March 12, 2013
40 Years Worth Singing About!
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos No. 3 & 4, Rameau’s La Guirlande, Monteverdi’s Opera: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and more. Opera Stars Converge on Boston: Fernando Guimarães, Jennifer Rivera, Nicholas Phan, Leah Partridge, William Burden, Kate Lindsey, and others.
Boston, MA—Three-time Grammy-nominee Boston Baroque, under the direction of one of this country’s leading interpreters of Baroque and Classical music on period and modern instruments, Martin Pearlman, proudly announces a star-studded 40th Anniversary Season program for 2013 – 2014. The season is packed with distinguished and celebrated music such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Rameau’s opera, La Guirlande and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. And, with Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Boston Baroque continues a tradition of presenting rarely performed masterpiece operas from the Baroque and Classical periods.
“To celebrate our 40th birthday, Boston Baroque will expand its repertoire to open with the spectacular Ninth Symphony of Beethoven–the only Beethoven symphony that we have not yet performed. This will be a season that runs the gamut from the early Baroque–Monteverdi’s opera Il ritorno d’Ulisse in our new performing version–through the French Baroque and Handel’s Messiah to the Beethoven,” said Martin Pearlman. “This will be a season spanning two centuries, from the early Baroque–Monteverdi’s opera Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria in our new performing version–through the French Baroque and Handel’s Messiah to Beethoven. Our superb chorus will be center stage for three of the programs, and each concert will feature some of today’s foremost vocal soloists, making this a season to sing about.”
40 Years Worth Singing About!
The 40th season is highlighted by world-renown soloists and top operatic and concert artists such as the exciting new award-winning tenor from Portugal, Fernando Guimarães who will make his U.S. debut with Boston Baroque. Also performing this season are Met Opera artists soprano Leah Partridge, rising-star-mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey and outstanding tenor William Burden. In addition, one of the most sought after and versatile mezzo-sopranos of her generation, Jennifer Rivera will perform. The rising new tenor star Nicholas Phan, the gleaming high soprano Kiera Duffy, the brilliant haute-contre tenor Lawrence Wiliford, the “warm and ingratiating mezzo” [Albuquerque Journal] Ann McMahon Quintero and Boston’s favorite, the agile and silvery soprano Amanda Forsythe also appear in this season’s programming.
Also gracing Boston Baroque 2013-2014 stages are Kevin Deas who is internationally acclaimed as one of America’s leading basses, New York City Opera’s baritone Jesse Blumberg, the baritone with a “distinctively American presence” [New York Times], Andrew Garland and Boston native and rising-star, soprano Sara Heaton. And, countertenor Christopher Lowrey and tenor Daniel Shirley will astound audiences with their amazingly beautiful sound when they make their appearances in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria!
40th Anniversary Season 2013 – 2014:
The season begins on Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9 at 8:00 PM [at NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston] with a glorious all-Beethoven program that features Elegiac Song (Elegischer Gesang) alongside the always-celebratory Symphony No. 9. Soprano Leah Partridge, mezzo-soprano Ann McMahon Quintero, tenor William Burden and bass Kevin Deas are featured soloists in these performances alongside the acclaimed Boston Baroque chorus.
In time for the holidays, Boston Baroque will present its annual standing-room-only performances of George Frideric Handel’s best-known work, Messiah, on Friday and Saturday, December 13 and 14 in NEC’s Jordan Hall, at 7:30 PM. Soloists include soprano Kiera Duffy, mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, tenor Nicholas Phan and bass Jesse Blumberg.
Following an annual tradition, Boston Baroque will once again “pop the cork” in grand style on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in grand style with a rousing all-Bach program featuring his Brandenburg Concertos No. 3 & No. 4 and Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (The Coffee Cantata) BWV 211. Concerts including champagne and chocolates at intermission will take place at Cambridge’s Sanders Theatre at 8:00 PM on Tuesday, December 31 and again at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, January 1. Soloists for the Coffee Cantata will include some of Boston’s own favorites: soprano Kristen Watson, tenor, Matthew Anderson and baritone Andrew Garland.
Boston Baroque also has a stunning program of French Baroque for Valentine’s Day Weekend 2014 with concerts on Friday and Sunday, February 14 and 16 at 8:00 PM and 3:00 PM respectively at NEC’s Jordan Hall. This program offers Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Te Deum and Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera, La Guirlande with soprano Amanda Forsythe, haute-contre tenor Lawrence Wiliford and baritone Andrew Garland. La Guirlande was first performed on 21 September 1751 at the Paris Opéra and it was a great success. Charpentier’s Te Deum is a grand polyphonic motet in D major, a key which Charpentier considered to be “bright and very warlike.”
And last but definitely NOT least, the 2013 – 2014 season’s grand finale continues Boston Baroque’s operatic tradition with a stunning Monteverdi masterpiece on Friday and Saturday April 25 and 26 at 7:30 PM, at NEC’s exquisite Jordan Hall. Semi-staged and directed by the highly-regarded director Mark Streshinsky, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria has a cast of splendid voices. Tenor Fernando Guimarães and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera star as Ulisse and Penelope; mezzo-soprano Leah Wool sings the role of Minerva, tenor Daniel Auchincloss sings Eumete, mezzo-soprano Abigail Nims sings Melanto, tenor Aaron Sheehan sings Telemaco, tenor Daniel Shirley sings Eurimaco, haute-contre tenor Marc Molomot sings Iro, soprano Sara Heaton is Amore and countertenor Christopher Lowrey is L’humana fragilità. This production will present Pearlman’s new performance version of this rarely produced masterwork from 1639 – 1640.
First performed at the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice during the 1639–1640 carnival season, Il ritorno is the first of three full-length works which Monteverdi wrote for the burgeoning Venetian opera industry during the last five years of his life. After its initial successful run in Venice, the opera was performed in Bologna before returning to Venice for the 1640–41 season.