All posts by Kristin Moore

Arts District Chorale Shares the Stage with Mayor Mike Rawlings in Presentation of “King David – A Symphonic Psalm” by Arthur Honegger, October 24, 2017

Jealousy, lust, betrayal, war, and witchcraft. What more could you ask from a Bible story? Arthur Honegger’s King David has it all. On October 24, 2017, 7:30 p.m., Arts District Chorale will stage this powerful oratorio at Moody Performance Hall (formerly Dallas City Performance Hall). Under the direction of Constantina Tsolainou, the concert features narration by The Honorable Michael S. Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, as well as Dallas Symphony Orchestra members, and soloists Anna Fredericka Popova, Natalie Arduino, and Damon K. Clark.

King David (Le Roi David) tells the evolution of David from shepherd boy to giant slayer, warrior king, adulterer, murderer, and iconic Biblical figure. René Morax (1873-1963) wrote the story as a play in 1921 and hired young Honegger to write the incidental music. The task called for 27 musical episodes and came with an outrageous two-month deadline. Eager to be a “Biblical” composer, Honegger accepted the challenge and delivered on time. King David was an immediate success and not only bolstered Honegger’s reputation but also inspired him to rescore the work in 1923 as a “symphonic psalm,” connecting the music with narration by Morax.

The story has three parts. In the first, the Lord tells Samuel to make Saul the ruler of Israel, but Saul bungles the job, so Samuel anoints David, the shepherd. David proves to be a top-notch soldier against the Philistines, taking out their best man Goliath. David’s popularity and Saul’s jealousy grow in tandem. Saul is eventually killed in battle.

Part two sees David crowned and uniting Israel. In part three, David’s power has gone to his head. After coveting and impregnating Bathsheba, the wife of his captain Uriah, he arranges for Uriah to fall in battle and marries Bathsheba. The prophet Nathan tells a repentant David to expect severe punishment. Pandemonium breaks loose in David’s household, and eventually his son Absalom raises an army to depose his dad, only to be killed in battle himself. Deeply saddened but back in power, David manages to offend the Lord yet again, who retaliates with pestilence. Finally, a weary, aging David has Nathan anoint his son Solomon as king and then dies, while an angel repeats Isaiah’s prophesy of a flower blooming from David’s stem.

This highly eclectic and passionate work is a mash-up of every style from Gregorian chant to Baroque to jazz. The music changes mood abruptly, moving from lyrical to grotesque to grand. Meant to be theatrical, it achieves that and more. Although mostly performed in French, it is also sung in English, translated by Edward Agate.

Born in 1892, Honegger was Swiss but spent much of his life in Paris. He idolized Bach and Beethoven and associated with notable contemporaries Louis Durey, Georges Auric, Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud, and Germaine Tailleferre, the group later dubbed “Les Six Français.” Gaining fame in the 1920s for La Pastorale d’été and Pacific 2.3.1. among other works, Honegger successfully continued in the 20s, briefly stopped composing in the early 30s, experimented with other musical forms (film soundtracks, ballet), collaborated with Milhaud et Claudel on the oratorio Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher (Joan of Arc at the Stake), joined the resistance during the war, and died in 1955. The music he left behind, especially King David, is performed to enthusiastic audiences worldwide.

For tickets or more information, visit, or, or call 214.871.5000.

Arts District Chorale’s 2017-2018 Concert Season Series – Save the Dates!

Don’t miss our 2017-2018 season! More information will be forthcoming about subscription packages, including early bird pricing. In the meantime, save these dates!

King David – a Symphonic Psalm by Arthur Honegger
October 24, 2017
7:30 p.m.  |  Dallas City Performance Hall
Narrated by the Honorable Michael S. Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas
and featuring members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Gloria in Excelsis Deo! Music for a Winter Celebration
December 12, 2017
7:30 p.m.  |  First United Methodist Church, Dallas
Featuring the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas

Light after Darkness: Stars and the Vastness of the Heavens
March 6, 2018
7:30 p.m.  |  Dallas City Performance Hall
Featuring works by Barber, Custer, Fissinger, LaVoy and Thompson

French Masters: Messe Solennelle, Motets, and Mélodies
May 8, 2018
7:30 p.m.  |  St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
Featuring Stefan Engles 
Professor of Organ & Chair of the Organ Department,
L. Fullinwider Centennial Chair in Music Performance,
Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts

Arts District Chorale to Sing with Barry Manilow


Arts District Chorale honored to sing with Barry Manilow

Dallas, Texas – February 9, 2016 – Dallas’ Arts District Chorale, based in the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation, has been selected as the backup choir for the Dallas stop on Barry Manilow’s ONE LAST TIME! Tour at the American Airlines Center on Thursday, February 18th at 7:30pm. This passionate group of musicians from the North Texas area is honored to be sharing the stage with the legendary singer, songwriter and producer. “The invitation came out of the blue, but the response from the chorale was unanimous–we didn’t want to pass up the opportunity, especially since this is Mr. Manilow’s final tour”, said Constantina Tsolainou, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Arts District Chorale.

After hearing the Arts District Chorale with Barry Manilow on some of his signature songs, make plans to attend their next concert with members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at Dallas City Performance Hall on Tuesday, March 1st at 7:30pm. Northern Lights, Luminous Night, and The Spheres, a choral event dedicated to the transcendent, breathtaking music of Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, has the spellbinding power to move both audience and performers to a place of sublime beauty.

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 214-871-5000.

About the Arts District Chorale – The Voice of the Arts District
The Arts District Chorale celebrates choral excellence and seeks to heighten the awareness of vocal ensemble music in North Texas through performances, outreach, and organizational partnerships. A vibrant community of auditioned singers from the Dallas area, the Arts District Chorale challenges its musicians to reach the highest level of artistic quality through a broad and ever-changing repertoire.

1816 Routh St.
Dallas, Texas 75201
Phone: 214-363-6601



A PDF version of this press release is available here:

Arts District Chorale Barry Manilow Press Release