Open Gates Project features women of color

Video still of mezzo-soprano, AnnMarie Sandy.

Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS) inaugurates its Open Gates Project with “The Divine Feminine: Centering Women of Color in Early Music,” a program of 17th–century works celebrating the animating feminine spirit featuring an ensemble composed of women of color.

The performances take place Nov. 12 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Manhattan), Nov. 13 at Jamaica Performing Arts Center (Queens), and Nov. 14 at Pregones Theater (Bronx).

Taking its name from the creative force that brings all things into being, GEMS told Caribbean Life that “The Divine Feminine” features sacred and secular works by preeminent 17th–century female composers Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini, performed by “outstanding rising and established American and international artists, with careers encompassing early, chamber, and Classical music, opera, jazz, and musical theater.”

Patricia Ann Neely-viola da gamba. GEMS

“The program is bookended with works devoted to the Virgin Mary,” GEMS said.

It opens with Madre, de los primores by New World visionary, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, who is considered the first great Latin American poet and recognized for her influential perspectives on women and scholarship.

“Pergolesi’s glorious and sublime Stabat Mater closes the program,” GEMS said.

Mezzo-Soprano Hai-Ting Chinn. GEMS

Through its Open Gates Project, GEMS said it is “committed to significant efforts to make early music performance opportunities more equitable for artists of color and more accessible to historically excluded communities of color.”

Over the coming year, GEMS said the Project will offer a “rich variety of music” performed by distinguished artists for diverse audiences throughout New York City.

General admission seating is available online at; by calling 212-866-0468; and at the door, subject to availability.

For more information, visit the website or email [email protected].

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