Sunday, June 11, 2023 @ 6:00pm – 8:30pm (EDT)
The Catacombs of Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY, United States
William Byrd — Selected works

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Byrd, one of the great musical mavericks of the Renaissance. When Catholics were being tortured and killed for their beliefs during the Reformation, Byrd composed three masses for small ensembles, so that people could worship the old Latin rite in the secrecy of their homes. He did this not because he was a religious zealot, but because he wanted to speak out against injustice, and remind people that belief should be something that unites us, rather than divides us.

Part art installation, part concert, and part immersive theater, Secret Byrd springs from the visionary mind of Bill Barclay. The performance will feature 6 singers and 6 instrumentalists spread throughout the Catacombs, involving audience members in the experience of a forbidden Mass during a time of danger, and a powerful reminder of the tenuous nature of faith and tolerance.

This program will be performed each night, June 9-11. Each performance includes an hourlong spirits tasting, followed by a twilight walk through the cemetery to the Catacombs. There are two performances each evening:

Performance #1: 6pm-8:30pm
Reception – 6pm-7pm
Walk/Trolley to the Catacombs – 7pm-7:30pm
Show – 7:30pm-8:30pm

Performance #2: 7:30pm-10pm
Reception – 7:30pm-8:30pm
Walk/Trolley to the Catacombs – 8:30pm-9pm
Show – 9pm-10pm

About Abendmusik

Abendmusik, New York's Early Music String Band, showcases the rarely-performed repertoire of the late 16th and 17th Centuries composed for string consort. The term "Abendmusik" refers to the free concert series established by the organist Franz Tunder in Lübeck churches in the 17th Century. It was cultivated further by North German composer Dieterich Buxtehude in the early 18th Century. Historically, Abendmusik programs featured sacred and secular vocal and instrumental solo and chamber works, as well as solo organ. The series became so popular, as a result of the free admission and the featured compositions, that it grew into a respectable cultural institution.

About Cathedra

Specializing in Renaissance and Baroque classics, Cathedra, The Washington National Cathedral's resident vocal concert ensemble, blends the best of ancient tradition with a pioneering approach that takes audiences on a journey of the heart into unexpected places.