Burning River Baroque will perform at St. Alban on March 21

Cleveland Heights resident Malina Rauschenfels, soprano, and Paual Maust, harpsichord, artistic directors of Burning River Baroque. Photo courtesy of Alex Belisle.

Burning River Baroque continues its seventh season with a series of thought-provoking performances, beginning Tuesday, March 19. The Other Side of the Story: Untold Perspectives on Familiar Tales has been crafted to connect baroque music to contemporary social issues.

The March performances engage audiences around the timeless issues of toxic masculinity and consent. Historic passages and tales have been interwoven with a broad range of musical compositions and related commentary. “We frequently get to experience history through the victor’s eyes,” said co-director Malina Rauschenfels. “We’re interested in hearing the other side of the story—from those populations that are often marginalized.”

Drawing from ancient mythology, literature, and Biblical passages, the dramatic music highlights themes raised by the #MeToo movement. From the Book of Judith to the story of a Siren from her own perspective, the performers discuss the ways in which ancient tales resonate in our communities today.

The program for soprano, flute, cello and harpsichord includes baroque repertoire, a medieval work, and the premiere of Honey sweet we sing for you, a cantata by Aaron Grad and Jennifer Bullis. Amid the week of performances, Burning River Baroque will perform at and host outreach workshops especially designed for the Renee Jones Empowerment Center and CMSD’s Bard High School Early College.

The March series includes a Thursday, March 21 performance at St. Alban Episcopal Church (2555 Euclid Heights Blvd.), as well as downtown and other regional locations. The Cleveland Heights performance is at 7 p.m., with a suggested donation of $10 to $20.  

Founded in 2012, Burning River Baroque has been praised by a writer for the Boston Music Intelligencer as “a group that left an indelible print on my psyche.” Audience members reported that they appreciate the opportunity to experience the marriage of critical thought and musical performance in a welcome and engaging atmosphere. One attendee described the experience as “not classical music as a privileged escape from reality, but classical music as a way to engage with and reframe current reality.”

The Other Side of the Story runs from March 19 through 23, with public venues that include downtown Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Youngstown, Fairlawn, and Lakewood. Visit www.burning-river-baroque.org to learn more.

Shari Nacson

Mostly a mom, Shari Nacson, is a freelance editor, social worker, and nonprofit consultant who makes her home in Cleveland Heights. More than anything, Nacson is inspired by kids and adults who build connection through kindness.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 10:33 AM, 03.19.2019