Jason Tramm to Make Conducting Debut at the 2017 Narnia Festival in Italy
Noted American conductor Jason Tramm makes his Italian 2017 Narnia Festival conducting debut with several scheduled performances - including two new, fully staged productions of "Gianni Schicchi" and "Suor Angelica" from Puccini's celebrated and enigmatic ensemble of one act operas, "IL TRITICO." Directing the productions Tramm will be working with Maria Rosaria Omaggi, the accomplished Italian actress and writer.
Although infrequently performed together, the Narnia Festival's production of Puccini's operas represents two thirds of Puccini's masterwork "IL TRITTICO" ("Il tabaro" completes the trilogy) originally conceived by Puccini as a unified whole. The Narnia Festival's productions underscore a musical and dramatic study in contrast, as each opera's story pivots on the importance of a last will and testament. In "Suor Angelica" we find a tragic study of redemption and the sublime and in "Gianni Schicchi" an earthy and irreverent comedy.
Musically demanding, the challenge of interpreting and conducting Puccini's diverse one act operas was entrusted to Jason Tramm consequent to the Narnia Festival's collaboration with Tramm in a concert version of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" in January 2017 in New York City at the National Opera Center. It may be coincidental that Puccini selected an American venue, the Metropolitan Opera, for the world premiere of "IL TRITICO" in 1918 - just at a time when the composer was breaking boundaries and reinventing the Italian operatic tradition. Tramm's selection as conductor, paired with Italian director Maria Rosaria Omaggio, for the Narnia Festival's new productions of Puccini may herald an intentional fusion of the musical and dramatic energies which in his day united Puccini and the legendary American Broadway impresario David Belasco. It was Tramm's ability to elicit and interpret an exciting orchestral sound, while honoring the composer's intentions, which occasioned Tramm's selection in 2009 by the US Embassy to be the conductor to lead the Albanian premiere of the Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" at Triana's National Opera House, following the abolishment of the Communist censure of Gershwin's opera in Albania.
The Narnia Festival, now in its fifth year, presents performances which combine tradition and innovation in a balanced harmony between music, dance and theater. With his debut Tramm joins the roster of regular participants who include world renowned artists such as Katia Ricciarelli, Marcello Giordani, Danilo Rea, Maria Rosaria Omaggio, Enzo Decaro, Barbara De Rossi, Samantha Togni, Stefano Masciarelli, Carol Wincenc, Tali Roth, Silvia Duran, Luc Bouy, Pablo Garcia, who are featured in performances ranging from classical music to opera, from sacred music to jazz, from ballet to tango and flamenco. Institutions participating in the Narnia Festival include guest teachers from the many of the important international schools and universities including The Juilliard School in New York, Mozarteum - Salzburg, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst - Vienna, University of Miami, Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia.
Jason C. Tramm's work in the symphonic, operatic, and choral repertoire has received acclaim nationally and internationally. Noted productions include a world premiere of the Gershwin's Porgy and Bess in Tirana, Albania at the request of the US Embassy. As Artistic Director for the NJ State Opera Tramm conducted the 75th anniversary production of the Gershwin's Porgy and Bess at Newark Symphony Hall and conducted the HDTV broadcast presentation with PBS affiliate NJN, of "Verdi Requiem: Live from Ocean Grove" which garnered a regional Emmy Award nomination.
Tramm currently serves as Director of Music Ministries, Ocean Grove CMA, conducting sacred and secular works. His concerts from the historic Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, New Jersey include national broadcasts of Léon Boëllmann's Fantasie-Dialogue for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 35 with famed organist Gordon Turk and the Rittenhouse Orchestra, and Alexandre Guilmant's Symphony Number 1 in d for Organ and Orchestra featured on American Public Media's "Pipe Dreams." Tramm conducted the MidAtlantic Opera's 2014 productions of Verdi's Rigoletto and the Verdi Bicentennial production "Verdiana'. In 2016 Tramm was appointed Music Director of the Morris Choral Society with whom he presented the New Jersey premiere of Karl Jenkins "The Peacemakers" and initiated his second season of concerts inspired by Leonard Bernstein's artistic mandate "This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."
A member of the faculty at Seton Hall University (Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities, College of Communication and the Arts) Tramm leads the University Choir, Chamber Choir and Orchestra. In 2015 Tramm made his Carnegie Hall debut conducting "A Prayer for Peace" which featured Behzad Ranjbaran's Elegy for Cello and Strings, Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem and Adnan Saygun's Selections from Yunis Emre. In December 2016 Tramm led the Oltenia Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Academic Choir in Romania.
On October 27, 2017 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey Tramm will conduct the second installment of the "Prayer for Peace" classical concert triology- produced as a joint venture by Seton Hall University's School of Diplomacy and International Relations and College of Communication and the Arts and the MidAtlantic Opera Orchestra. "Prayer for Peace: The Power of One Voice" will feature "Dona Nobis Pacem" by Peteris Vasks, "The Lark Ascending" by Ralph Vaughan Williams, "Psalm 133" by contemporary composer Moshe Knoll, scored for soprano soloist and violin soloist , featuring soprano Allison Charney, and the powerful Ninth Symphony, Op. 127 by Ludwig van Beethoven.