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Rose Ensemble to Present Medieval Mystery Play at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: March 29, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — The Rose Ensemble will return to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Artists Series stage Monday, April 11, to present a uniquely beautiful medieval mystery play celebrating Easter.

The 12-member vocal ensemble will join forces with Matt Jenson's New and Slightly Used Dance troupe to present an art form rarely seen on American stages — a fully staged medieval liturgical drama. Their performance of Visitatio Sepulchri (The Dublin Mystery Play) will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Gantner Concert Hall of Haas Fine Arts Center.

Rose Ensemble artistic director Jordan Sramek found the manuscript of Visitatio Sepulchri, the earliest example of an Irish mystery play, while doing research in Dublin. The one-act drama focuses on the visit of the three Marys to the tomb of Christ on Easter morning and the great mystery of the disappearance of Christ's body.

"The Rose Ensemble has cornered, reincarnated and reinvigorated a vast and difficult niche of music," wrote the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

Based in St. Paul, The Rose Ensemble has enjoyed a prestigious artist residency at The Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis since 1997 and maintains an active schedule filled with performances and educational programs nationwide. Called "daring and inventive" by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, the musicians of The Rose Ensemble have received critical acclaim for their ability to sing both as an ensemble and as individual soloists. The ensemble has received a Rockefeller "Arts & Religion in the Twin Cities" award, and was nominated for a 2002-03 Minnesota Music Award for Best Classical Artist.

The Miami Sun-Sentinel has praised The Rose Ensemble for its "scrupulously blended singing" and its "freshness and buoyant agility."

Tickets are $15 for the public, $13 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $5 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Reserved seats are available at the Service Center counter in the east lobby of Davies Center. The Service Center is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Patrons may also charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call (715) 836-3727 — or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free (800) 949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

General admission tickets will be sold at the door.

The Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites Eau Claire (715-838-9989) at 3340 Mondovi Road is the exclusive accommodations partner for the Artists Series.

This presentation is supported by the Heartland Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from General Mills Foundation, Land O' Lakes Foundation, Sprint Corporation, and the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Funded by the students of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the Artists Series is administered by the Activities and Programs office.

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JS/NW

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