The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0422  Tuesday, 8 March 2005

From:           Joseph Summer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 4 Mar 2005 18:09:42 EST
Subject:        Announcing The Shakespeare Concerts 2005

The Shakespeare Concerts will present two concerts in Massachusetts in

*   2 pm, Saturday, April 2 at the Helen Hills - Hills Chapel in
Northampton, MA; (the 2005 Commonwealth Opera Gala Guild Celebration,)
free admission

*   3 pm, Sunday, April 3 in Razzo Hall of Clark University's Traina
Center for the Arts, 92 Downing Street, Worcester, MA; free admission.
Preceding the concert will be a lecture demonstration, beginning at 2 pm
in the same facility with Clark University theater students, professors,
performers, music director John McGinn, and composer Joseph Summer

The Shakespeare Concerts presents a new recording, entitled WHAT A PIECE
OF WORK IS MAN, to be released April 1 by Albany Records. For
information, visit  http://www.albanyrecords.com or click here Albany
Records - Classical Music Label

The Shakespeare Concerts are a series of performances and recordings
focusing on the plays and poetry of William Shakespeare, presented by
Boston's Foundation for Modern Opera. The 2004-05 third season includes
concerts in Northampton and Worcester, Massachusetts and the Caribbean
island Anguilla; and features settings of sonnets and scenes from the
Bard's plays by Verdi, Gounod, Korngold, Ambrose Thomas, the notable
British composer of music for harp: David Watkins, and the contemporary
American composer Joseph Summer.

Czech pianist Miroslav Sekera, who portrayed the 6-year-old Mozart in
the film Amadeus and (much later) won the 2002 Brahms International
Piano Competition in Vienna, will perform Joseph Summer's "The Dumbshow"
from Hamlet with a troupe of actors performing the roles from the famous
Mousetrap scene. Performed without actors in last year's Raab hall
concert in Boston, John Pierce wrote, "The second half of the program
met the same high standard as the first.    Among the selections, 'The
Dumbshow,' music by Joseph Summer played by Miroslav Sekera, solo piano,
showed that Mr. Summer can write interesting music without a text as
stimulus."  In addition, Mr Sekera will accompany the vocalists in
several arias set to text from Shakespeare's Hamlet.  "Sekera is "an
awesome talent. As both a solo performer and accompanist he is
absolutely amazing," wrote the critic for the Saint Thomas Source
following the Caribbean debut of The Shakespeare Concerts in 2003. For
this season's concerts, Sekera and The Shakespeare Concerts music
director John McGinn will accompany vocalists well known to Boston
audiences, including tenor Alan Schneider an oft heard voice in New
England, performing with Boston Lyric, Glimmerglass, Commonwealth, and
Boston University Opera companies. In the previous two seasons of The
Shakespeare Concerts, 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,
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." New York-based harpist Anna Reinersman, who
also performs with the Boston Pops, returns for her second season with
The Shakespeare Concerts to perform three sonnet settings by David
Watkins for soprano and harp as well as pieces by The Shakespeare
Concerts artistic director, Joseph Summer. "Summer is a composer who
knows what he wants to say and has the vocabulary to do so," opined
Roger Lakins and added, "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." Both arias will be heard again this year.

Besides the aforementioned The Shakespeare Concerts regulars, the series
introduces to Massachusetts audiences New York soprano Eve Gigliotti;
and welcomes new series performers from Massachusetts: baritone Thomas
O'Toole, and sopranos Heather Curley and Hillarie O'Toole in
performances of Verdi, Gounod, and Thomas concert arias from their
operas Falstaff, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet respectively.

Finally, The Shakespeare Concerts announces the release of its first cd,
"What a Piece of Work is Man," featuring Alan Schneider, tenor; Maria
Ferrante, soprano; Elem Eley, baritone; Ja-Nae Duane, mezzo-soprano;
Barbara Shepherd, French horn; Miroslav Sekera, piano; and John McGinn,
piano and music director. Among the works on the cd are To Be Or Not To
Be, With Mirth in Funeral, Too Too Solid Flesh, and They Bore Him
Barefaced On The Bier, all from Hamlet; as well as arias from The
Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, and sundry sonnets.

How oft, when thou, my music, music play'st. JPG

S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

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