Joan and the Bells Performances


Rain-Post (Bad Kissingen, Germany)

A surprise of the program was the dramatically effective and intensive performance of Gordon Getty's Joan and the Bells. This melodious work proves that contemporary music need not be only mechanically constructed... Lisa Delan and Vladimir Chernov sang with powerful yet tender voices, and the Eric Ericson Choir's singing was precise in articulation and sensitively controlled.

La Nouvelle Republique (Bourges, France)

This short lyric drama, somber and violent, following the last moments of Jeanne d'Arc, was performed by a strong and infinitely colorful orchestra, and by a choir of exceptional quality.

Le Courrier Francais (Bourges, France)

The audience was surprised by the modernity of the piece, and by the diversity of the percussion instruments used in it ... The soloists showed exemplary articulation allowing the public to follow the course of the drama. The strength and drive of the soprano and the baritone, and the notes they laced together, captured the audience.

Nevada Events (Reno, Nevada)

Getty's Joan and the Bells [is] abundant in the good fortune of inventive ideas, dramatic vocal lines, rich orchestration, a vivid tapestry of textures, and - above all - an overwhelming musicality that's lovely to hear, delightful to behold and accessible.

"The idea that contemporary music is often so distant and remote as to need an advanced degree in musicology to fathom it is nowhere evident in Getty's powerful Joan and the Bells ...

"The contrastingly brutal and sublime orchestration which drives Joan and the Bells from anguish to exhilaration overflows with theatrical power on one hand and sublime personal introspection on the other...

"Soprano Lisa Delan sings Joan, a role she has made her own, and she sings with the kind of pure tone one expects of a saint-to-be and the passion one expects from a 19-year-old girl going to her death. Miss Delan is exceptional... The results are a performance that is nearly as exceptional as Getty's music is sublime.

Ulyanovsky Vestnik (Ulyanovsk, Russia)

The audience’s enthusiasm was aroused with Getty’s Joan and the Bells, in which was detected the influence of Wagnerian orchestration (from the period of Lohengrin and Flight of the Valkyrie) on the composer. Following this excellent performance, the audience reacted with an enthusiastic ovation.

Dernieres Nouvelles D’Alsace (Colmar) engaging piece, very warmly received by the audience.

What They’re Saying

"To present American and Russian musicians performing and teaching together at Festival Napa precisely the kind of effort that sustains vital cultural a critical time for both societies. [This] resonates with the public [and] is meaningful for the musician participants...Cultural diplomacy and music offer alternatives to contention and sustain important linkages between our societies for the long run...Now more than ever we need viable citizen-to-citizen points of contact and dialogue."

James F. Collins (Ambassador Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace