BWW Preview: Apollo's Fire, Cleveland's award winning Baroque orchestra, opens new season with "Israel in Egypt"

BWW Preview:  Apollo's Fire, Cleveland's award winning Baroque orchestra, opens new season with “Israel in Egypt”

Roy Berko

After selling out concerts at Tangelwood, in Madrid, Spain and BBC programs in London, Apollo's Fire comes home to open its 2017-2018 season with "Israel in Egypt."

"Israel in Egypt" Handel's Oratorio vividly traces the Israelites' escape from Egypt. Filled with sumptuous music, the adaptation by Jeanette Sorrell, the orchestra's musical director, will feature Apollo's Singers as well as performances by soprano Erica Schuller, countertenor Daniel Moody, tenor Ross Hauck and baritone Jeffrey Strauss.

Fitting nicely into the high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper season, the concert continues the tradition of showcasing Jewish themes by the orchestra which previously performed "Sephardic Journey," which, in its recorded version, made Billboard's Top 10 list. (To read a review of the "Sephardic Journey" concert and a bio of soloist Jeffrey Strauss, go to www.royberko.info, and enter Apollo's Fire in the search box in the upper right side.)

The orchestra, which is named after the classical god of music and sun, was founded in 1992 by Sorrell with a grant from the Cleveland Foundation. The musical director envisioned an ensemble dedicated to the baroque ideal that music should evoke the passions of the listeners through drama and rhetoric. She has succeeded!

The group, whose recordings are often best sellers, frequently broadcast on National Public Radio and can be heard throughout North America and Europe.

Using period instruments, the ensemble includes a pool of music specialists and singers who create a unique sound and features innovative programming.

Besides their sneak peek and regular concerts, the orchestra presents "Music Alive," a series of free concerts at the Akron Art Museum, under the sponsorship of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Their "Israel & Egypt" sneak peek will be held on Sunday, October 1 at 3:00 pm in the Gallery.

The group will make its Carnegie Hall, New York, debut on March 22, 2018 and then travel to Boston for a Boston Early Musical Festival on March 24.

Apollo's Fire dedication to nurturing the next generation of musical appreciators and performers is highlighted by an intimate artistic learning experience, which centers on free family concerts, a Treble Youth Choir and a Young Artist Apprentice Program.

Performances of "Israel in Egypt" are: Thursday, October 12, 7:30 pm @ St. Paul's Episcopal, 1361 West Market Street, Akron; Friday, October 13, 8 pm @ First Baptist Church, 3630 Fairmount Boulevard, Shaker Heights; Saturday, October 14, 8pm @ The Temple-Tifereth Israel, 26000 Shaker Boulevard, Beachwood; and, Sunday, October 15, 4pm @ Avon Lake Church, UCC, 32801 Electric Boulevard, Avon Lake.

Information about Apollo's Fire and tickets may be purchased at http://www.apollosfire.org/ or by calling 216-320-0012.




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