Hidden Treasures: The Travels of Marco Polo will tell the tale of Marco Polo’s epic journey uniting East and West, featuring a world-premiere performance of a work last performed in the Sistine Chapel 500 years ago. Bartolome Escobedo’s masterpiece: Missa ad te levavi was concealed for centuries in the Vatican archives, and recently rediscovered and transcribed by musicologist Patrick Dittamo.
Having been in storage for nearly half a millennium, the original manuscript was damaged in places. Ink corrosion and bleeding affected the parchment, but by using modern technology and historic documents, including early music notation research at Yale University, Dittamo finished the transcription into modern notation in 2019.
The title of the mass, Missa ad te levavi, relates to the Gregorian chant Mass Proper text for the First Sunday of Advent. The Chorale will perform the piece much like it would have been performed nearly 500 years ago. The original Sistine Chapel choir and the Kansas City Chorale are both 24 voice ensembles, although the Sistine Chapel choir was entirely male.
The performance will also feature Chinese Folk Songs from Pulitzer Prize for Music finalist Chen Yi.