August 19, 1998

Press Contact:: Gina Stassi
916 - 443 3386 x 114


Monumental Music-Theater production by George Coates Performance Works stages an original score by Forrest Fang at the new Golden State Museum in four world premier performances celebrating the public opening of The Constitution Wall.

Museum Benefit Gala Fri. Sept. 26, 1998
World Premier Sun., Sept 27, Fri. Oct. 2nd & Sat. Oct. 3rd.

8:00 pm Constitution Courtyard
Golden State Museum 1020 O street, Sacramento, CA.

Gala Tickets
(916) 653-3476

Sacramento CA - The Courtyard of the new Golden State Museum becomes a multimedia theater under the stars for four performances of Blind Messengers, a live multimedia music - theater work created by noted international stage director George Coates with music by composer Forrest Fang in celebration of the public opening of the Golden State Museums' monumental wall sculpture, Constitution Wall, on permanent exhibit in the courtyard of the museum.

In Blind Messengers Monumental mural art comes to life animated by the mysterious power of aboriginal cave paintings and a choir of haunting voices in a spectacular display of cutting edge stagecraft driven by a live seventy-five voice chorus under the musical direction of Sue Bohlin of The Piedmont Choir. The Production dramatizes the mysterious ways in which generations of contending voices can appear to echo off the walls of monumental California mural art, from the ancient cave paintings of the Chumash people on the central pacific coast to the ubiquitous monumental public art found on the walls of California cities and towns today.

Director George Coates and composer Forrest Fang have specifically designed Blind Messengers to take advantage of the extraordinary acoustics and monumental scale of the Constitution Wall Courtyard to create, in effect, a "virtual stage set" six stories high by one hundred-forty feet wide. Audiences seated under the stars in the open-air courtyard theater experience lush music and cutting edge stagecraft combined to animate the aboriginal cave paintings of the very first muralists as they transform into the painted messages of succeeding generations including The Constitution Wall itself, in Sacramento, California.

Performers and vocal soloists appearing in Blind Messengers include tenor Aurelio S. Viscarra, Soprano Helen Dilworth, Alto Shirley Smallwood, Soprano Serafina R. Brown, bass / baritone Aaron J. Cook, and leading actor Tim Wiggins.

Additional Info:

The Constitution Wall was created by artists Mike Mandel, Larry Sultan, and Paul Kos with a grant from the California Arts Council's Art in Public Places program. The wall features a unique stucco surface of engraved words drawn from The California State Constitution that appear and disappear according to the changing position of the sun throughout the seasons and subtly alter the coloration of the wall as it weathers. The words are drawn from the Constitutions Bill of Rights and include: Assemble, Redress, Petition, Instruct and Speak, to name only a few.

The buildings that surround the Constitution Courtyard and the Constitution Wall include the Golden State Museum, The Office of the Secretary of State Bill Jones and The California State Archives. The entire complex is designed by the award winning architectural firm of Esherick, Homsey, Dodge and Davis known internationally for their innovative designs including the Monterey Aquarium

About George Coates Performance Works

George Coates Performance Works (GCPW), a California nonprofit arts ensemble, has a 21 year history of creating and presenting original, large-scale music-theater productions created with leading artists from a broad range of artistic disciplines and cultures. The ensembles music-theater productions have earned the company enthusiastic audiences worldwide and a significant reputation as one of America's leading innovative performing arts companies.