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Concert expands into universe of possibilities

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A galaxy of stars, artworks and music awaits visitors to Saturday’s “Music of the Spheres” program in Santa Fe.

The New Mexico Performing Arts Society will host University of New Mexico astrophysicist Patricia Henning, the New Mexico Bach Chorale and artist Tina Mion in this tribute to the universe.

Divided into a trio of Henning’s slide presentations on the solar system, music and visual art, each part opens with selections from Bach’s Art of the Fugue from a vocal quartet and an ensemble of nine chamber orchestra musicians.

“In some ways, Bach’s Art of the Fugue is considered his magnum opus,” society president Linda Marianiello said. The composer took elements of the fugue and combined them in new and complex ways, much like the ever-expanding universe, she said.

The singers will perform an excerpt from the opera “Rusalka” by Dvorák, the song “Total Eclipse” from Handel’s “Samson,” Debussy’s “Starry Night” and “The Astronomers” by American composer Richard Hundley.

The featured singers are Albuquerque soprano Cammy Cook, mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Zander-Wall, tenor André García-Nuthmann and baritone Paul Bower.

International Shakespeare Guild founder John Andrews will read excerpts from “The Merchant of Venice” containing references to the universe and the planets, Marianiello said.

The concert will close with Josef Strauss’ “Music of the Spheres Waltz.”

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