Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor
A celebration of music of some of this world’s greatest minds, Seraphic Fire’s Enlightenment Festival focuses in on the music that Handel, Haydn, and Bach wrote for public performance with an emphasis on Classicism and dramatic works.
Program I: Haydn: Arianna a Naxos (Chamber)
During his lifetime, Franz Joseph Haydn was considerably more famous than Mozart and Beethoven. Haydn defined the symphony, established the string quartet. However, Haydn was also an incredibly engaging person who spent much of his time making music in private with individuals. Haydn’s Ariann a Naxos received particular praise for its innate theatricality. Ravenously consumed by the European musical audience of the 1790s, its depth of drama with such small forces (female singer and piano) quite ahead of their time. It is said that Haydn himself spent a number of hours on his first meeting of Fanny Nelson, wife of Horatio “Lord” Nelson, accompanying Lady Nelson in this very cantata. Seraphic Fire regular Clara Osowski, the first American prizewinner at Tomas Quastoff’s Das Lied competition, portrays Arianna, accompanied by frequent member of the Seraphic Fire continuo section, the lauded harpsichordist Leon Schelhase. Patrick Dupre Quigley is the evening’s host.
Wed, Feb 12, 7:00pm | Ft. Lauderdale – Sanctuary, 1400 N Federal Hwy, Ft. Lauderdale
Thu, Feb 13, 7:30pm | Coral Gables – Church of the Little Flower, 2711 Indian Mound Tr, Coral Gables
Program II: Bach: Coffee and Wedding Cantatas
Johann Sebastian Bach, patron saint of music and composer of countless masterpieces, had a deep and abiding love of coffee. Born the same year that coffee houses began to sprout in the German-speaking lands (1685), Bach’s life was often entwined with the history of the world’s favorite caffeinated beverage, so much so that he even wrote a miniature comedy, the Coffee Cantata, as a tongue-in-cheek nod to coffee addition. Soprano Margot Rood stars as the caffeine-entranced daughter of a overly-concerned father, sung by baritone Steven Eddy. Narrated by tenor Patrick Muehleise, the Coffee Cantata is Bach at his most human, a jokester, a comedian. Concert will also include Bach’s ravishing Wedding Cantata and works by Claudio Monteverdi. Patrick Dupré Quigley conducts.
Fri, Feb 14, 7:30pm | Coral Gables – St. Philip’s Episcopal 1121 Andalusia Avenue Coral Gables
Sat, Feb 15, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale – All Saints Episcopal 333 Tarpon Drive Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Feb 16, 4:00pm | Boca Raton – St. Gregory’s Episcopal 100 NE Mizner Blvd, Boca Raton
Program III: Bach: Cello Suites (Chamber)
While often remembered for his musical edifices with large forces—the Mass in b minor, the St. Matthew Passion—Bach was equally brilliant and revolutionary in his writing for the solo artist. The Cello Suites, written by Bach early in his career and transmitted through copies by his wife Anna Magdalena and others, show an almost veneration of the solo musician as artist. Bach’s suites transform the solo cellist into a painter with an endless palette, inviting the listener into the Zen of the single line. Seraphic Fire welcomes regular member Guy Fishman, principal cellist of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, to take a turn in the spotlight with Bach’s First, Second, and Third Suites for Solo Cello. Patrick Dupré Quigley is interviewer and host.
Tue, Feb 18, 7:30pm | Coral Gables – Church of the Little Flower, 2711 Indian Mound Tr, Coral Gables
Wed, Feb 19, 7:00pm | Ft. Lauderdale – Sanctuary, 1400 N Federal Hwy, Ft. Lauderdale
Program IV: Handel: Acis and Galatea
Charming. Delightful. Handel’s pastoral opera Acis and Galatea is one of the composers most lasting confections. Written for private performance in the home of the Duke of Chandos, this musical love story between a mortal shepherd and an immortal nymph, interrupted by a giant (think “Jack and the Beanstalk”) is accompanied by a catchy, dance-like score. Featuring long-time Seraphic Fire members Steven Soph as the love-struck Acis, Kathryn Mueller as his eager partner Galatea, James K. Bass as the ogre Polyphemus, and Brad Diamond as the trusty side-kick Damon, Seraphic Fire chorus and chamber orchestra join together to perform one of the gems of English chamber opera. This concert production is conducted by Patrick Dupré Quigley.
Fri, Feb 21, 7:30pm | Coral Gables – First United Methodist 536 Coral Way, Coral Gables
Sat, Feb 22, 7:30pm | Ft. Lauderdale – All Saints Episcopal 333 Tarpon Drive Ft. Lauderdale
Sun, Feb 23, 4:00pm | Naples – Vanderbilt Presbyterian 1225 Piper Blvd, Naples