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Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Odyssey Opera Release New Album: Norman Dello Joio: The Trial at Rouen

September 15, 2020 | By AMT PR | April Thibeault


Norman Dello Joio: The Trial at Rouen

Composer: Norman Dello Joio (1913-2008)

Release Date: September 15, 2020

TRT: Disc One: 62:14 Disc Two: 56:53

Works: The Triumph of Saint Joan Symphony (1952), The Trial at Rouen (1956)

Performers: Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), soprano Heather Buck (Joan), baritone Stephen Powell (Pierre Cauchon), bass-baritone Ryan Stoll (The Jailer), tenor Jeremy Ayres-Fisher (Soldier), led by Gil Rose (conductor)


Boston, MA (For Release 09.15.20) — Known as the nation’s foremost label launched by an orchestra and devoted exclusively to new music, Grammy Award-winning BMOP/sound today announced the release of Norman Dello Joio: The Trial at Rouen, a two-CD set featuring works by Boston-based Emmy Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Norman Dello Joio (1913-2008). Led by conductor Gil Rose, two of Boston’s leading musical ensembles—the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and Odyssey Opera—are joined by some of today’s top vocalists including Heather Buck (soprano) and Stephen Powell (baritone). The recording comprises a mini-survey of two 1950s large-scale scores inspired by the French national hero Joan of Arc: the orchestral work The Triumph of Saint Joan Symphony followed by the full, rich English-language opera The Trial at Rouen.

The album opens with Dello Joio's most popular work, The Triumph of Saint Joan Symphony (1951), a regal symphonic adaptation of the American composer’s first Joan of Arc-inspired opera of the same name. An instant success, the symphony was recorded on an early LP by the Louisville Orchestra. The composer was dissatisfied with the work and withdrew it from circulation. “I knew that I had not said what I wanted to about St. Joan,” explained Dello Joio.


Dello Joio returned to the saga of the Maid of Orléans and wrote an entirely new work focusing on the end of Joan of Arc’s short yet heroic life. “The Trial at Rouen is not a version of my first opera but is a completely new statement, both musically and dramatically; though the temptation to use the old material was great.” Commissioned by the NBC Television Opera Theatre, The Trial at Rouen is a 75-minute, one-act opera in two scenes with libretto by the composer. It premiered on NBC-TV in 1956, but quickly fell into obscurity.Although millions tuned in for the broadcast, this powerful work was never performed onstage for a live audience until BMOP and Odyssey Opera premiered it in 2017. "Rarely, if ever, do we have the opportunity to set an opera from screen to stage to recording," explains Gil Rose, Artistic Director, Founder, and Conductor of both BMOP and Odyssey. "It is such an honor and thrill to be making operatic history!"


About BMOP/sound         
BMOP/sound, BMOP’s independent record label, was created in 2008 to provide a platform for BMOP’s extensive archive of music, as well as to provide widespread, top-quality, permanent access to both classics of the 20th century and the music of today’s most innovative composers. BMOP/sound has garnered praise from the national and international press. It is the recipient of a 2020 Grammy Award for Tobias Picker: Fantastic Mr. Fox as well as eight Grammy Award nominations, and its releases have appeared on the year-end “Best of” lists of The New York Times, The Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Time Out New York, American Record Guide, DownBeat, WBUR, NewMusicBox, and others. Admired, praised, and sought after by artists, presenters, critics, and audiophiles, BMOP and BMOP/sound are uniquely positioned to redefine the new music concert and recording experience. Launched in 2019, BMOP's digital radio station, BMOP/radio, streams BMOP/sound's entire catalog and airs special programming.

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