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January 10, 2020

University Professor Paul Moravec’s Oratorio “Sanctuary Road” Released on CD and Streaming Platforms

Professor of Music Paul Moravec seated at a piano.

Sanctuary Road—an oratorio by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Adelphi University Professor of Music Paul Moravec, with librettist Mark Campbell, based on the writings of Underground Railroad organizer William Still—saw its first recording released on CD and streaming platforms via Naxos Records on January 10.

Moravec and Campbell—who previously collaborated on an opera based on Stephen King’s novel The Shining—drew on the experiences documented in Still’s 1872 book The Underground Railroad to create the 16 movements in the work, which received its premiere at Carnegie Hall in May 2018, under the direction of Kent Tritle. BroadwayWorld praised the Carnegie Hall production for its “riveting, pulsating wall of sound [and] stellar soloists.”

Sanctuary Road is the second in a series of “American historical oratorios” and Moravec’s sixth release with the label.

“Naxos International is the world’s leading classical music label,” Moravec said. “These dedicated masters are on a mission to bring this oratorio about the Underground Railroad to the widest possible public attention. The physical CD includes the entire libretto printed in the liner notes, a feature almost unheard of these days. The CD is also enhanced by a 20-minute podcast interview with the original cast and creators, moderated by Terrance McKnight of WQXR radio.”

Future performances of Sanctuary Road are scheduled by orchestras in Chautauqua, New York, Oakland, California, and Columbus, Ohio, and Moravec’s upcoming oratorio about Ellis Island, A Nation of Others, will receive its premiere in May at Carnegie Hall. The Shining will also be staged in April by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

See more about Moravec, an interview with him and others about Sanctuary Road as well as samples from the oratorio.


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