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Voice of the Lake

Margaret Brouwer's new environmental oratorio
is now available on DVD and at YouTube


... the message Brouwer’s piece delivers is one that needs to be heard. - Classical Voice North America

In August 2014, an algal bloom in Lake Erie poisoned the drinking water of the four hundred thousand residents of Toledo, Ohio, USA. 'Lake Erie is in trouble, and getting worse by the year', wrote The New York Times. The dire situation of pollution in this Great Lake is the inspiration for American composer Margaret Brouwer's work, Voice of the Lake. A live performance of this critically-acclaimed work, which took place at the Cleveland Institute of Music on 19 October 2018, is now available to watch on both YouTube and on DVD.

Brouwer has always been keenly passionate about the environment, and this interest often informs her compositions. In an interview with Cleveland Classical she said, 'The creation of the work started with my personal wish for Lake Erie to be clean'. Brouwer has more to say in an article on

Margaret Brouwer. Photo © Christian Steiner
Margaret Brouwer. Photo © Christian Steiner

Voice of the Lake (2016-18) is an eighty minute oratorio for vocal soloists, choirs and chamber ensemble which brings to life the ongoing environmental concerns that are affecting Lake Erie: a recreational treasure, expansive natural habitat, important economic engine, major shipping channel and the source of drinking water for eleven million people. A musical vista of nature and the lake, the lyrics are by Margaret Brouwer with additional text gleaned from public record transcripts including Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and the US Army Corps of Engineers, with a short video by Joshua Lipton.

The video features the Blue Streak Ensemble, Blue Streak Ensemble Chamber Singers, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Children's Choir, with soloists Angela Mortellaro, soprano, Sarah Beaty, mezzo, Brian Skoog, tenor and Bryant Bush, bass, conducted by Cleveland Opera Theater Director Domenico Boyagian. The DVD is available to purchase (for US$30, of which $8 will be donated to the North American Lake Management Society) at or watch now on YouTube.

Posted 27 June 2019 by Gail Wein


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