THE COLLEGIATE CHORALE Presents the New York City Premiere of NOT THE MESSIAH (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) A Comic Oratorio based on Monty Python’s Life of Brian by Eric Idle and John Du Prez; Featuring Eric Idle, Victoria Clark, Marc Kudisch, Lauren Worsham, and William Ferguson with Conductor/Director Ted Sperling and Orchestra of St. Luke’s December 15-16, 2014 at Carnegie Hall

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Presents the New York City Premiere of
NOT THE MESSIAH (He’s a Very Naughty Boy)
A Comic Oratorio based on Monty Python’s Life of Brian
by Eric Idle and John Du Prez

Featuring Eric Idle, Victoria Clark, Marc Kudisch, Lauren Worsham,

and William Ferguson with Conductor/Director Ted Sperling

and Orchestra of St. Luke’s

December 15-16, 2014 at Carnegie Hall

The Collegiate Chorale presents the New York City premiere of Eric Idle and John Du Prez’s Not The Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) at Carnegie Hall, December 15-16, 2014 at 8pm.  Tickets start at $30 and are available at, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or at the Box Office at 57th and Seventh.


From the creators for the hit Broadway musical SpamalotNot The Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) is a comic oratorio based on Monty Python’s movie The Life of Brian. Described by Eric Idle as “Baroque-N-Roll,” Not The Messiah features a lively pastiche of musical styles ranging from pop, country, and Broadway to doo-wop, hip hop, and Greek chorus. Hit songs include “Hail to the Shoe,” “We Love Sheep,” and the audience favorite and sing-along “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”


Not the Messiah will feature Eric Idle, Victoria Clark, Marc Kudisch, Lauren Worsham, and William Ferguson with Conductor/Director Ted Sperling and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.


“I’m delighted to be working with Orchestra of St. Luke’s,” said Ted Sperling, artistic director of The Collegiate Chorale. “We have had the pleasure of working together at the Caramoor Festival recently, and I could tell immediately that they started as a chamber music group. The level of care and responsibility that each musician takes in bringing the performance to life is striking, and the way the musicians communicate within the group is more typical of a string quartet than an orchestra. OSL plays with a vitality and sense of style that is a joy for a conductor… the inspiration flows in both directions.”


In addition to the concert, The Collegiate Chorale will host its annual Fall Gala on December 15. For more information on the Gala, please call 646-202-9052.



Eric Idle is an English comedian, actor, author, singer, playwright, and songwriter.  Idle is the co-creator of Monty Python as seen on TV, stage and in five films, including The Life of Brian and The Holy Grail. Idle wrote the book and lyrics and adapted the latter for the stage as Spamalot, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2005, a Grammy, a Drama Desk Award, and ran for almost five years on Broadway.  Creator of The Rutles, he starred as Ko-Ko in the English National Opera version of The Mikado, in London and Houston, and appeared last year in The Pirates of Penzance in Central Park directed by Collegiate Chorale Artistic Director Ted Sperling. He is also one of the conceivers of the musical Seussical.  He appeared live in front of a billion people worldwide singing his song
Always Look On the Bright Side of Life at the Closing Ceremony of the London Olympics.  His musical play What About Dick? stars Eric with Eddie Izzard, Russell Brand, Billy Connolly, Tracey Ullman, Jane Leeves, and Tim Curry and is available for download  at  He has written two novels and The Greedy Bastard Diary, and has also appeared in several movies, such as Nuns On the Run, Casper, Shrek The Third, and
The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen.  He has spent the last year working on The final Monty Python reunion show One Down Five To Go at London’s O2.  He wrote Not The Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy, with John Du Prez in 2007, and has played it in Toronto, Sydney, Auckland, Wolf Trap, and The Hollywood Bowl, as well as filming it live at The Royal Albert Hall. It was The Collegiate Chorale that formed the chorus performing Not The Messiah at the Caramoor Festival in 2007, so he is very excited to have the chance to work with them again.  Further details at or


John Du Prez is a musician and composer best known as a past member of 1980’s multi-hit New Wave Salsa group Modern Romance (1981-83). The band achieved eight top-forty hits and two hit albums and John – who played trumpet with Modern Romance – even had a song named after him: ‘Who Is John Du Prez?’, the b-side to the group’s hit ‘Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White’. John quit the band in 1984 and concentrated on composing music scores for films like the Rob Lowe vehicle, Oxford Blues (1984), A Fish Called Wanda (1988), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990). He has since collaborated with ex- Modern Romance frontman David Jaymes a number of times, most notably on the feature film Fascination (2004), and their single ‘Best Years of Our Lives’ featured in
Shrek (2001). John is friend to Eric Idle and has worked with him on numerous Monty Python projects including Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983). He and Eric wrote and performed the song ‘Really Nice Day’ in the animated movie The Wild (2006).
Victoria Clark maintains one of the most diverse performing careers of any artist living today, equally at home in plays, musicals, film, television, and the concert stage. Clark received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as a Drama League honor for her luminous portrayal of protective but domineering mother Margaret Johnson in the critically-acclaimed Craig Lucas-Adam Guettel musical The Light in the Piazza in 2005. Her virtuoso performance in the Lincoln Center Production of the Tony Award-winning musical has made her a favorite among audiences and critics, including The New York Times‘ Ben Brantley, who called Clark’s work in Piazza “the best musical performance by an actress this season.”


Acclaimed for his versatility in both opera and concert, William Ferguson is acknowledged as one of today’s most promising young artists. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Ferguson recently joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera. He made his debut with the Santa Fe Opera as Caliban in the North American premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Tempest and his debut with Opera Australia as Truffaldino in a new production of The Love for Three Oranges conducted by Richard Hickox and recorded for Chandos. Recent engagements include performances with the Marilyn Horne Foundation, his debut with Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and with Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He made his debut with Philadelphia Opera as Pang (Turandot), his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Orff’s Carmina Burana, and sang Caliban at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.


Actor Marc Kudisch began his New York career in the national tour of Bye Bye Birdie (Conrad Birdie), and later reprised the role in the 1995 ABC TV movie remake starring Jason Alexander and Vanessa Williams.  Kudisch’s Broadway credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Reuben), Beauty and the Beast (Gaston), High Society (George Kittredge), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Chauvelin), Michael John LaChiusa’s The Wild Party at the Public Theater (Jackie), Bells Are Ringing (Jeff Moss), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon), Assassins (The Proprietor), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Baron Bomburst), and Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 (Franklin Hart Jr.).  He has been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his roles in 9 to 5 (2009), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (2005) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002), as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Drama Desk Award.


Lauren Worsham is a Drama Desk Award-winning actress and singer currently appearing on Broadway in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical). Other favorite roles include Lisa in Dog Days at Montclair Peak Performances (dir. Robert Woodruff), Flora in Turn of the Screw at New York City Opera (dir. Sam Buntrock), Amy in Where’s Charley at New York City Center (dir. John Doyle), Cunegonde in New York City Opera’s Candide, and Olive in the first National tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Other credits include La Perichole at New York City Opera, Carnival (Cinderella) at Goodspeed Opera House, Into the Woods at Kansas City Rep, Master Class (Sophie) at Paper Mill Playhouse, The Light in the Piazza at Weston Playhouse (Clara) and The Fantasticks (Luisa) at Emelin Theatre. She is the recipient of a 2014 Drama Desk and a 2014 Theatre World Award for her performance in

Gentleman’s Guide.


One of today’s leading musical artists, Ted Sperling is a director, music director, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, singer, pianist and violinist. Mr. Sperling won the 2005 Tony and Drama Desk Awards (with Adam Guettel and Bruce Coughlin) for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza, for which he was also music director. Other Broadway credits as music director/conductor/ pianist include the Tony Award-winning revival of South Pacific and recent revival of Guys and DollsDirty Rotten ScoundrelsThe Full MontyHow to Succeed in Business Without Really TryingKiss of the Spider WomanAngels in America,
My Favorite YearFalsettosThe Mystery of EdwinDrood, Les Misérables, Roza, and Sunday in the Park with George. Mr. Sperling was also an original cast member of the Broadway musical Titanic. Mr. Sperling has an active concert career, working with singers Audra McDonald, Victoria Clark, Patti LuPone, Kelli O’Hara, Nathan Gunn, Paulo Szot, and Deborah Voigt.  Recently appointed the Artistic Director of The Collegiate Chorale, Mr. Sperling’s projects with the ensemble have included concert performances of The Firebrand of Florence (Conductor, 2009), The Grapes of Wrath (Conductor, 2010), Knickerbocker Holiday (Director, 2011), “Something Wonderful” (A Broadway Evening with Deborah Voigt Conductor/Director, 2011), The Mikado (Conductor/Director, 2012) and Song of Norway (Conductor/Director, 2013).
About Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Or­chestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is one of America’s foremost and most versatile orchestras, collaborating with the world’s greatest artists and performing approximately 70 concerts each year-including its Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series, Chamber Music Series at The Morgan Library & Museum and Brooklyn Museum, and summer residency at Caramoor Music Festival. OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works, including four this season; has given more than 170 world, U.S., and New York City premieres; and appears on more than 100 recordings, including four Grammy Award winners and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke’s Collection. Pablo Heras-Casado, named 2014 Conductor of the Year by Musical America, is OSL’s principal conductor.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this season, OSL began as a chamber ensemble based at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village. Today, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble consists of 21 virtuoso artists who perform a diverse repertoire and make up OSL’s artistic core.

OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Midtown Manhattan, where it shares a building with the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The DiMenna Center is New York City’s premier venue for rehearsal, recording, and learning, having quickly gained a reputation for its superb acoustics, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordability. Since opening in 2011, The DiMenna Center has welcomed more than 50,000 visitors, including more than 300 ensembles and artists such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, James Taylor, and Sting. OSL hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and school children at its home each year for free community events.

Through its Community & Education programs, OSL has introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs; offers free, interactive events at The DiMenna Center; provides chamber music coaching for adults; and engages 10,000 public school students each year

through its Free School Concerts. In 2013, OSL launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL), an intensive in- and after-school instrumental coaching program emphasizing musical excellence and social development, in partnership with Police Athletic League (PAL) and public schools in the Clinton / Hudson Yards neighborhood.


For more information, visit


The mission of The Collegiate Chorale is to enrich its audiences through innovative programming and exceptional performances of a broad range of vocal music featuring a premier choral ensemble.  Founded in 1941 by the legendary conductor Robert Shaw, The Chorale has established a preeminent reputation for its interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers, and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as for commissions and premieres of new works by today’s most exciting creative artists.  The many guest artists with whom The Chorale has performed in recent years include: Stephanie Blythe, Victoria Clark, Nathan Gunn, Thomas Hampson, Angela Meade, Kelli O’Hara, Eric Owens, Rene Papé, Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt.  Last season’s highlights included Eric Owens, Arturo Chacón-Cruz, and Julianna Di Giacomoin Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele with the Manhattan Girls Chorus and the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and the New York premiere of David Lang’s battle hymns
with members of the Veteran Artist Program and the Manhattan Girls Chorus at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.


The Collegiate Chorale’s 2014-15 season continues with:



February 3, 2015 at 8pm at Town Hall; tickets $30-95

Featuring Isabel Leonard, Daniela Mack, Javier Abreu, and Zachary James with Conductor James Bagwell, Director Ted Sperling, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

Bridging the genres of oratorio and ballad opera, Handel’s intriguing
Susanna originally premiered at Covent Garden in 1749. Based on an Apocryphal chapter from the biblical Book of Daniel, Susanna tells the story of a virtuous young woman who is falsely accused of sexual promiscuity by two lecherous elders. Aided by the boy prophet Daniel, the true nature of the elders is exposed and Susanna is proven innocent. Tickets on sale November 6, 2014.

The Road of Promise

May 6, 2015 at 8pm and May 7, 2015 at 7pm at Carnegie Hall; tickets $30-135

Featuring Anthony Dean Griffey, Danny Burstein, Mark Delavan, Philip Cutlip, Lauren Michelle, Justin Hopkins, Megan Marino, and Sean Panikkar with Conductor/Director Ted Sperling and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

The Road of Promise is a new concert adaptation of Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel’s 1937 epic musical spectacle, The Eternal Road. A dramatic mix of opera, musical theater, and biblical pageant play, The Road of Promise tells the story of a young boy left in the care of a Rabbi and his congregation in the wake of a pogrom. To calm the boy’s fears and help him understand his faith and heritage, the Rabbi recounts ancient biblical tales, and as he does, the stories of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Rachel, Moses, Ruth, Saul, and David all come to life.  Tickets on sale January 8, 2015.


For more information about The Collegiate Chorale, visit


NOT THE MESSIAH (He’s a Very Naughty Boy)” is presented through special arrangement with, and all authorized performance materials are supplied by, Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), 570 Seventh Avenue, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10018. (866) 378-9758



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