Considering Matthew Shepard
presented in association with CHRIS ISAACSON PRESENTS
In October of 1998, Matthew Shepard, a young gay student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in a lonely field under a blanket of stars. Five days later, when Matt passed away, the world was watching. Approaching the eve of the 20th anniversary, acclaimed GRAMMY®-winning conductor Craig Hella Johnson has created a musical response to Shepard’s tragic and untimely death that seeks to both celebrate his life and explore how we can use tragedy as a means to discover our common humanity. Led on the piano by Johnson, this choral drama features the full 30-member GRAMMY®-winning Conspirare choir, a small instrumental ensemble and projected imagery. Taking place as part of the City of West Hollywood and WeHo Arts’ One City One Pride commemoration of this important anniversary.
This event is part of IGNITE @ the FORD!, a series presented by the Ford Theatre Foundation comprised of world-renowned contemporary artists whose work is thought-provoking and reflects the world in which we live. Supported by Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
“Johnson conducts 29 voices of Conspirare with an eight-piece instrumental ensemble in a brilliant, heartfelt performance.”—Washington Post
“It’s impossible to be unmoved.... Johnson’s musical vocabulary, here and throughout, is comfortingly consonant, an impressive union of country, folk/pop, gospel, plainchant, hymn and blues with a touch of musical theater."—Opera News
“‘Considering Matthew Shepard’ is a stunning work. It treats a deadly serious topic with surprising levity, and at the same time makes a shrewd connection to the heart of this darkness.”—Austin American-Statesman