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Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine at Harvard University

  • Oberon 2 Arrow Street Cambridge, MA 02138 (map)

Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine brings together the astonishing talents of several of today’s most innovative artists. Conceived by director Peter Sellars and Julia Bullock and premiered at the Ojai Music Festival in June of 2016, Perle Noire spotlights Joséphine Baker’s iconic songs re-composed by the percussionist Tyshawn Sorey and sung by world renown soprano and activist Julia Bullock, who sees her work on the show not as an impersonation of Baker, but as a tribute. The work features spoken texts by Claudia Rankine with quotes by Joséphine Baker and was commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Alice Teyssier, flutes
Ryan Muncy, saxophone
Rebekah Heller, bassoon
Jennifer Curtis, violin
Daniel Lippel, guitar
Julia Bullock, soprano
Tyshawn Sorey, composer, drums, percussion, and piano

Conceived by Peter Sellars and Julia Bullock
Spoken texts by Claudia Rankine with quotes by Joséphine Baker (edited by Julia Bullock and Zack Winokur)
Choreography by Michael Schumacher
Sound design by Levy Lorenzo
Lighting by Nicholas Houfek
Production stage management by Pam Salling

While this event is sold out, please join us May 2 at the Harvard CCVA Bookstore for a conversation with the artists.

Performances and commissioning activities during the 2018-19 concert season are made possible by the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Amphion Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Pacific Harmony Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, The Casement Fund, BMI Foundation, as well as public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council for the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Yamaha Artist Services New York is the exclusive piano provider for ICE.