2017 Hartford Premiere Performance


The Hartford Premiere of Letter from Italy, 1944 was a
Second Chance to see History in the Making…!

Letter from Italy, 1944 – The Hartford Premiere

The 2017 Hartford Premiere Performance –

On May 4, 2017, the GMChorale and Hartford Chorale, with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, presented the Hartford Premiere of Letter from Italy, 1944. This new oratorio is based upon the wartime experiences of WWII surgeon John K. Meneely. The performance featured a combined 200 voices onstage with orchestral accompaniment, synchronized with illustrative photos and film footage. This remarkable work by Sarah Meneely-Kyder is quite timely, as we still strive to understand and address our veterans’ struggles with PTSD.

Thursday, May 4, 2017, 7:30 PM
The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Hartford, Connecticut
Co-produced by the Hartford Chorale and the GMChorale

Hartford Premiere Production:
Artistic Director and Conductor – Joseph D’Eugenio
Theater Director (Stage Director) – Alan Mann
Music Director, Hartford Chorale – Richard Coffey
With the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Carolyn Kuan, Music Director
Starring Jack Anthony Pott as Dr. John K. Meneely of the 10th Mountain Division

Background –

Letter from Italy, 1944, by American composer Sarah Meneely-Kyder, was commissioned and premiered by the GMChorale in April 2013 at the Performing Arts Center in Middletown, CT. Conducted by Joseph D’Eugenio, this performance was fully staged by director Sheila Garvey, with projections and lighting design by Jiyoun Chang and Sheila Garvey.  

This oratorio was inspired by and set to the poetry of Nancy Fitz-Hugh Meneely and the book by Joseph D’Eugenio, and is scored for chorus, orchestra and soloists. The storyline focuses on the problem now affecting so many returning military and their families – PTSD. It also affected the Meneely family when their father returned from his WWII service as a medic with the 10th Mountain Division.