Library of Congress Presents

New Song Cycle on Life of Sally Hemings

“From the Diary of Sally Hemings,” a new song cycle by composer William Bolcom and playwright Sandra Seaton, will have its world premiere at the Library of Congress by noted mezzo-soprano Florence Quivar on Friday, March 16, at 8 p.m. The concert, which is co-sponsored by the Elinor Remick Warren Society, will take place in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium located on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E.

This concert by Ms. Quivar is part of the 75th anniversary season of free “Concerts from the Library of Congress” and the second season of “I Hear America Singing,” a three-year musical celebration of the Library’s Bicentennial. This year, “I Hear America Singing” focuses on American artists: composers and performers both established and on the verge of major careers, in programs of standard masterpieces and newly commissioned works.

“From the Diary of Sally Hemings” was commissioned by Music Accord Inc., a consortium of United States concert presenters that includes the Library of Congress, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival, Tanglewood and others. Based on an imaginary journal the 18 songs provide a surprising yet persuasive interpretation of the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, officially a slave but also the half-sister of Jefferson’s wife Martha. The song cycle gives us a powerful portrait of Sally Hemings as a person.

Beginning February 7, tickets for the concert will be available for a nominal charge of $2 per ticket, with additional charges for phone orders and handling, from TicketMaster by calling (301) 808-6900, (202) 432-SEAT or by visiting TicketMaster outlets (maximum of two tickets per customer). Tickets for Library of Congress concerts are claimed quickly, but there are often empty seats at concert time. Interested patrons are encouraged to try for standby seats by appearing at the will-call desk in the Jefferson Building by 6:30 p.m. on concert evenings.

January 22, 2001
Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
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