Matthew ShepardIn 1998 a shocking hate crime was committed against Matthew Shepard.  He was brutally beaten and left to die.  Shepard’s story has haunted Craig Hella Johnson for years and has finally compelled him to compose a musical response to the tragedy.  Johnson debuts his first concert-length contemporary oratorio with an all-star ensemble that will lead the listener through a tapestry of textures and styles such as chant, arias, folk and theater songs.  Austin-based Conspirare performs in the Sanctuary of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles on Saturday, February 27th at 8 p.m.  A pre-concert talk in the Barnum Room begins at 7 p.m.

The First Congregational Church of Los Angeles is located at 540 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90020 (corner of 6th Street).  Tickets are $35 ($10 for students with I.D.) and are available at or (512) 474-5664.