Voice of the Lake is an oratorio by Margaret Brouwer for Vocal Soloists, Choirs, and Chamber Orchestra that brings to life the struggle between the recreational and natural joys of Lake Erie and the commercial, agricultural and political issues that threaten its ecological health. Written in four parts with lyrics by Margaret Brouwer as well as transcripts from various public record documents.
Part I: At the Lake opens with a joyful tribute to the lake, as instruments portray the constant motion of the waves, children sing about playing in the water, and a fisherman recalls the pleasure of his work. The choir sings of the constant motion of the bubbling waves swirling the sand from rock to stone. An article in the newspaper is noticed, about a toxic blob nearing the water intake valve. A storm approaches moving swiftly across the lake.
Part II: The Public Hearing portrays a public hearing between the opposing forces of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and concerned citizens that includes a statement from Congresswoman Marcia Fudge. The conflict concerns the current toxicity of the lake bottom and whether it is safe to dump the dredged Cuyahoga River bottom into the lake. The choir voices lively opinions.
Part III: The Dream. Learning about the various polluters of the lake has left the soprano sleepless at night. She sings that she is filled with fear for the lake and the people. How can it be made right? A lullaby sung by the mezzo leads into a fitful dream in the form of video projection streaming various lake-pollution visuals that include farm and street run-off into the lake, and some of the innovative solutions being tried.
Part IV: Sunrise on the Lake. Birds sing as the sun rises on the horizon of the lake. The soloists and children sing, wondering whether the water will be clean so that they can swim. The choir sings of the power of the lake; how all things flow into the lake and life-giving water flows out. They sing of working and helping to care for this treasure.
The Old Boat and It is Long Past Dusk are settings of the poetry of David Adams
This project is supported by generous grants from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, The George Gund Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. But we still need your donations to help us reach our goal of matching these grant awards.