Concert Series “Open Gates Project” in Bronx/Queens/Manhattan Featuring Women of Color

    Concert series “Open Gates Project” launches in Bronx/Queens/Manhattan and features women of color

    November 12 – 14, 2021

    Following is the official press release courtesy of Gotham Early Music Scene


    The Early Music Concert Series Open Gates Project Launches With Three Concerts Featuring Women Of Color

    In Manhattan, Queens, And The Bronx

    On November 12, 13, And 14, 2021

    The Series’ Inaugural Concert, The Divine Feminine: Centering Women of Color in Early Music

    Celebrates The Female Creative Spirit

    New York, New York, October 27, 2021 —Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS) inaugurates its Open Gates Project with The Divine Feminine: Centering Women of Color in Early Music, a program of 17th–century works celebrating the animating feminine spirit featuring an ensemble composed of women of color. The performances take place November 12 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Manhattan), November 13 at Jamaica Performing Arts Center (Queens), and November 14 at Pregones Theater (Bronx).

    Taking its name from the creative force that brings all things into being, The Divine Feminine features sacred and secular works by preeminent 17th–century female composers Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Barbara Strozzi, and Francesca Caccini, performed by outstanding rising and established American and international artists, with careers encompassing early, chamber, and Classical music, opera, jazz, and musical theater. The program is bookended with works devoted to the Virgin Mary. It opens with Madre, de los primores by New World visionary Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz who is considered the first great Latin American poet and recognized for her influential perspectives on women and scholarship. Pergolesi’s glorious and sublime Stabat Mater closes the program.

    Through its Open Gates Project, GEMS is committed to significant efforts to make early music performance opportunities more equitable for artists of color and more accessible to historically excluded communities of color. Over the coming year, the Project will offer a rich variety of music performed by distinguished artists for diverse audiences throughout New York City.

    OPEN GATES PROJECT — The Divine Feminine: Centering Women of Color in Early Music

    Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 PM — Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 3 W 65th St. & Central Park West, New York

    Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7 PM — Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica, NY

    Sunday, Nov. 14 at 4 PM — Pregones Theater, 575 Walton Ave., Bronx, NY

    Nicole Besa, soprano

    Aine Hakamatsuka, soprano

    Heather Hill, soprano

    Amaranta Viera, soprano

    Tanisha Anderson, mezzo-soprano

    Guadalupe Peraza, mezzo-soprano

    AnnMarie Sandy, mezzo-soprano

    Hai-Ting Chinn, alto

    Jessica Park, violin

    Maria Romero Ramos, violin

    Amelia Sie, violin

    Patricia Ann Neely, viola da gamba

    Duangkamon “Wan” Wattanasak, harpsichord


    Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Madre, de los primores

    Chiara Margarita Cozzolani: O dulcis Jesu

    Barbara Strozzi: I baci

    Francesca Caccini: O vive rose

    Alessandro Stradella: Sinfonia No. 22 in D minor

    Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: Stabat Mater

    Tickets priced at $15–$30 ($5 for students, ID required at venue) are all General Admission seating and are available online at; by calling 212-866-0468; and at the door, subject to availability. For more information, visit the website or email [email protected].

    Health and Safety Guidelines: All audience members must have proof of vaccination and wear a mask. Check the GEMS website closer to the opening dates for full COVID-19 protocols and any updates.

    About the Open Gates Project

    The Open Gates Project is dedicated to creating performance opportunities in early music for musicians of color and simultaneously creating greater access to early music for underserved communities. The Project’s co-directors are distinguished artists, bass-baritone Joe Chappel and soprano Michele Kennedy, chosen by GEMS executive director Gene Murrow to curate concerts, hire artists, and explore new venues in order to broaden the reach of early music. The Project is the realization of long-standing ideas discussed and developed by all three.

    About Gotham Early Music Scene

    Since 2007, Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit New York corporation, has promoted and supported the performance of early music (Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical) in New York City. Among the organizations activities are Midtown Concerts, a series of weekly, free daytime concerts at the Church of the Transfiguration on East 29th Street; GEMS Live!, a booking agency securing paid concert engagements for New York–based ensembles; GEMS Concert Services, serving organizations and ensembles with marketing, box office, and front-of-house functions; Notes on the Scene, a semi-monthly newsletter emailed to about 9,000 subscribers; collaborations with major New York cultural institutions including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Trinity Church Wall Street, The Juilliard School, Americas Society and others for special events such as The Play of Daniel and the GEMAS concert series of early music in the Americas; and IRS fiscal sponsorship and administrative services to 21 established and emerging ensembles and organizations. For more information, visit