Taylor Mac to the Bergen International Festival with an American extravaganza.
The 2022 Bergen International Festival offers the world premiere of an abridged symphonic version of Taylor Mac's celebrated performance A 24-decade history of popular music.
The performance presents a bedazzled subjective history of America through popular song.
'A 24-decade history of popular music has, at its core, been about expanding our understanding of our community, history, and humanity. To help us do that we take dichotomies and work to bring them closer together. Who would ever imagine a queen from New York City singing with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra? We can't wait to hear and see what happens,' says Taylor Mac.
The American artist is known for creating works full of simultaneous beauty and resistance. Mac is a singer, composer, playwright, actor and general theatre-maker, and creates performances that blow up any attempts at categorization. With magnificent costumes, distinctive renditions of classics from far back in the American songbook and a great stage personality that alternates between being charming and stinging, A 24-decade history of popular music has achieved great success in various formats.
As a one-time event in Brooklyn, Mac staged the show as 24-hour marathon performance. 'One of the greatest experiences of my life. I have slept on it, and I'm sure,' wrote The New York Times. The performance was also one of the finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2017 and was the winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama awarded to a theatrical work that best explores America's history as a way of examining the great issues of our day.
For the performance, the work will, for the first time, be arranged for a symphony orchestra. Commissioned by the Bergen International Festival, its world premiere will be performed by the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. The approximately 2-hour program will feature new arrangements of American classics from Civil War ballads to 1960's protest music.
For this special edition of the project, Taylor Mac is collaborating with the American composer and arranger Ted Hearne and conductor Alan Pierson. Taylor Mac will also be joined by long time collaborators, Music Director Matt Ray and costume designer Machine Dazzle.