Review by Edward Kliszus

Beginning tonight’s world premiere, Artistic Director and Conductor Ted Sperling introduced tonight’s MasterVoices presentation of Chapter I of 4 performances entitled Flight, with music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, additional lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh, and orchestrations by Don Sebesky and Jamie Lawrence. This first installment begins with examining the nature of religious faith during these secular times, perhaps more poignant due to the crushing effects of the international COVID-19 virus that has all but shut down music performances and theater.

This amalgamation of 19th century protestant hymnody and Greek myths begins with its musical exploration of the legend of Icarus, son of Daedalus (creator of the Labyrinth), who flew too close to the sun with wings of wax and feathers. Icarus’ struggles to reconcile his father’s dominance only to plunge to his oceanic demise is characterized by this venue with a rich musical mixture of Rhythm and Blues, gospel, and classical venues supplemented by musical theater. A true multi-media experience is reimagined for the virtual stage.

This fabulous multi-media venue was beautifully choreographed, recorded, and filmed with artists at their individual locations, presenting through song and theater the stories of Prometheus and Icarus and more, a segment entitled Migratory V, Pegasus, and Jesus The Mighty Conqueror. Masterfully recorded and mixed soundtracks were best experienced using high-quality headphones or stereo. The songs were clever, original, fresh, chromatically complex, and masterfully performed, effectively telling a story while engaging, touching, and moving the listening participant. Performers and musical accompaniment were outstanding… world-class musicians all.

Comments from YouTube listeners included “love love LOVE this,” “THIS IS INCREDIBLE,” “Take 6 = Heaven”, “in the hands of the masters,” “This is extraordinary, beautiful and uplifting,” “I’ve been singing this all day,” “Love Take 6”, “chilz,” “bless,” “Best thing ever,” “Bravo all,” “I’m watching again!”

Featuring soloists from pop, operatic, and theatrical landscapes, tonight’s program opened with duo pianists Anderson & Roe performing Prometheus. Joshua Henry sang Saturn Returns: The Flight, then Mykal Kilgore as Icarus, Norm Lewis as Daedalus, and Migratory V featuring Julia Bullock, Renée Fleming, and Kelli O’Hara. Pegasus featured Jose Llana as Bellerophon, Capathia Jenkins as Pegasus, and Elizabeth Stanley as Gadfly, with a rousing finale by Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea, and Khristian Dentley) and company performing Jesus, the Mighty Conqueror. Encore, encore!

Major contributions were made by directors Greg Anderson, Sammi Cannold, Lear deBessonet, Khristian Dentley, and Ted Sperling; visual artists Yazmany Arboleda, Cloud Chatanda, Steven Kellogg, Lucy Mackinnon, and Danny Mefford; arrangers Greg Anderson and Mark Kibble; lyricist Ellen Fitzhugh; and orchestrators Don Sebesky and Jamie Lawrence.

Be sure to tune into the three subsequent chapters, streaming on February 24, April 14, and May 26 that feature the MasterVoices chorus; soloists Daniel Breaker, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Joshua Henry, Cheyenne Jackson, and Nicholas Phan; actor John Lithgow; directors Trip Cullman, Doug Fitch, Anne Kauffman, and Ted Sperling; visual artist Manik Choksi; lyricist Ellen Fitzhugh; and orchestrators Don Sebesky and Jamie Lawrence, with additional artists to be announced.

Use your stereo system or headphones for full aural and emotional submersion while enjoying the creative and thoughtfully selected visual images. The show was uplifting, inspirational, comforting, and a poignant reminder of the human spirit and art’s importance in expressing hope, faith, and humanity during these difficult times.

You can also attend private screening events at 6 pm on the eve of each Public Premiere release date, hosted by Ted Sperling and the Master Voices Gala Committee. For information click here, reserve seats here,  or go to Each event includes:

  • a live Q&A with the artists
  • an online auction
  • a virtual cocktail session with the artists

For more information, contact or contact MasterVoices at 1441 Broadway Suite 3024, New York, NY 10018| 646.202.9623.

Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Within Earshot: Anthems for the In-Between, Love by Mastervoices, and Faith by MasterVoices.

​​ Runtime was about 28 minutes.