What an honor to present Kathleen Battle—one of the opera world’s brightest stars—in the intimate environs of Meany Theater. If you were in the audience that night, you witnessed a remarkable artist—one whose luminous voice has been called “…without qualification, one of the very few most beautiful in the world”—perform an unforgettable program of spirituals in Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey. What’s more, you experienced Ms. Battle’s almost magical ability to create an unwavering bond with her audience.
That bond extended not only into the audience, but also to and among the more than 60 choir members from Sound of the Northwest and the UW Chamber Singers who joined her on stage for the concert.
No one who heard them that night could have guessed they’d only had 15 hours of rehearsal together before the performance. So how did a world-famous diva, a community choir specializing in traditional gospel and a campus choir of professional musicians-in-training pull it all together in less than a week?
Therein hangs a tale…