Exploring Batá: La Pasión según San Marcos
Composer Osvaldo Golijov, percussionist Mikael Ringquist, and singer/dancer Reynaldo González-Fernández interact with students around Batá, a Cuban ceremonial music derived from Yoruba religious practices in Africa.
Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasión según San Marcos is a stunning oratorio that tells the story of the Passion of Christ through the cultural and musical history of the Latin American people, including mambo and Batá drumming from Cuba and samba and Capoeira from Brazil, with texts sung in Spanish, Latin, and Aramaic.
Leading up to the March 10, 2013, performance, Golijov and many of the professional musicians taking part in this concert have worked closely with more than one hundred New York City high school singers from Forest Hills High School and Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, and the Harlem-based youth choir Songs of Solomon, starting in spring 2012 as part of an in-depth creative learning project presented by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. The young singers will form the bulk of the chorus for this performance, alongside Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, which premiered the work in 2000.
On November 3, 2012, many of the student musicians participated in a daylong workshop with Osvaldo Golijov and musicians from Orquesta la Pasión as a way to learn more about the cultural and musical origins of the piece.