Before Bach: Late Renaissance and Early Baroque Music at Carnegie Hall — a Month-Long Series in April and May

 

L'Arpeggiata. Photo Helmut Lackinger.

L’Arpeggiata. Photo Helmut Lackinger.

For years, New York City seemed to have missed out on the extraordinary efflorescence of research, study, and practice, which has made historically informed performance such an essential part of music-making in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The early music scene was hardly non-existent, but it was thin in comparison to centers like Boston, London, Amsterdam, and Paris, patronized by a small band of enthusiasts who at one time actually looked the part, crowding into Manhattan’s less fashionable churches in colorful woolen tunics, knitted caps, and Earth Shoes. There don’t seem to be many of those people left around, and a much larger range of audiences, spanning all age groups, now hear historical performances in the major venues, especially Carnegie Hall, where we’ve recently heard The Academy of Ancient Music and the Venice Baroque Orchestra in Zankel Hall and The English Concert’s magnificent series of Handel operas in Stern. Carnegie Hall has served Early Music well, and now it plans to set the seal on its achievement with a month-long festival of Baroque and Renaissance music, Before Bach, this coming April and May.

Long-established groups of stellar reputation dominate the series. Pomerium and The Tallis Scholars are among the oldest and most distinguished ensembles specializing in Renaissance choral music. Jordi Savall is one of the pioneers—a renowned name in early music. Sir John Eliot Gardiner occupies a similar place in the Baroque-Early Music firmament, and his English Baroque Soloists one of the first ensembles to temper historical rigor with more flexible tempi, expressive phrasing, and a gratifyingly generous sound. With this impressive constellation, and clearly defined programming, founded on large concentrations of music by the greatest composers, opera, and colorful dances, Before Bach will be an ideal opportunity for listeners new to Early Music to discover this rich territory, or—dare I say it—for the indefatigable nay-sayers to open their minds a little.

The series begins on April 7 and 8, when the French group, L’Arpeggiata, led by Christina Pluhar, will perform two programs, one devoted to music by Francesco Cavalli, and the other to Henry Purcell. Cavalli, a generation younger than Monteverdi, wrote operas for the sparer resources of the Venetian public theaters. What they lack in Monteverdi’s rich instrumentation, they make up for in appealing melody and dramatic impact. The Purcell program is drawn largely from his stage works. Its title, “Music for a While: Improvisations on Henry Purcell” and the presence of the jazz clarinettist, Gianluigi Trovesi, suggest that there may be some exciting surprises here. Ms. Pluhar, a native of Graz, founded L’Arpeggiata in 2000 to present Renaissance and Baroque music for voice and instrumental ensemble.

Purcell’s instrumental music will also take a prominent place in the programs of the British viol quartet, Fretwork, on Monday, April 20 (preceded by Tudor and Jacobean composers like Tye, Parsons, Byrd and Gibbons), as well as in Kristian Bezuidenhout’s harpsichord program on Thursday, April 23, which will include Purcell’s dance music in a mixed program of German and French composers, culminating in J. S. Bach’s Partita No. 4 in D Major.

On Sunday, April 12, the renowned period orchestra from Montreal, Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec under Richard Egarr will offer another program of Purcell’s stage music, with extensive excerpts from The Fairy Queen, and King Arthur, and a complete performance of Dido and Aeneas, with the great soprano, Dorothea Röschmann as Dido.

Jordi Savall, in his first program, “The Spirit of the Viol,” (Monday, April 13) largely a French program, concentrating on the great viol composers of Le Grand Siècle, Marin Marais and Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe fils will also slip in a frenchified movement by J. S. Bach. Selections from Tobias Hume’s Musicall Humours and a set of Irish and Scottish traditional pieces will conclude Savall’s solo recital. On Thursday, April 17, he will lead the Concert des Nations in a program of French music from the courts of Louis XIII and Louis XIV. In this dance music and its derivatives prevail, leading up to the classical composer, Jean-Marie Leclair’s (1697-1764) Sonata in D Major, Op. 2, No. 8.

The long-beloved Tallis Scholars, now celebrating their fortieth year with an international tour, will sing a program of masterpieces by Josquin des Prez and William Byrd, including Josquin’s Missa Pange Lingua on Saturday, April 18, preceded the evening before by their “Spem in Alium Project,” according to Carnegie’s announcement, “a multi-day workshop for pre-professional choral singers, created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, which culminates with workshop participants joining his group for a program at Church of St. Ignatius Loyola that features a composite mass drawn from Antoine Brumel’s dramatic Missa Et ecce terrae motus and Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Missa Salve Regina, in addition to Thomas Tallis’s magnificent 40-part motet ‘Spem in alium’“.

I Fagiolini. Photo Keith Saunders.

I Fagiolini. Photo Keith Saunders.

Another British vocal group, I Fagiolini, also mature in its career, founded in 1986 at Oxford University, specializing in both early and contemporary music, will concentrate on the old, in a mixed program of secular madrigals by French, German, Spanish, and mostly Italian composers. Entitled “Insalata I Fagiolini,” the program is built on a menu metaphor. Four madrigals by Monteverdi, as one would expect, form the concluding meat course. I assume the dessert and savory will come as encores.

In a similar spirit the series as a whole will conclude with two of Monteverdi’s greatest works, and certainly among the greatest music written before Bach, the Vespro della Beata Vergine and L’Orfeo. The English Baroque Soloists under Sir John Eliot Gardiner will perform them on Thursday, April 30, and Friday, May 1. Since music feeds the spirit and soul, vegetarians need not fear. They can pretend it’s tofu, as long as they listen.

This grand culmination to Before Bach can be seen as an end in itself, but not a few audience members, myself included, have been anticipating the Boston Early Music Festival’s massive hommage to Monteverdi for nearly two years. During the second week of June BEMF will present Monteverdi’s three great operas, L’Orfeo, L’Incoronazione di Poppea, and Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria, fully staged, as well as the Vespers. No one who loves Baroque music or opera will want to miss this rare opportunity to hear a cohesive program of the three operas.

Carnegie Hall has also announced broadcasts of Before Bach. “The April 16 concert by Jordi Savall and Le Concert des Nations and the April 30 program by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists, and The Monteverdi Choir air on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York as part of the fourth annual Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, produced by WQXR and Carnegie Hall and hosted by WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon. Concerts in the series are available for live streaming on wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr. During every live broadcast, WQXR and Carnegie Hall will host live web chats, including Twitter commentary by the broadcast team, from backstage and in the control room, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other. This year, the WFMT Radio Network, the classical music and arts radio distributor and producer based in Chicago, has signed on to distribute select live concerts nationally. The complete Carnegie Hall Live line-up will also be available via WFMT Radio Network to public radio stations throughout the United States and internationally as a 13-part series starting in April 2015.”

I’ll just add that if anybody around me starts tweeting  during the concert, they’ll be sorry!

Further details on each Before Bach concert are noted below. For more information on the series, please visit carnegiehall.org/beforebach. For a video introduction to the series, please click here.

Bernardo Strozzi, Portrait of Claudio Monteverdi (c.1630). Oil on canvas. Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum.

Bernardo Strozzi, Portrait of Claudio Monteverdi (c.1630). Oil on canvas. Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum.

Click here to buy tickets.

Program Details
Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
L’ARPEGGIATA

Christina Pluhar, Artistic Director and Theorbo
Nuria Rial, Soprano

L’AMORE INNAMORATO: ARIAS BY FRANCESCO CAVALLI

FRANCESCO CAVALLI Sinfonia from Giasone
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “Piante Ombrose” from Calisto
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “Verginella, io morir vo” from Calisto
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “Ninfa bella” from Calisto
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “Piangete” from Egisto
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “Non è maggior piacere” from Calisto
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “Restino imbalsamente” from Calisto
MAURIZIO CAZZATI Ciaccona
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “Vieni, vieni in questo seno” from Rosinda
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “Che città” from Ormindo
LORENZO ALLEGRI Canario
FRANCESCO CAVALLI Sinfonia from Eliogabalo
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “Dammi morte” from Artemisia
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “L’Alma fiacca svani” from Didone
FRANCESCO CAVALLI “Alle ruine del mio regno” from Didone

Tickets: $62, $73
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Wednesday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
L’ARPEGGIATA

Christina Pluhar, Artistic Director
Nuria Rial, Soprano
Vincenzo Capezzuto, Alto
Gianluigi Trovesi, Clarinet

MUSIC FOR A WHILE: IMPROVISATIONS ON HENRY PURCELL

MAURIZIO CAZZATI Ciaccona
HENRY PURCELL “Music for a while”
HENRY PURCELL “‘Twas within a furlong of Edinborough Town” from The Mock Marriage
Improvisation: La Dia Spagnola
HENRY PURCELL “A Prince of glorious race descended”
HENRY PURCELL “One charming night” from The Fairy Queen
HENRY PURCELL “Ah! Belinda” from Dido and Aeneas
HENRY PURCELL “An Evening Hymn”
HENRY PURCELL “Strike the viol” from Come, ye sons of art away
HENRY PURCELL Dido’s Lament from Dido and Aeneas
HENRY PURCELL “Wondrous machine!” (Ode to St. Cecilia)
HENRY PURCELL “Two in one upon a ground” from Dioclesian
HENRY PURCELL “Here the Deities approve” from Welcome to all Pleasures
Improvisation: Canario
HENRY PURCELL “Man is for the woman made”
HENRY PURCELL “Curtain tune on a Ground”
HENRY PURCELL “Oh, let me weep” (The Plaint) from The Fairy Queen
HENRY PURCELL “Hark! How the songsters of the grove” from Timon of Athens

Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 PM in Zankel Hall with Christina Pluhar in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

Tickets: $62, $73
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Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Weill Recital Hall
POMERIUM

Alexander Blachly, Director

MUSIC FOR THE TUDOR QUEENS

For Mary Tudor (reigned 1553 – 1558):
THOMAS TALLIS “Te lucis ante terminum”
THOMAS TALLIS “Salvator mundi”
THOMAS TALLIS Gloria: Missa Puer natus est nobis
JOHN SHEPPARD “In manus tuas Domine”
THOMAS TALLIS Sanctus: Missa Puer natus est nobis
ROBERT WHITE “Regina caeli laetare”
THOMAS TALLIS Agnus Dei: Missa Puer natus est nobis

For Elizabeth I (reigned 1558 – 1603):
WILLIAM BYRD “Christe, qui lux es et dies”
THOMAS TALLIS “In jejunio et fletu”
THOMAS TALLIS “Derelinquat impius”
WILLIAM BYRD “O lux, beata Trinitas”
WILLIAM BYRD “In resurrectione tua”
WILLIAM BYRD “Haec Dies”

Reminiscences of the 16th Century:
HENRY PURCELL Fantasy Upon One Note, Z. 745 (set to text by Richard Crashaw)
HENRY PURCELL Fantasy No. 7 in C Minor, Z. 738 (set to text by John Donne)

Tickets: $60
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Sunday, April 12 at 2:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
LES VIOLONS DU ROY
LA CHAPELLE DE QUÉBEC

Richard Egarr, Conductor
Dorothea Röschmann, Soprano (Dido)
Henk Neven, Baritone (Aeneas)
Hélène Guilmette, Soprano (Belinda)
Vicki St. Pierre, Mezzo-Soprano (Sorceress)
Stefanie True, Soprano (Second Woman)
Lesley Emma Bouza, Soprano (First Witch)
Sheila Dietrich, Soprano (Second Witch)
Daniel Cabena, Countertenor (Spirit)
Jacques-Olivier Chartier, Tenor (Sailor)
Stephen Hegedus, Bass-Baritone

HENRY PURCELL from The Fairy Queen
•• Air
•• Rondeau
•• Scene of the Drunken Poet
•• Air (instrumental)
•• Prelude to “If Love’s a Sweet Passion”
HENRY PURCELL from King Arthur
•• Hornpipe
•• “How happy the lover”
HENRY PURCELL from The Fairy Queen
•• Dance for the Fairies
•• Monkeys’ Dance
•• “O let me weep”
•• Prelude
•• Chaconne
HENRY PURCELL Dido and Aeneas

Tickets: $34–$109
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Monday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Weill Recital Hall
JORDI SAVALL
, Viola da Gamba

THE SPIRIT OF THE VIOL

MONSIEUR DE SAINTE-COLOMBE LE FILS Prelude in E Minor
MARIN MARAIS “Marche Persane”
MARIN MARAIS Sarabande à l’Espagnol
MARIN MARAIS Musette and Tambourin, Suite d’un Goût Étranger
MONSIEUR DE SAINTE-COLOMBE LE FILS Fantaisie en Rondeau
JEAN DE SAINTE-COLOMBE “Les Pleurs”
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Bourrée II from Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major, BWV 1010
MARIN MARAIS La Musette from from Suite No. 7 in G Major, Troisième Livre
MARIN MARAIS Musette from from Suite No. 7 in G Major, Troisième Livre
SIEUR DE MACHY Prelude in D Minor
MARIN MARAIS “Les voix humaines”
MARIN MARAIS Musette No. 28 from Suite No. 4 in A Minor, Quatrième Livre
MARIN MARAIS Musette No. 29 from Suite No. 4 in A Minor, Quatrième Livre
MARIN MARAIS “La Sautillante”
TOBIAS HUME Selections from Musicall Humors
•• A Souldiers March
•• Captaine Hume’s Pavin
•• Souldiers Galliard
•• Harke, harke
•• Good againe
•• A Souldiers Resolution
ANON. The Bag-Pipes Tuning
•• A Pointe or Preludium
•• The Lancashire Pipes
•• The Pigges of Rumsey
•• Kate of Bardie
•• A Toye
TRADITIONAL (Irish) “The Cup of Tea”
TRADITIONAL (Scottish) “Regents Rant”
TRADITIONAL (Irish) “Crabs in the Skillet”
TRADITIONAL (Scottish) “The Sword Dance”
TRADITIONAL (Scottish) “Lord Moira”
TRADITIONAL (Scottish) “Lord Moira’s Hornpipe”

Tickets: $60
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Thursday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
LE CONCERT DES NATIONS

Jordi Savall, Director

ANON. Concert donné a Louis XIII en 1627 (selected by André Danican Philidor)
•• Les Ombres
•• Entrée de Mr. de Liancourt
•• Les Valets de la Faiste
•• Les Nimphes de la Grenouilliere
•• Les Bergers
•• Les Amériquains
JEAN DE SAINTE-COLOMBE Concert a deux violes égales
JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY Suite from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY “Marche pour la Cérémonie Turque”
JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY “Premiere Air des Espagnols”
JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY “Second Air des Espagnols”
JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY Gavotte
JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY “Canaries”
JEAN-BAPTISTE LULLY “Chaconne des Scaramouches”
FRANÇOIS COUPERIN Prelude from Deuxième concert royal
FRANÇOIS COUPERIN Muzette, “Naïvement” from Troisième concert royal
FRANÇOIS COUPERIN “Chaconne légère” from Troisième concert royal
MARIN MARAIS Sonnerie de Ste-Geneviève du Mont-de-Paris
JEAN-PHILIPPE RAMEAU from Pièces de clavecin
•• La Forqueray
•• La Cupis
•• La Marais
JEAN BAPTISTE FORQUERAY “La du Vaucel”
JEAN BAPTISTE FORQUERAY “La Leclair”
JEAN-MARIE LECLAIR Sonata in D Major, Op. 2, No. 8

Funding for the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Public support for Carnegie Hall Live is made possible, in part, by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets: $62, $73
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Friday, April 17 at 8:00 p.m.
Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
THE TALLIS SCHOLARS: SPEM IN ALIUM PROJECT

The Tallis Scholars
Carnegie Hall Chamber Chorus
Peter Phillips, Conductor

TOMÁS LUIS DE VICTORIA Kyrie: Missa Salve regina
ANTOINE BRUMEL Gloria: Missa Et ecce terrae motus
TOMÁS LUIS DE VICTORIA Credo: Missa Salve regina
ANTOINE BRUMEL Sanctus: Missa Et ecce terrae motus
ANTOINE BRUMEL Benedictus: Missa Et ecce terrae motus
TOMÁS LUIS DE VICTORIA Agnus Dei: Missa Salve regina
ORLANDO GIBBONS “O clap your hands”
THOMAS WEELKES “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”
THOMAS TALLIS “Audivi vocem”
ROBERT COWPER “Hodie, nobis caelorum rex”
THOMAS TALLIS “If ye love me”
JOHN SHEPPARD “Libera nos, salva nos,” I, II
THOMAS TALLIS “Spem in alium”

Tickets: $50, $60
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Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Weill Recital Hall
THE TALLIS SCHOLARS

Peter Phillips, Conductor

JOSQUIN DES PRÉZ “Gaude Virgo”
JOSQUIN DES PRÉZ Missa Pange lingua
WILLIAM BYRD “Cunctis diebus”
WILLIAM BYRD “Gaudeamus omnes”
WILLIAM BYRD “Timete Dominum”
WILLIAM BYRD “Iustorum animae”
WILLIAM BYRD “Beati mundo corde”
WILLIAM BYRD “Tribue, Domine”

Tickets: $60
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Monday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Weill Recital Hall
FRETWORK

•• Asako Morikawa, Viol
•• Richard Boothby, Viol
•• Reiko Ichise, Viol
•• Richard Tunnicliffe, Viol

JOHN TAVERNER In Nomine
WILLIAM CORNYSHE “Fa la sol”
CHRISTOPHER TYE “Sit Fast”
ROBERT PARSONS In Nomine No. 3
ALFONSO FERRABOSCO I “A Fancy”
WILLIAM BYRD Fantasia in D Minor, No. 1
WILLIAM BYRD In Nomine
ORLANDO GIBBONS Fantasia No. 8, MB. 14
ORLANDO GIBBONS In Nomine No. 1
ROBERT PARSONS “Ut re me fa sol”
MATTHEW LOCKE Suite No. 3 in F Major
JOHN JENKINS Fantasy No. 7 in C Minor
JOHN JENKINS Fantasy No. 5 in F Major
HENRY PURCELL Fantasy No. 7 in C Minor, Z. 738
HENRY PURCELL Fantasy No. 12 in D Minor, Z. 743
HENRY PURCELL Fantasy No. 11 in G Major, Z. 742

Tickets: $60
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Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Weill Recital Hall
KRISTIAN BEZUIDENHOUT
, Harpsichord

MATTHIAS WECKMANN Toccata in E Minor
HENRY PURCELL Prelude from Suite in G Minor, Z. 661
HENRY PURCELL Almand from Suite in G Minor, Z. 661
HENRY PURCELL Rondeau Minuet from The Gordian Knot Unty’d, Z. 597
HENRY PURCELL Round O from Abdelazer
HENRY PURCELL Ground in C Minor, Z. D221
GEORG MUFFAT Passacaglia from Apparatus musico-organisticus
LOUIS COUPERIN Prélude from Suite in C Major
CHRISTIAN RITTER Suite in C Minor from Möller Manuscript
LOUIS COUPERIN Passacaille in C Major
JOHANN JACOB FROBERGER Tombeau in C Minor, FbWV 632
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828

Tickets: $60
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Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Weill Recital Hall
I FAGIOLINI

Robert Hollingworth, Director

INSALATA I FAGIOLINI

Amuse-bouche
LUDWIG SENFL “Das Gläut zu Speyer”

Entrée
CLÉMENT JANEQUIN “Or vien ca, vien, m’amye”
PIERRE SANDRIN “Puisque vivre en servitude,” S. 45
DOMINIQUE PHINOT “Plorez, mes yeulx”
CLAUDE LE JEUNE “Un gentil amoureux”
CLÉMENT JANEQUIN “Le chant des oiseaux”

Tapas y ensalada
ANON. “Claros y frescos rios”
JUAN VÁSQUEZ “‘Serrana dónde dormistes”
MATEO DA FLECHA “Teresica hermana”
MATEO DA FLECHA “El fuego”

Primo piatto
ORLANDO DE LASSUS “S’io esca vivo”
CIPRIANO DE RORE “Mia benigna fortuna”
ALESSANDRO STRIGGIO “D’ogni gratia e d’amor”
GIACHES DE WERT “Ascendente Jesu in naviculam”

Sorbet
GIOVANNI CROCE “Il gioco dell’Occa” from Triaca Musicale

Carne
CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI “Sfogava con le stelle”
CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI “Volgea l’anima mia soavemente”
CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI “Longe da te, cor mio”
CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI “Anima mia, perdona”

Tickets: $60
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Thursday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
ENGLISH BAROQUE SOLOISTS
MONTEVERDI CHOIR

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor
Francesca Aspromonte, Soprano
Silvia Frigato, Soprano
Francesca Boncompagni, Mezzo-Soprano
Esther Brazil, Mezzo-Soprano
James Hall, Countertenor
John Lattimore, Countertenor
Krystian Adam, Tenor
Nicholas Mulroy, Tenor
Andrew Tortise, Tenor
Gareth Treseder, Tenor
Alexander Ashworth, Baritone
Robert Davies, Baritone
Gianluca Buratto, Bass
David Shipley, Bass
Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Dianne Berkun-Menaker, Artistic Director

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI Vespro della Beata Vergine 

This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.

Funding for the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast series is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Public support for Carnegie Hall Live is made possible, in part, by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets: $34–$99
______________________________________________

Friday, May 1 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
ENGLISH BAROQUE SOLOISTS
MONTEVERDI CHOIR

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor
Francesca Aspromonte, Soprano
Silvia Frigato, Soprano
Francesca Boncompagni, Mezzo-Soprano
James Hall, Countertenor
John Lattimore, Countertenor
Krystian Adam, Tenor
Nicholas Mulroy, Tenor
Andrew Tortise, Tenor
Gareth Treseder, Tenor
Gianluca Buratto, Bass
David Shipley, Bass

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI L’Orfeo (concert performance)

Tickets: $34–$99

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Click here to buy tickets.

Michael Miller

About Michael Miller

Michael Miller, Editor and Publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review, an International Journal for the Arts, was trained as a classicist and art historian at Harvard and Oxford, worked in the art world for many years as a curator and dealer, and contributed reviews and articles to Bostonia, Master Drawings, Drawing, Threshold, and North American Opera Journal, as well as numerous articles for scholarly and popular periodicals. He has taught courses in classics, the English language, and art history at Oberlin, Rutgers, New York University, the New School, and Williams. Currently, when he is not at work on The Berkshire Review and New York Arts, he writes fiction, pursues photography, and publishes scholarly work. In 2011 he contributed an introductory essay to Leonard Freed: The Italians / exh. cat. Io Amo L’Italia, exhibition at Le Stelline, Milan, and wrote the revised the section on American opera houses in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. He is currently at work on a libretto for a new opera by Lewis Spratlan, Midi, an adaptation of Euripides’ Medea set in the French West Indies, ca. 1930.

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