on piano.
MasterVoices will also host a May 25 virtual screening with additional content featuring Sperling and some of the artists. More details are available here.
Guettel’s work is inspired by both Greek myths and a 19th-century Presbyterian hymnal, exploring faith and longing. MasterVoices premiered the first part January 13, with the second installment streaming February 24 and the third April 14. Past soloists have included Norm Lewis, Kelli O’Hara, Renée Fleming, Joshua Henry, Shoshana Bean, Daniel Breaker, Shereen Pimentel, Cheyenne Jackson, Drew Gehling, Dove Cameron, and Michael McElroy.
Myths and Hymns premiered at the Public Theater in 1998 under the title Saturn Returns. Nonesuch Records recorded the cycle the same year with a cast including Mandy Patinkin, Theresa McCarthy, Billy Porter, Audra McDonald, Annie Golden, Darius de Haas, and Guettel.
Myths and Hymns showcases more than 200 artists, soloists, and choristers and all chapters (“Flight,” “Work,” “Love,” and “Faith”) remain available for free streaming from their respective launch dates until June 30, 2021. Plans are afoot for the complete series to air on PBS following the run on YouTube.
The first half of Myths and Hymns is nominated for a 2021 Drama League Award in the Outstanding Digital Concert Production category.