The Blizzard Voices is an “American historical oratorio,” for six vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra, commissioned and premiered by Opera Omaha in October, 2008. It concerns The Children’s Blizzard— the devastating Great Plains snowstorm of January1888, in which countless people died in Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and other states and territories. Based upon Ted Kooser’s collection of poems drawing on the first-person accounts of witnesses and survivors, it relates through music the personal stories of tragedy and heroism.
"The composer says in his booklet notes that ‘a well-balanced mixed chorus singing perfectly in tune strikes me as the most beautiful and resonant of sonorities’. The New England Conservatory Concert Choir and Chamber Singers give him all that and, with expert work from the orchestra and earnest, generally splendid work from the soloists, give a passionate and committed performance."
Lasting more than an hour, it is a major, unusual addition to the choral repertory.