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19 Star Starred
Soka Performing Arts Center
Soka University of America 1 University Drive Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
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First Person: Seeing America combines iconic photographs from The Metropolitan Museum of Art – searing pictures of the Civil War and haunting portraits from the Great Depression – with the music of Ensemble Galilei and narration by actress Lily Knight to create a remarkable and powerful performance.

Begin with the strength, diversity and depth of the photography collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: photographs by Walker Evans, Edward Curtis, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Weegee and Thomas Eakins. Take those images and accompany them with the words of Langston Hughes, Carson McCullers, Damon Runyan, John Muir, Frederick Douglass, and others. The soundtrack is the evocative music of Ensemble Galilei – Bach, traditional music from Scotland and Ireland, and new compositions featuring fiddles, harp, viola da gamba, percussion, whistles and oboe.

Transcendent and soulful music winds around the text as high-resolution images are projected on a large screen in the center of the stage. In their second touring project with Ensemble Galilei, NPR’s Neal Conan and actress Lily Knight brilliantly bring people, events and places to life. What people! The haunted faces of rural Americans as they struggle to survive the Dust Bowl, indelible portraits of Native Americans. The events that shaped a nation – the Civil War, the Great Depression, the immigrant experience. And what places – from the sidewalks of New York to the majesty of Yosemite. Great photographers captured it all – hardship, war and despair, and the gritty determination of extraordinary people in a magnificent land. This is what these extraordinary photographers saw – _First Person: Seeing America. _

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