The “Women of Valor Suite” is derived from the larger cantata, Women of Valor, a celebration of women from the Old Testament. The cantata was inspired by a midrash (biblical commentary) on Proverbs where each line of the biblical text from Proverbs 31 represents a biblical woman. Women of Valor highlights the stories of Sarah, Leah, Rachel, Jocheved, Miriam, Hannah, Jael, Michal, Ruth and Esther.
Premiere: April 16, 2000, Royce Hall, Los Angeles; Hila Plitmann, soprano; Gail Dubinbaum, mezzo-soprano; Valerie Harper, narrator and the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony under the direction of Noreen Green.
“One of the highlights of my career as a conductor was to present the premiere of Andrea Clearfield’s oratorio, Women of Valor. The expansive work is accessible to all, incredibly well crafted both in its musical form and the arch of its emotional impact on an audience. From the moment the work begins you are catapulted to a different world filled with beautiful poetry and music. Each word is musically enriched as the piece brilliantly weaves the unique perspectives of the stories of 10 biblical women. Both the orchestral and vocal writing are of the highest caliber. It is a work that deserves many performances.”
~Dr. Noreen Green, Artistic Director, The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony
“It has been my experience in life that great and unexpected discoveries appear when you least expect them…..and if you take a moment to search for the Truth, you will agree that these times are coupled with Divine Intervention. “Women of Valor” is that kind of Story. After reading about and then listening three times to this ingenious and invigorating composition you have to know that it was not by chance that Andrea Clearfield and Noreen Green joined forces that unleashed some inspiring and radiant creativity that would gather momentum over several years and then blossom into a maturing masterpiece performed by a groundbreaking Orchestra, two world class Soprano Soloists and an Acclaimed American Actress and Playwright. Ms. Clearfield has presented powerful and modern insights about the Women of the Old Testament that at times gives your heart a tug and offers an intense musical and emotional reaction giving credence to ones spirituality and religious journey. This CD “Women of Valor”, on the Albany Label, should be required listening for those who wish to broaden their artistic perceptions of Life.”
~ Stan Schmidt, Host/Production, Going Beyond Words