MasterVoices Presents New Production Of ORPHIC MOMENTS At JALC Rose Theater
MasterVoices - dedicated to celebrating the power of the human voice through the art of musical storytelling - presents two performances of a new production of Orphic Moments, in conjunction with producers Anthony Roth Costanzo and Cath Brittan.
The performances are Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. and Monday, May 7, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall. The inventive and contemporary pairing, which premiered at National Sawdust in 2016 to great acclaim, combines trailblazing composer and librettist Matthew Aucoin's dramatic cantata, The Orphic Moment, with Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, in a large-scale new version re-conceived for MasterVoices.
The production probes Orpheus' psychology, and his fatal decision to turn back. The traditional myth is viewed through the lens of artistic ego and hubris in moral choice. The production is conducted by Ted Sperling, directed by Zack Winokur, and has scenic design by Douglas Fitch. It features countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, sopranos Kiera Duffy and Lauren Snouffer, dancer Bobbi Jene Smith, violinist Keir GoGwilt, Orchestra of St. Luke's, and the MasterVoices Chorus.
Director Zack Winokur says, "The idea of this pairing is to give a different context and frame for understanding this story that we know so well. I'm excited to be taking this on with such a formidable cast and with the massive and wonderful forces of MasterVoices. In this staging, they become a protean central character; at once the core community of Orfeo and Eurydice's world, as well as set architecture and landscape."
Of the collaboration, MasterVoices' Artistic Director Ted Sperling says, "I'm thrilled to lead this youthful, emotional, and provocative production, reimagined in a far larger scale than its original premiere. This is MasterVoices' most ambitious production to date, and we are lucky to have such stellar performers in the lead roles and an immensely talented creative team for this ancient story."
Orfeo ed Euridice
Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck and libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi
The Orphic Moment
Music and lyrics by Matthew Aucoin
This season, Costanzo made his company and role debut as the title role in Giulio Cesare at the Houston Grand Opera, his debut at the Florida Grand Opera as the title role in Orfeo ed Euridice, and returned to Opera Philadelphia as The Boy in George Benjamin's Written on Skin. He also appeared at Lincoln Center's White Light Festival in staged performances of the Pergolesi Stabat Mater.
Costanzo has appeared with many of the world's leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, English National Opera, and the Teatro Real in Madrid. In concert he has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic, and in both Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. In the summer of 2017, Costanzo became an exclusive recording artist for Decca Gold, and his first album, a collection of arias by Handel and Phillip Glass with Les Violons du Roy, will be released in the fall of 2018.
About Kiera Duffy
American soprano Kiera Duffy is recognized for both her gleaming high soprano and insightful musicianship in repertoire that encompasses Mozart, Berg, Ligetti, Bach, Boulez, Handel, and Mazzoli. She has appeared with many of the major orchestras in the world that include the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, and National Symphony Orchestra. With these orchestras, she has sung under the batons of conductors such as Gustavo Dudamel, Lorin Maazel, Pierre Boulez, James Levine, Michael Tilson Thomas, Roberto Abbado, Alan Gilbert, Kristjan Ja?rvi, Andreas Delfs, and Seiji Ozawa.
Duffy recently received the highest critical acclaim for her portrayal of Bess McNeil in the world premiere of Breaking the Waves in Philadelphia and New York for which The New York Times proclaimed, "Kiera Duffy's star turn was one of the most riveting operatic performances of the year." She was a finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is featured in the film The Audition which is commercially available by Decca. She may also be heard on Hyperion Records in an all-Strauss album, Carmina burana with Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk on Sony, Mahler's 8th Symphony with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic on Detusche Grammophon, and Fairouz's No Orpheus on Naxos.
About Lauren Snouffer
Recognized for her unique artistic curiosity in world-class performances spanning the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Johann Adolph Hasse through to György Ligeti and George Benjamin, American Lauren Snouffer is celebrated as one of the most versatile and respected sopranos on the international stage.
Opera performances of the current season fortify the soprano's position as one of the eminent interpreters of contemporary music. Lauren Snouffer assays the title role of Berg's Lulu in a new production at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago conducted by Juan Pablo Izquierdo and directed by Mariame Clément and she reprises her acclaimed portrayal of Agnès in George Benjamin's Written on Skin for Opera Philadelphia's new production. Furthermore, she creates principal soprano roles in the world premieres of Houston Grand Opera's The House Without A Christmas Tree, written by Ricky Ian Gordon in a new production by James Robinson, and in Andrew Norman's A Trip to the Moon presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and directed by Yuval Sharon. Equally celebrated in roles of the traditional opera canon, Lauren Snouffer returns to the stage of the Lyric Opera of Chicago in a new production of Orphée et Eurydice directed and choreographed by John Neumeier under the baton of Harry Bicket and Mozart heroines include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Stefano Montanari conducting the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Krzysztof Urba?ski and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Additional concert performances include Mozart's Requiem with The Cleveland Orchestra and Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Mahler's Fourth Symphony with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.About Keir GoGwilt
Keir GoGwilt is a violinist and writer. Studying literature at Harvard, he was awarded the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. As a soloist he has performed with the Chinese National Symphony, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Santiago, the Bowdoin International Music Festival Orchestra, and at festivals including the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Rockport Chamber Music, and the Music Academy of the West. A member of the newly formed American Modern Opera Company, he is taking part in residencies this season at the American Repertory Theater, Harvard University, and the Park Avenue Armory.
GoGwilt has worked with composers including Tan Dun, Tobias Picker, Carolyn Chen, Celeste Oram, and his longest continuous collaborator, Matthew Aucoin. He has premiered several of Aucoin's violin and chamber music works. His collaboration with dancer Bobbi Jene Smith, "A Study on Effort," has been presented at the Luminato Festival, PS 122's COIL Festival, the ODC Theater, and UCSD Dance & Theater.
GoGwilt's scholarly writing articulates a philosophical account of performance and has been published in the Orpheus Institute Series (Leuven Press). His creative writing bores into phenomenological musical experience and appears in the form of a "question score" for "A Study on Effort" as well as a forthcoming album of his poetry variously interacting with solo violin music.About Bobbi Jene Smith
Bobbi Jene Smith was born in Centerville, Iowa. From 2005-2014 she was a member of the Batsheva Dance Company under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin. She is an alumnus of the Juilliard School, North Carolina School of the Arts, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Her choreography has been presented by The Batsheva Dance Company, PS122 COIL Festival, A.R.T, The Israel Museum, Luminato Festival, Sacramento Ballet, The CCA, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance.
She has worked in Punchdrunk's production of Sleep No More as well as Dido and Aeneas and Orphic Moment directed by Zack Winokur. Her film and video work includes Annihilation directed by Alex Garland and Mari directed by Georgia Parris.About MasterVoices
MasterVoices was founded in 1941 as The Collegiate Chorale by conductor Robert Shaw, who believed in the voice as the world's most powerful instrument. Today the human voice remains at the heart of MasterVoices' concerts, from its acclaimed 100+ member chorus to the dazzling array of world-class soloists that perform with the group each year. MasterVoices is now led by Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Ted Sperling. MasterVoices' productions are known for their vitality and scale, and the group's repertoire spans multiple genres, including choral classics, operas in concert, musical theater pieces, and newly commissioned works at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and New York City Center to site-specific concerts at synagogues, airplane hangers, museums, and bandshells. MasterVoices also tours internationally, most recently appearing with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and performs for hire at venues ranging from Barclay's Center to Madison Square Garden. The organization's concerts serve a deeper purpose as well: to nurture the artists of tomorrow. The Faith Geier Initiative gives debuts to promising young soloists, and each concert includes high school students from their Side-By-Side program, which invites aspiring young singers to join MasterVoices in concerts and tours, guided by experienced chorus members as mentors. MasterVoices' vision continues to expand under the baton of Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Ted Sperling. Its musical theater offerings have become richer, as a result of the establishment of The Rees Fund for Musical Theater, and its new Bridges program has started to introduce composers to specific New York City communities to create new choral works inspired by their stories. For more details, please visit mastervoices.org. About Orchestra of St. Luke's
Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) began in 1974 as a group of virtuoso musicians performing chamber music concerts at Greenwich Village's Church of St. Luke in the Fields. Now in its 43rd season, the Orchestra performs at New York's major concert venues across diverse musical styles and genres and has collaborated with artists ranging from Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell to Bono and Metallica. The Orchestra has participated in 118 recordings, four of which have won Grammy Awards, has commissioned more than 50 new works, and has given more than 175 world, U.S., and New York City premieres. In the fall of 2018, internationally celebrated expert in 18th-Century music, Bernard Labadie, will join the Orchestra as Principal Conductor, continuing the Orchestra's long tradition of working with proponents of historical performance practice. During the 2017-2018 season, OSL will perform and present more than 80 concerts, at 19 different venues, throughout all five boroughs of New York City. Its signature programming includes a subscription series presented by Carnegie Hall, now in its 31st season; an annual multi-week collaboration with Paul Taylor American Modern Dance at Lincoln Center; an annual summer residency at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts; and a chamber music festival featuring appearances at The Morgan Library & Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center.
About Ted Sperling
One of today's leading musical artists, Ted Sperling is a director, music director, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, singer, pianist and violinist. Mr. Sperling became the Artistic Director of MasterVoices in October 2013 and additionally serves as the Principal Conductor of the Westchester Philharmonic. He has conducted concerts with many major orchestras around the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and the Iceland Symphony. He also has conceived many songbook evenings for the Lyrics and Lyricists series at the 92nd Street Y and American Songbook at Lincoln Center. He is currently conducting My Fair Lady on Broadway.
About Zack Winokur
Stage director, Choreographer, Dancer, Zack Winokur, is a graduate of The Juilliard School. His work this season includes a new production of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea at the Cincinnati Opera, Monteverdi's Il Ballo delle Ingrate with William Christie at Juilliard, and Sondheim's A Little Night Music at the Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam. His recent New York production of Cavalli's La Calisto for The Juilliard School, was hailed in Opera News as "one of the most elegant and imaginative shows seen in New York this season."
He co-directs and founded, with Matthew Aucoin, the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC). In its inaugural year, AMOC started the new annual Run AMOC! Festival, at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, held its first major teaching residency at Harvard University, and is the Artist-in-Residence at the Park Avenue Armory in the spring. Winokur's work has also been seen at the Aix-en-Provence Festival (Svadba), the Dutch National Opera (The New Prince- world premiere), La Monnaie (Les Mamelles de Tirésias), the Royal Opera House (Most of the Boys-world premiere), as well as on film in collaboration with the Academy Award-nominated director Mike Figgis, a commission from the Royal Academy.About Douglas Fitch
Visual artist, designer, and director Doug Fitch staged several groundbreaking productions with the New York Philharmonic; Le Grand Macabre, The Cunning Little Vixen and A Dancer's Dream, which combined two ballets by Tchaikovsky. Le Grand Macabre will be remounted at the ElbPhilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany next year. He has created productions for Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and for Bard's SummerScape Festival. His production of Elliot Carter's What Next?, was filmed, then screened at MoMA. In 2016, he directed Orphic Moments, incorporating music of Matthew Aucoin with Gluck's Orfeo, at National Sawdust, then at the Salzburg Landestheater. Also at National Sawdust he created a live-animated version of Pictures at an Exhibition with pianist Alessio Bax, later performed again with Inon Barnaton at Town Hall. His cabaret, Doug Fitch's Art Gallery Variety Show has appeared at National Sawdust and La Maison Francaise at Columbia University. Fitch co-founded Giants Are Small, who, with Universal Music and Deutsche Grammophon, developed an app, CD, and digital album called Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood, featuring Alice Cooper as narrator. Last May, Fitch narrated a live version of the story with the National Symphony Orchestra.