June 5th, 2016
About “Naamah’s Ark” (oratorio for 200 singers)
“Michelson and Vavrek’s melodic and earthy new community oratorio, entitled Naamah’s Ark, draws from the natural language of the body in combination with influences from the folk, classical and musical theatre traditions. Inspired by Hurricane Sandy, which united different communities in a time of strife, Naamah’s Ark is set after the great flood in the story of Noah’s Ark, at the crucial point in which all of the different species of animals must learn how to share the future.
Inspiration for Naamah’s Ark came out of my conversations with various community leaders from Lawrence, Long Island,” said composer Marisa Michelson. “After the first few visits, I possessed a distinct feeling for a community fiercely devoted to nurturing open-mindedness… There is vast economic disparity in this community, but a seemingly deep sense of peace between families from different socio-economic backgrounds. Out of my conversations with community members, it became obvious that one of the themes of our piece needed to be about the intention for co-existence among people who harbor different world-views.”