Choral Society Premieres Victoria Bond Oratorio

The concert will be conducted by the society’s music director, Mark Mangini
Victoria Bond and Mark Mangini at a Choral Society party last summer. Durell Godfrey

The Choral Society of the Hamptons will perform the world premiere of “The Reluctant Moses,” part of a new oratorio by Victoria Bond, on June 25 at 7 p.m. at the Old Whalers Church in Sag Harbor. Commissioned by the society, the work is scored for solo bass vocalist, solo string bass, chorus, and orchestra, and will share the evening’s program with Beethoven’s “Mass in C.” 

Ms. Bond, a composer and conductor well known to East End audiences for her pre-opera lectures at Guild Hall, uses text from the Old Testament in her new composition, which focuses on Moses’s encounter with the burning bush and God’s injunction to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Dedicated to her father and grandfather, the work is the first installment of a concert-length oratorio that will continue the story of Moses with additional movements. 

Ms. Bond’s music has been performed by the New York City Opera, Dallas Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, members of the New York Philharmonic, and many others. The Anchorage Opera recently performed a semi-staged production of her opera “Mrs. President.” A sought-after lecturer, Ms. Bond is a part-time East Hampton resident.

Although “Mass in C” has the power of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and the lyricism of his “Pastorale,” it has been neglected in modern concerts, according to the choral society, which emphasizes “its extraordinary variety of texture and sudden shifts in dynamic levels.”

The concert will be conducted by the society’s music director, Mark Mangini. The soloists are Ileana Santamaria, soprano, Charlene Marcinko, mezzo-soprano, Sean Christensen, tenor, and Joseph Beutel, bass-baritone. John Feeney, on string bass, and the South Fork Chamber Orchestra will accompany the singers.

Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, with youth tickets available for $10 in advance, $15 at the door, and preferred-seating tickets priced at $75. Immediately after the concert, the society will hold a benefit wine and dessert reception for the soloists, conductor, and composer. Reservations can be made for $50; admission at the door is $60.

The Choral Society of the Hamptons is an auditioned chorus that performs with professional conductors, soloists, orchestra, and accompanists. It has presented high-quality choral music on the East End since the late Charlotte Rogers Smith, a local choir director, founded it in 1946.

More information and advance tickets to both the concert and the reception are available at the choral society’s website. Looking ahead, the society’s 70th anniversary benefit will be held Sept. 24 at the Woodhouse Playhouse in East Hampton.

Correction: An earlier verion of this article misstated the form of Ms. Bond's composition, referring to it incorrectly as an opera. It is the first installment of a concerto-length oratorio.