Denison Chapel Service To Feature Musical Version Of The 'Book Of Ruth'
Posted: November 10, 2000
A special musical presentation, "The Gleaners," will be featured at the Denison University chapel service at 7 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 19) in Swasey Chapel. A chamber opera composed by Claudia Howard Queen, "The Gleaners" is based on the Bible's Book of Ruth and premiered at the American Indian Community House in New York City. It also has played at the Church of the Incarnation in Chicago. The libretto was written by the late playwright/lyricist Rudy Martin.
Also featured in the chapel service will be a message by the Rev. Kim Keethler Ball on the story of Ruth. Keethler Ball is an ordained American Baptist minister who resides in. The service is open to the public.
"The Gleaners" is a love story of Ruth's marriage to Boaz and devotion to her mother-in-law, Naomi. It includes a musical setting of the familiar passage "Wherever you go, I will go with you." Queen and Martin wrote "The Gleaners" as part of their work at the graduate musical theatre writing program at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. They also collaborated on "Coyote Brothers," a two-act musical, and "500 Years of Prophecy," a 15-minute choral work.
Four guest artists will perform the work during the chapel service here. Betsy Green on piano, soprano Kelly Cronin as Ruth, and baritone/tenor Anthony Pierre Christopher as Boaz are all Chicago-area artists. Green maintains a private studio in Chicago and performed recently at the Chicago Cultural Center. She has assisted Queen since 1985 and serves as music director and/or pianist for many of Queen's productions. Cronin is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and has appeared with the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre in Chicago. Christopher has performed with the White Barn Theatre, the Black Ensemble Theater and the Apple Tree Theatre where he was nominated for best featured actor in a musical or revue for his role as Daniel in "Once on This Island."
Mezzo-soprano Anne Kanengeiser, who portrays Naomi, is a Columbus native and Otterbein graduate who recently made her New York debut on Broadway in"Ragtime." She also has performed at Ford's Theatre as Eleanor Roosevelt in "Eleanor: An American Love Story," and in productions at the Signature Theatre, and Maine State Music Theatre. She was seen in Columbus last April in Pro Musica's production of "Passion."
Assistant Professor Queen, who earned her master of fine arts degree at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, is the resident musician in the department of dance at Denison. She has earned several awards including the grand prize from the American Musical Theatre Festival for Dreams of Defiance, the Pilgrim Award (for works of moral significance) and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio and Illinois Arts Councils and Arts Midwest. She has composed works and performed at numerous dance department concerts since joining Denison's faculty.
Martin, who also earned his master of fine arts degree at Tisch, was published in "The New York Times" and "The Village Voice" among other papers. Public relations director for the American Indian Community House in New York City, Martin was of Navajo/Tewa/Apache heritage and retained his Native American spirituality although he had converted to Christianity. Martin also served as a character consultant for PBS's children's television series "Shining Time Station."
The special service is presented by the Office of Religious Life and is co-sponsored by Denison's Women's Programs, Student Activities, First-Year Programs, International Student Advising, Multicultural Affairs, the Denison Jewish Fellowship and the Catholic student organization, the Newman Club.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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