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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: January ::
The Shakespeare Concerts 2004
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0055  Friday, 9 January 2004

From:           Joseph Summer <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 8 Jan 2004 20:44:56 EST
Subject:        The Shakespeare Concerts 2004

Announcing The Shakespeare Concerts 2004
For Immediate Release
December 8, 2003
Contact:        Lisa Summer
Foundation for Modern Opera
Telephone:      508-363-4460
E-mail: 
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______________________________________________________________________________
Worcester, MA

The Shakespeare Concerts are a series of performances and recordings
focusing on the plays and poetry of William Shakespeare, presented for
the second year by Boston's Foundation for Modern Opera. Concerts in
Worcester, Boston, London, and St. Thomas (the U.S. Virgin Islands)
feature settings of sonnets and scenes from the Bard's plays by Brahms,
Prokofief, Schubert, British composers Roger Quilter and Martin Shaw,
and the contemporary American composer Joseph Summer.

Czech pianist Miroslav Sekera, who portrayed the 6 year old Mozart in
the film, Amadeus, and  won the 2002 Brahms International Piano
Competition in Vienna will perform Summer's The Dumbshow from Hamlet.
Miroslav Sekera "is an awesome talent. As both a solo performer and
accompanist he is absolutely amazing," wrote the critic for the Saint
Thomas Source of the pianist's work last year. For this season's
concerts, Sekera and The Shakespeare Concerts music director John McGinn
will accompany vocalists well-known to Boston audiences, including Maria
Ferrante, winner of the Mario Lanza Voice competition. Writing in the
Boston Globe, music critic Richard Dyer described her "combination of
delicacy and intensity" last year as Madame Butterfly as so touching
that it "brought tears to my eyes." Maria Ferrante's participation in
The Shakespeare Concerts does not begin with the 2004 concerts. In the
summer of 2002 she recorded several of Joseph Summer's Oxford Songs in
Prague including the aria Gallop Apace from Romeo and Juliet which she
premiered in the United States in The Shakespeare Concerts series in
2003. She and tenor Alan Schneider recently completed the first The
Shakespeare Concerts CD, "To Be Or Not To Be," with Sekera and McGinn.
Tenor Alan Schneider is an oft heard voice in New England, performing
with Boston Lyric, Glimmerglass, Commonwealth, and Boston University
Opera companies. Last year, Alan portrayed Hamlet in three world
premiere concert arias: Too Too Solid Flesh, What a Piece of Work Is
Man, and, of course, To Be Or Not To Be. Writing of Schneider's
performances last year, critic Roger Lakins described the young tenor as
possessing a "sound reminiscent of Ian Partridge or Peter Pears in his
prime, clear, bright, with impeccable diction."
Besides the aforementioned The Shakespeare Concerts regulars, the series
introduces to Massachusetts audiences new series performers contralto
Diane Thornton in a performance of Brahms' Five Ophelia Songs; and three
London based opera singers from the UK's Opera Unlimited company:
Julie-Dawn Lloyd, Loretta Pennington, and Paul Vincent. A more familiar
Massachusetts performer, Anna Reinersman, a New York based artist, who
plays harp with the Boston Pops, will perform in the exquisite opus 17
by Brahms, Four Songs for Women's Chorus, Two horns and harp (which
includes Brahms' setting of Come away, death, from Twelfth Night); as
well as several other Shakespeare settings by Summer, including If By
Your Art from The Tempest, with Maria Ferrante as Miranda.. "Summer is a
composer who knows what he wants to say and has the vocabulary to do
so," wrote Roger Lakins. "The 'To Be or Not to Be' soliloquy is one of
the most profound and challenging scenes in dramatic literature, and the
translation of it into music is a daunting task. It is unfortunate that
this work was not repeated as an encore. It deserves more than one
listening. Summer's interpretation of the Ophelia scene, 'They Bore Him
Barefaced on the Bier,' was haunting and disturbing, which is to say
quite successful." ??????????????????????????????

January 24th  at Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts at Clark
University, 92 Downing Street in Worcester;  8 PM; free admission

January 25th  at Rabb Hall, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston street,
Boston, MA;  2 PM; free admission

January 30th  at the Ritz-Carlton Ballroom in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin
Islands; 8 PM
September and October 2004 concerts in London and environs to be
announced later

_______________________________________________________________
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