“The Showing of Love”, a new music theater work based on the writings of Julian of Norwich, with music composed by Brooke Joyce, will be performed Sunday, March 1, at 2 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah.

Joyce is the composer-in-residence at Luther College and the director of music at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

Lasting just over one hour, this work combines live performance with electronically manipulated natural sounds, such as wind, water, fire and air, to animate the words of Julian of Norwich (c.1342-1416), the first woman to write a book in the English language.

The featured performer is mezzo-soprano Lisa Neher, for whom the work was composed.

In addition to the concert performance of this work-in-progress, Joyce will offer a talk focusing on the spiritual dimensions of Julian’s writings Sunday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

A colloquium with Joyce and Neher will be offered Friday, Feb. 28, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 123 of the Jenson-Noble Hall of Music at Luther College.
All three events are free and open to the public.

Brooke Joyce’s music has been described as “vividly pictorial” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “exceptionally gripping” (Los Angeles Times) and has been performed by soloists and ensembles around the world, including the Indianapolis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, the Brentano Quartet, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Nash Ensemble and James Gilchrist.

In addition to his concert music, Joyce collaborated on several music theater works with playwright Frederick Gaines, including Unbekannt, based on the life of the famous Anastasia pretender Anna Anderson, and An Imaginary Line, based on the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

Portland, Ore.-based mezzo-soprano and composer Lisa Neher (DMA) thrives in the crossroads of the concert hall and the theatre stage. Trained as a stage actress, she is equally at home in the worlds of opera and spoken theatre, bringing dramatic specificity and committed physicality to her performances.

Neher performs with the Resonance Ensemble in Portland and is in high demand as a concert soloist. Her soloist credits include Duruflé’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, and Coronation Mass, Bach’s Magnificat and Ascension Oratorio and Arvo Part’s Pässio.