Office of Public Affairs

(315) 312-2265

April 21, 2004

CONTACT: Mary Avrakotos, 312-4581 or


    OSWEGO -- Upcoming performances for the multimedia production "Voices of Light" May 6 and 7 at SUNY Oswego will represent a large-scale campus and community collaboration, according to Dr. Julie Pretzat, the show's musical director.

    Created by composer Richard Einhorn, "Voices of Light" combines live music with a screening of Carl Dreyer's 1928 silent-film masterpiece "The Passion of Joan of Arc." Oswego's College Choir, Festival Chorus, Chamber Singers and College-Community Orchestra will accompany the award-winning vocalists Anonymous 4, who will sing the "voice" of Joan of Arc. In all, there will be more than 160 singers and musicians taking part in creating the live soundtrack.   

    Pretzat first learned about the piece from Mary Avrakotos, who coordinates the college's Artswego Performing Arts program. "I fell in love with the music" on first listen, said Pretzat, professor and chair of music at SUNY Oswego. "It was very different, very tonal, and in an early musical style. Just haunting music. Then as I read more about it, the more I became interested in having the piece performed at Oswego."

    Pretzat and Avrakotos also valued the many opportunities the production offered to campus and community groups. It appealed to music lovers and student musicians, fans of multimedia productions, and people interested in the history of Joan of Arc, among others, Pretzat noted.

    Pretzat said students have responded strongly to the beauty of the music and the chance to perform such a moving score.

    "It's an incredible opportunity for them to sing a newly completed piece, and since Anonymous 4 is coming, they can perform with a world-renowned group," she said. "Anonymous 4 is disbanding after this year, so having them perform live on campus and work with students is an incredible opportunity."

    Pretzat's own challenges will include "trying to coordinate the live music with the film," she said. "Everything has to happen at the right time." But everyone will benefit from the experience, she added.

    "I think it will affect people on a lot of different levels," Pretzat said. "It's a compelling story, and the film is considered one of the all-time great films. People will learn a lot about the Joan of Arc story. I think they'll really respond to the music."

    Through funding support, Entergy Nuclear Northeast became another community player in bringing "Voices of Light" to Oswego. "Entergy believes in giving back to the community and serving as a catalyst in making Oswego a vibrant place to live and work," said Bonnie Bostian, spokeswoman for Entergy Nuclear Northeast. "Time and again we have provided support that enhances the cultural life of the community. 'Voices of Light' is a particularly important project because of the high level of community involvement in the production."

    Tickets cost $22, $18 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students. A special family package, which includes two adult and two child passes, is available for $72.

    Media support is provided by WCNY Classic FM and Clear Channel Radio through its affiliate station, 570-WSYR.

    For information, details about group rates or reservations, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141 or visit the college's performing arts Web site at

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College Choir at work

PREPARING 'VOICES' -- The SUNY Oswego College Choir, shown during a recent rehearsal, is one of several campus and community groups collaborating for the upcoming multimedia production of "Voices of Light" May 6 and 7 in Tyler Hall's Waterman Theatre. Directing the choir, is Dr. Julie Pretzat, professor and chair of music at SUNY Oswego. "Voices of Light" combines live music with a screening of Carl Dreyer's 1928 silent-film masterpiece "The Passion of Joan of Arc." For information, call the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141.

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