Year of Moses

The Academy of Sacred Drama’s ambitious Year of Moses features the modern American premieres of three Italian-Baroque oratorios by Modenese librettist Giovanni Battista Giardini. The music of Vincenzo de Grandis, Giovanni Antonio Gianettini, and Bernardo Pasquini will be paired with contextual lectures and community receptions. French-Baroque Moses cantatas will also be featured in an intimate musical evening.

Oratorio  de Grandis’s Il Nascimento di Mose

A tyrannical Pharaoh fears the growing power of the Hebrews and orders that all male new-borns are to be thrown into the river Nile.

Fri, Sept 14   7:15 PM at St. Mary’s, Norwalk, CT
Sat, Sept 15   7:15 PM at Calvary Church, NYC


Salon  Parting of the Re(e)d Sea

An intimate musical evening featuring Moses cantatas of the French Baroque by de Bousset and Jacquet de La Guerre.

Sat, Nov 10   7:15 PM at The Chapel at St. George’s, NYC

Oratorio  Gianettini’s La Creatione de’ Magistrati

In this modern premiere, the prophet Moses learns to delegate and restores balance to his household and government.

Sun, Jan 13   4 PM at Corpus Christi, NYC; presented by Music Before 1800


Academy Players  England My England

The Academy Players perform English instrumental music from Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Age through the Restoration.

Fri, Feb 1   8 PM at Fairchild Theatre, Michigan State University, MI


Oratorio  Pasquini’s I fatti di Mosè nel deserto

In an oratorio based on Exodus 18, Moses, his brother Aaron, and a narrator vividly recall the challenges and successes in the wilderness.

Sat, April 6   7:15 PM at Calvary Church, NYC
Sun, April 7  3 PM at St. Joseph’s, Bronxville, NY


Partner Concert  Linley Jr’s Song of Moses

The Israelites’ rejoice after the Red Sea closes over the Egyptian army in Linley Jr’s masterpiece. Presented by Big Apple Baroque.

Sat, May 25   7:15 PM at Calvary Church, NYC

Revitalizing culture through the exploration of sacred dramatic music

Male singer with music stand and back of violinist in foreground.

The Academy of Sacred Drama subverts convention by exploring sacred dramatic music as a membership organization rather than a performing ensemble. This approach has enabled unusually ambitious projects such as the production of an open license journal devoted to sacred drama. Last season’s journals helped to develop a richer understanding of the deuterocanonical and Baroque conceptions of Judith for modern readers and audiences. This season’s journal will explore Moses in sacred dramatic music as well as Moses art housed in New York City.

The Academy’s creation of editions and translations of little-known Baroque oratorios and cantate has enabled the frequent presentation of modern and American premieres of these works paired with lectures and receptions. The Academy’s 2017-2018 Year of Judith featured the modern day premiere of Domenico Freschi’s Giuditta, the American premiere of Antonio Draghi’s Oratorio di Giuditta at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and a program of rarely heard Judith cantate of the French Baroque. The Academy was featured in that first season in an article in Commonweal Magazine, and its artistic decisions were declared “striking” by the New York Times.

2018-2019 is the Academy’s Year of Moses and features another set of premieres of large-scale musical works. Oratorios by Vincenzo de Grandis and Giovanni Antonio Gianettini will be presented for the first time in more than 300 years. The Academy will also perform the American premiere of an oratorio by Bernardo Pasquini and a program of rarely heard Moses cantate of the French Baroque.

This initial phase of the Academy explores little-known Baroque repertoire through a variety of professional collaborations. In future seasons, the Academy will publish editions of historical sacred dramatic music and translations with open licenses and will expand its research of the repertoire as well as its educational activities to medieval sources, modern commissions, and explorations of the place of drama within and outside of Christian liturgies. Starting in 2020, the organization’s artistic process will focus on curated seasons designed to take artistic risks and to challenge commonly held assumptions about music, drama, and society.

The Academy is a not-for-profit corporation in the State of New York and is federally recognized as a tax exempt public charity under IRC Section 501 (c) (3). Donations are tax deductible.

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Academy Journal

Yale Schola Cantorum Performs Heinrich Schütz’s Weihnachts-Historie

By Christopher Browner The superbly talented singers of Yale Schola Cantorum, Yale Institute of Music’s chamber choir for the performance of sacred music, were still in the holiday spirit on January 27, 2018, when they offered a radiant performance of Heinrich Schütz’s Weihnachts-Historie (Christmas Story), SWV 435 to a packed audience at New Haven’s Christ …

Become a Member

Explore the world of sacred dramatic music as a member of the Academy of Sacred Drama! All memberships come with a print subscription to the Academy Journal of Sacred Drama, $10 discounts to oratorios and salons for up to two friends, and invitations to potluck dinners for you and your invited friends.

Oratorio Membership
$150 Individual  $65 tax deductible
$250 Dual  $90 tax deductible
Membership includes general admission to 9/15, 11/10, and 4/6 performances.

Patron Membership
$300 Individual  $155 tax deductible
$450 Dual  $170 tax deductible
Membership includes premium admission to 9/15, 11/10, and 4/6 performances and invitations to open rehearsals.

Benefactor Membership
$500 Individual  $350 tax deductible
$650 Dual  $365 tax deductible
Membership includes an invitation to an exclusive private reception with the musicians on Friday, April 5th, a signed poster with the season’s musicians, and all the perks of a Patron Membership.

Student Membership
$15 Individual  not tax deductible
Membership includes access to $10 student tickets to 9/15, 11/10, and 4/6 performances and invitations to open rehearsals.