This past weekend, Murray State University alumnus and artistic director of The Tapestry, Corey Crider, presented a classic rock and opera fusion concert at Fohs Hall in Marion, KY. Crider visited Sounds Good to discuss the upcoming performance and preview samples from the program.
On Saturday, April 27th, musical collective, The Tapestry, presented a two-hour 'operock' concert titled Remove the Veil! at historic Fohs Hall in Marion, KY. From Puccini to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin to Leoncavallo, Vivaldi to Van Halen, The Tapestry - four professional opera singers backed by a five member, full-throttle rock band - 'remove the veil' between classical and popular music. "Tapestry Productions specializes in breaking down genre barriers," Crider explains. "[We're] putting all this wonderful music together and hoping to break down walls and barriers between people in so doing and uniting people with the power of music."
Remove the Veil! combined classic hits such as "Immigrant Song" (Led Zeppelin), "Time," and "Comfortably Numb" (Pink Floyd), with well-known opera repertoire like the "Habanera" from Bizet's Carmen, the final scene from Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites, and excerpts from Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, or the Ring Cycle. Aside from superb musicianship, Crider, a highly celebrated baritone, considers the wide range of repertoire to be one of The Tapestry's specialties. "That's our signature, I think," Crider says. "Putting things together that you maybe didn't expect to go together and just going from one right into the other. There's contrast for sure, but even if we go from something that's completely over the top and rock and roll, pretty soon we're going to bring it back down to something really beautiful and poignant and intense."
Several Murray State alumni joined Crider in the preparation and execution of the show-stopping event, including producer, Scott Hamrick, and technical director, Leland Jones. Described by Crider as a "blue and gold event," The Tapestry had its first moments on stage in the Performing Arts Hall on Murray State's campus. "We workshopped this for the vocal department there and we wanted to see what people were going to think about this," says Crider. "[We were] completely unprepared for the kind of response we got. These kids at Murray came up to me telling me that their life changed that day. The response was sobering. We really feel like we're onto something way, way bigger than us or some ideas that I'm coming up with."
"What we just always focus on is we are a high octane fusion of the best of opera and rock. You've got people in the rock band who are working musicians in that field, and you've got opera singers on that stage who, the next weekend, you might hear them at an opera house singing the whole role on stage from something we excerpted in our concert. Nothing's watered down, it's full blown opera, it's full blown rock and roll, and we just put them together and believe that two together is better than the sum of the parts," Crider explains.
For more information on the musical collective and their upcoming events, visit the Tapestry's website. To view live videos taken the night of the performance on Saturday, April 27th, visit their Facebook page.