Voice of the Lake

An Oratorio for Vocal Soloists, Choirs, and Instruments (Revised Version)

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Part I:     At the Lake
Part II:   The Public Hearing
Part III:  Evening Near the River 
(silent video shows pollution and causes during aria)
Part IV:  Sunrise on the Lake

Voice of the Lake, an Oratorio for Vocal Soloists, Choirs and Instruments is a musical description of Lake Erie, the good and the bad, in the first quarter of the 21st century.  The music portrays the constant motion of the waves splashing on the rocks, of walking on the beach, of the sun glinting on the water, of children playing in the water, and of the pleasure of a fisherman in his boat fishing.  The Oratorio also depicts the environmental problems that the lake faces.  After a canoe trip near the algae friendly river, the mezzo shows photos to her friend and sings of the lake where it is filled with algae. She also shows various innovative attempts to control and stop the algae.  Another section of the Oratorio portrays a public hearing over whether to dump the toxic residue that has been dredged from the Cuyahoga River into the lake. The revised version of Voice of the Lake focuses on factual information in the libretto veering away from using poetic lines.   The music is the same, but the words have changed.  Plus there are new arias for the mezzo, and for tenor.

We have received grants from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture , The Cleveland Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and The Bascom Little Fund to make a video of the revised version of Voice of the Lake so the performance can be broadcast to a wider audience.  But we still need your help to raise the remaining funds for this video!


September 20, 2018, 7:00 pm

Museum of Natural History
Part I will be performed in collaboration with a new photography exhibit by Linda Butler

October 19, 2018, 7:00 PM

Cleveland Institute of Music
Blue Streak Ensemble performs the oratorio in its entirety and the performance will be video recorded for future broadcast

Tickets: $20 General Admission
$10 Student/Senior discount


Domenico Boyagian, conductor
Angela Mortellaro, soprano
Sarah Beaty, mezzo-soprano
Brian Skoog, tenor
Bryant Bush, bass



October 31, 2018

21c Museum Hotel, Cincinnati
International Symposium of the North American Lake Management Society

Blue Streak Ensemble has been invited by NALMS to perform Voice of the Lake during their symposium in Cincinnati. This is a FREE performance

Recording of the Premiere Performance of the original version

November 12, 2017
Breen Center for the Performing Arts, Cleveland, OH
Domenico Boyagian - conductor
Angela Mitchell - soprano
Merav Eldan - mezzo
Brian Skoog - tenor
Bryant Bush - bass
Cleveland Institute of Music Children's Choir, directed by Jennifer Call
Oberlin Musical Union, directed by Gregory Ristow
Blue Streak Ensemble, chamber ensemble

Composer Margaret Brouwer is concerned about the environment.  Cleveland's Lake Erie is in trouble.  There is a growing threat of toxic algae that is fed primarily through the run-off of fertilizer and manure from farms and yards.  Whether the algae begins in rivers that feed into Lake Erie or begins in the lake itself, this extremely toxic algae is a growing concern for swimmers, fishing companies, resorts, and municipal water treatment plants that produce drinking water for 11 million people. Voice of the Lake, an Oratorio by Margaret Brouwer for Solo Voices, Choirs, and Instruments, tells this story.

In addition, there is another charged drama about the lake – a struggle over how to use the lake successfully for recreation, health and also commercial purposes. There are articles in the paper, public meetings and panel discussions debating all sides.  The political struggle that went on for several years in public hearings between the U S Army Corps of Engineers and concerned citizens, environmentalists and their Congresswoman is also portrayed in Voice of the Lake.

We hope this musical vista of nature will help raise awareness about the pollution of Lake Erie and its need for protection by dramatizing the story through music. But we need your help to share the story far and wide!


"The 'Voice of the Lake' needs to be heard."
- Mark Sebastian Jordan, Seen and Heard International

 April 22, 2018

April 22, 2018


This project is supported by generous grants from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, The George Gund Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, and the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. But we still need your donations to help us reach our goal of matching these grant awards!