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No Capacity to Consent

No Capacity to Consent

Third Practice commissions and performs Tawnie Olson's searing, powerfully relevant answer to Carissimi’s Jepthe.


April 26, 2016Another audio clip!

Posted by: Third Practice

This excerpt comes from the end of the work, setting the words of the original legal complaint with driving energy.


April 26, 2016: New audio clip

Posted by: Third Practice

Our premiere at Mount St. Mary’s University on Saturday had a wonderfully supportive audience, and we were so honored to have the composer and librettist in attendance. Here’s a quick clip from No Capacity to Consent – this interlude is a somber oasis of calm in an otherwise turbulent work. We hope you enjoy!

March 17, 2016: DC CONCERT ADDED!

Posted by: Third Practice

We’re so pleased to add a concert in our hometown of Washington, DC this concert cycle. To accommodate the scheduling, the date of our Baltimore concert has shifted. Please take note, and we hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 7:00 PM – Horning Theater, Mount St. Mary’s University
Friday, May 6, 2016 at 7:00 PM – St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, Washington, DC
Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 5:00 PM – Unitarian Universalist Church of Frederick, MD
Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 7:00 PM – Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore, MD

January 25, 2016: Concert annoucements

Posted by: Third Practice

Third Practice is very pleased to announce our spring dates for No Capacity to Consent. Details below, with more on our webpage:

Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 7:00 PM – Horning Theater, Mount St. Mary’s University
Friday, May 6, 2016 at 7:00 PM – Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore, MD
Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 5:00 PM – Unitarian Universalist Church of Frederick, MD

It’s our first update, but expect a lot more here from us in the future as we move closer to spring!

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Chamber vocal ensemble Third Practice programs new compositions alongside older works, uncovering common threads linking compositions whose origins lie centuries and continents apart. In so doing, we bring together audience members of diverse tastes interested in discovering something new - whether it was composed in the Renaissance or in the last six months.

Third Practice will perform Olson’s new work alongside Carissimi’s (c.1605-1674) Jepthe, a beautiful and dramatic work whose plot centers around the sacrifice of a young girl by her father so that he can keep a rashly-made vow. Although the music of the opera is gorgeous, its story shows a society in which women had limited agency. The human sacrifice aside, a particularly problematic aspect of the work is that the girl, despite being the central character of the second half of the opera, is never named; her identity exists only in relationship to her father.

Olson’s work will set to music the legal complaint filed by a pregnant woman which recounts how, after being stopped for a minor traffic violation in an American town infamous for police abuse, she was raped by a corrections officer. As in Carissimi’s opera, the woman will not be named - but neither will the perpetrator, who will be referred to as “the officer.” Olson also has an advantage (and a heavy responsibility) that Carissimi did not; she has spoken to the woman at the center of this work, and her lawyer, and has their permission to compose it. Unlike Jepthe, this work is explicitly political; it is a reflection on our own culture, and the music will provide space for the audience to contemplate what happened and be moved to action by it.

Third Practice looks forward to performing Olson’s new work several times in April and May 2016 at Mount St. Mary’s University's Horning Theater and throughout the greater Baltimore/Washington area. In order to reach the widest popular audience, we are seeking to support the event through private funding so that no admission will be charged at performances. Third Practice will give all proceeds from in-concert donations to RAINN, an organization dedicated to supporting the victims of rape and abuse.

Project-related Media

Antonio Lotti - La Vita caduca

The madrigal La Vita caduca, with its expressive word-painting and shifts in texture, timbre and meter, displays the full compass of Antonio Lotti's compositional prowess. Its fusion of older and newer compositional elements reflects Third Practice's mission: the work begins with conservative Renaissance textures, augmented by adventurous harmonies; at its close, Lotti launches into a forward-looking three-voice fugue, a nod to the budding late Baroque. This is a recording from a live performance at the Winchester Bach-Handel Festival in 2014.


Tawnie Olson - Scel lem duib

I love the poem “Scel lem duib” because the elegant spareness of this medieval Irish poem celebrates winter as a thing-in-itself, as yet another instance of nature's awful beauty, rather than as a metaphor for aging and death. The text inspired a certain amount of text-painting, including a clear evocation of migrating geese toward the end of the piece. "Scel lem duib" was commissioned by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and is dedicated to Marguerite Brooks and the Yale Camerata, with special thanks to Kristan Toczko.


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Project Details

Start and End Date

03/01/2016 - 05/31/2016


Washington, District Of Columbia

Updates (4 RECENT)

Last Updated April 26, 2016

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Third Practice

Washington, District Of Columbia

Third Practice is a professional chamber vocal ensemble that seeks to bring the beauty of the human voice to new and broader audiences. Its mission is to bridge the gap between traditional classical and contemporary music through thoughtful and adventurous programming that explores the close connections between today’s music and the music of the past....


Tawnie Olson

New Haven, Connecticut

Role: composer

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