The Salon/Sanctuary Announces 2016 – 2017 Concert Season

Joining the world-wide 500th anniversary commemorations of the creation in Venice of the world's first ghetto, Salon/Sanctuary Concerts' eighth season explores the musical worlds shaped by ancestors and descendents of exiles. From Esther to Shylock, from Troubadors to Dowland, we glimpse at fault lines of acceptance refracted through the prism of music.

A journey through time and a trip through venues, the season traverses a millennium of music and cultural history - from Ghetto to Cappella, from Opera House to Souk, from Salon to Sanctuary.

Full season schedule below:

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Friday, October 28th, 8:00pm
The AbiGail Adams Smith Auditorium, 417 East 61st Street between 1st and York Avenues
Tickets $25/35/50/100

On the Margins of the Opéra Comique
Jewish Composers, Covert Spaces, and the Legacy of the Wagnerian Suppression

Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano
Kenneth Merrill, fortepiano

The glittering salons of mid-19th century Paris played host to several Jewish composers who enjoyed dizzying success at the nearby Opéra Comique before falling into disfavor as targets of Richard Wagner's antisemitic screeds. Fromental Halévy, Giacomo Meyerbeer, and Jacques Offenbach, among others, penned songs that were enjoyed by friends and patrons alike in opulent private gatherings.

Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle joins fortepianist Kenneth Merrill in our season opener concert, distilling the splendor of the opera house for the intimacy of the recital hall.

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Wednesday, November 30th, 8pm
The Harvard Club of New York City, 35 West 44th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues

Mad Dog
Hopkinson Smith performs a solo lute recital in support of Salon/Sanctuary Concerts

Works of Holborne, Byrd, and the great John Dowland, a Catholic exile from the Protestant court of Elizabeth I, form this program performed by "Living Legend" Hopkinson Smith, as a benefit event for Salon/Sanctuary Concerts.

A reception will follow the concert.

Please call us at 646 470-1837 to reserve tickets for this special event.

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Sunday, December 11th, 7:00pm
The Bernie Wohl Theater of Goddard Riverside Community Center
647 Columbus Avenue between 91st and 92nd Street
Tickets $20/35/50/100

The Floor of Heaven
Scenes from a Merchant and Songs of his Venice

Nicholas Tamagna, Countertenor
Christopher Morrongiello, Renaissance Lute

Deborah Houston, Director
Script and Dramaturgy by Erica Gould

Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is poised between two Empires - The Sceptered Isle and La Serenissima. In honor of the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare and the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Venetian ghetto, The Floor of Heaven interweaves moments from Shakespeare's complex and revolutionary text with the play's original music and songs from the Venetian soundscape that Shakespeare's characters would have played and heard.

Internationally acclaimed countertenor Nicholas Tamagna and lutenist Christopher Morrongiello, educated at Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music, collaborate with a cast of actors, and directors Erica Gould and Deborah Houston to create a dynamic reflection on Shylock's Venice.

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Thursday, January 12th, 8:00pm
The Sanctuary of Brotherhood Synagogue, 28 Gramercy Park South
Tickets $25/35/100

Of Meistersingers and Mizmorim
The Wandering Troubador, the Origins of Klezmer, and the Medieval Roots of Wagnerian Fantasy

Corina Marti, recorders & clavisymbalum
Ivo Haun, tenor
Ayelet Karni, recorders
Christa Patton, harp

The nationalist German culture that cherished Richard Wagner as a prophet of national identity saw the imagined Teutonic past enshrined in his operas as blueprints for the future. Yet the time and place that birthed the Aryan icon Meistersinger was also the source of an international, racial, and cultural hybrid which evolved into the quintessentially Jewish popular musical form known as Klezmer.

An ensemble of Swiss, Slovak, Brazilian, and American artists offer unique program of medieval repertoire from Germany, Poland, France, Bohemia, and the Middle East - distinctive national styles that entwined over centuries and emerged as an iconic soundscape of Ashkenazi Jewry.

Members of Brotherhood Synagogue, please call (212) 674- 5750 for special discount code

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Thursday, February 16th, 8:00pm
The Chapel of Temple Emanu-El, 1 East 65th Street
Tickets $25/35/50/100

Presented in partnership with the La Serenissima Festival of Carnegie Hall

From Ghetto to Cappella: Interfaith Exchanges in the Music of Baroque Italy

Jessica Gould, soprano & Noa Frenkel, contralto
Diego Cantalupi, theorbo & James Waldo, viola da gamba
Davide Pozzi, harpsichord and organ

Most recently presented at the Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy, we are honored to partner with Carnegie Hall's La Serenissima Festival, the Temple Emanu-El Skirball Center, and NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò in presenting the third annual New York performance of From Ghetto to Cappella, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the creation of the Venetian Ghetto.

While the Inquisition raged throughout Counter-Reformation Italy, the ghetto walls that separated Gentile from Jew were more porous than impenetrable. A lively dialogue between Jewish and Catholic musical cultures traversed the forbidding walls and enriched the music of both Synagogue and Sanctuary at a time of great oppression.

Works of Benedetto Marcello, Francesco Durante, Barbara Strozzi, Salomone Rossi, and unaccompanied Hebrew chants attest to a vibrant conversation, as do selections from the 1759 Hebrew libretto of Handel's Esther, commissioned by the Jewish community of Amsterdam in the year of the composer's death.

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Monday, March 13th, 8:00pm
The AbiGail Adams Smith Auditorium, 417 East 61st Street between 1st and York Avenues
Tickets $25/35/50/100

Crepuscolo Götterdämmerung
Song Settings at the Twilight of the Ancien Régime

Jessica Gould, soprano & Eric Hoeprich, clarinet
Diego Cantalupi, classical guitar
Kenneth Hamrick, fortepiano

One of the world's leading historical clarinetists, Eric Hoeprich, joins us from London for this program, originally premiered at the Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori of Florence, Italy.

In 1797 the walls of the Venetian Ghetto came tumbling down on orders of Napoleon. Bonaparte's favorite composer, Domenico Maria Puccini, the grandfather of Giacomo, and Mozart's contemporary, receives an American premiere of his precociously Bel Canto Sei Canzonette. His Czech coeval, Jan Ladislav Dussek, looks back rather than forward, penning a pianistic ode to a decapitatEd French Queen in The Sufferings of the Queen of France.

Giacomo Meyerbeer returns from the Opéra Comique, this time in German mode in a charming Hirtenlied, while a proto-Wagnerian song cycle by Louis Spohr caps off a program that stands on the ruins of the ghetto, looking forward into a Brave New World of dubious liberation.

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Thursday, May 11th, 8:00pm
The Sanctuary of Brotherhood Synagogue, 28 Gramercy Park South
Tickets $25/35/100

GF Handel, Esther
The 1759 Hebrew Libretto Version, Commissioned by the Jewish Community of Amsterdam

The Salon/Sanctuary Chamber Orchestra, Chorus, and Soloists
Pedro d'Aquino, Music Director
Hebrew Libretto by Jacob Saravall, arranged by Shalev Ad El

Georg Friedrich Handel (1685 - 1759) set the story of Esther twice - in a privately presented masque in 1718 and a publicly presented oratorio in 1732. The story of the biblical heroine, set in English and received well at its public performance at the King's Theatre in Haymarket, London, joined a body of Old Testament oratorios in English for which the German-born, Italian-trained composer is revered.

In 1759, the year of the composer's death, another audience clamored for a version of Handel's masterwork. This was the Jewish community of Amsterdam. Descended from victims of the Spanish and Portuguese Expulsion of 1492, the thriving Dutch Jewish population commissioned a new libretto of Esther's story, translated into the language of the work's eponymous heroine.

The translator was Jacob Raphael Ben Simhah Judah Saraval (1707 - 1782), poet, composer, former Rabbi of Mantua, and native of Venice.

Members of Brotherhood Synagogue, please call (212) 674- 5750 for special discount code


About Salon/Sanctuary Concerts

Salon/Sanctuary Concerts was founded in 2009 by Artistic Director Jessica Gould in order to present early music in intimate venues which complement both the acoustic and the historical context of the repertoire and to encourage understanding among people of different faiths through the performance of sacred works in sanctuaries appropriate to the repertoire.

Since its inception, the series has grown to include some of the most prestigious presenting partners throughout Manhattan and Florence, Italy, and a roster which comprises some of the most respected musicians active in historical performance today. Among the artists who have performed concerts and participated in our original interdisciplinary projects are soloists of the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala, award-winning actors from both the Royal Shakespeare Company, Broadway and Hollywood, principal dancers from the New York City Ballet, and an organist of the Duomo of Florence.

American co-presenters include the American Philosophical Society, Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò of New York University, Christ and St. Stephen's Church, the Colonial Dames of America, the Fraunces Tavern Museum, L'Istituto Italiano per Cultura di New York, the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, The Players Club, the Skirball Center of Temple Emanu-El, St. Paul's Chapel of Columbia University, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, and the Church of the Transfiguration.

Italian co-presenters include NYU Villa La Pietra, the Church of Santa Maria Novella, the Great Synagogue of Florence, Palazzo Bardi, L'Accademia delle Arti del Disegno founded in 1563, La Fondazione di Casa Martelli, Il Polo Museale Regionale della Toscana, L'ex Polo Museale Fiorentino, Il Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo, the Church of Santa Felicita, the Cappella of San Luca of Santissima Annunziata, the Sala dell'Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, the Venerabile Arciconfraternita della Misericordia di Firenze, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, and the Church of the Ognissanti.

Our mission is threefold:

To present chamber music in the kinds of intimate salon spaces for which the music is intended
To encourage understanding among people of different faiths through the performance of sacred works in sanctuaries appropriate to the repertoire

To challenge audience expectations for historical performance through new explorations in interdisciplinary collaboration

Salon/Sanctuary Concerts is a project of The Fire Department Theatre Company, Inc, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.

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