June 27 The Intimate Verdi: Chamber Music and Vocal Ensembles Verdi in Paris Thursday, 6:00pm ~ Spanish Courtyard (One hour concert. No intermission) Tickets: $15.00, $25.00, $35.00 Buy Now
Angela Meade, soprano; Elizabeth Mann, flute: Jesse Mills, violin; Arnaud Sussmann, violin; Nicholas Cords, viola; Edward Arron, cello; Leigh Mesh, double bass; Bel Canto Young Artists
Ave Maria: Enigmatic scale harmonized
in four parts (1889, revised 1895)
Ave Maria translated by Dante (1880)
Laudi alla Beata Vergine
(Hymn to the Blessed Virgin) (1890)
Guarda che bianca luna
(Behold the bright moon) (1839)
Fogli d’Album (Album Leaves) (1842-1863)
String Quartet in e (1873)
Pater Noster translated by Dante (1880)
Verdi was an artist for the large scale. He probably wrote fewer works of short duration or for small forces than any other major composer – but those few include rarely-heard masterpieces. Most of them come from around the time of Aida, when he was developing the amazing harmonic refinements of his “late style”. The String Quartet shows his mastery of classic forms he rarely employed elsewhere; several exquisite sacred works testify to his lifelong fascination with the music of Palestrina. Along with occasional miniatures from other phases of his long career, these promise an evening of rich discovery for even the most devoted Verdian.
Post-Concert: Please linger after the show for wine and nibbles (free)
July 6 Les vêpres siciliennes by Giuseppe Verdi Verdi in Paris Saturday, 7:30pm ~ Venetian Theater Tickets: $15.00, $20.00, $40.00, $60.00, $80.00, $100.00 Buy Now
Angela Meade, soprano; John Osborn, tenor; Marco Nisticò, baritone; Burak Bilgili, bass; Orchestra of St. Luke’s Bel Canto Young Artists Will Crutchfield, conductor and Director of Opera
Bel Canto at Caramoor and Maestro Will Crutchfield present an uncut production of Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes, sung in French. Returning artists Angela Meade and John Osborn head the cast. This semi-staged concert performance will be preceded by lectures and recitals in the Spanish Courtyard.
The opera will not exceed four hours, including two intermissions. With applause and tunings, and holding both intermissions to 23 minutes (i.e. 20 official minutes), Les vêpres siciliennes is expected to run approximately three hours and forty minutes. The time is a guess based on recordings whose tempos the conductor generally likes, not real-time runs with the conductor’s tempos. But the length of the opera will be in that ballpark, and we're guaranteeing that it will not run over four hours.
Pre-Opera Events: Free for ticket holders.
2:30pm Le chant héroïque (Heroic French Singing) Will Crutchfield presents a selection of rare recordings illustrating the vocalism that made Verdi and French a natural fit, including the voices of twelve singers who collaborated personally with the composer in Paris. When we think of French singing in the abstract, we probably think of elegance and finesse more than of heroic force and brilliance. But all those things coexisted in a style that survived for generations, only to disappear in the mid-20th century.
3:30pm Les Italiens à Paris (The Italians in Paris) The Caramoor Bel Canto Young Artists sketch this history in a recital of music written for Paris by Piccini, Sacchini, Cherubini, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Mercadante, Verdi and others. French opera has had some Italian DNA at least since 1672, when Louis XIV put a Florentine, Giovanni Battista Lulli, in charge of it. About a century later, the prosperity and variety of Paris's operatic life became a steady magnet for composers from opera's homeland.
4:30pm L’Opéra (The Paris Opera) The second Young Artist recital of the afternoon explores Verdi’s presentation of Les vêpres siciliennes in 1855 when he was writing to a tradition of grand opéra at its grandest. The style was developed in the 1830s and 40s by Halévy, Auber and Meyerbeer, whose works will be heard in this program.
5:30pm Dinner Break
6:30pm Pre-Opera Lecture: Lecturer to be announced
Ride the Caramoor Caravan round-trip from NYC. More Info
July 20 Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi Verdi in Paris Saturday, 7:30pm ~ Venetian Theater Tickets: $15.00, $20.00, $40.00, $60.00, $80.00, $100.00 Buy Now
Jennifer Check, soprano; Jennifer Larmore, mezzo-soprano; James Valenti, tenor; Stephen Powell, baritone; Christophoros Stamboglis, bass-baritone; Mikhail Svetlov, bass Orchestra of St. Luke’s Bel Canto Young Artists Will Crutchfield, conductor and Director of Opera
Bel Canto at Caramoor and Maestro Will Crutchfield present Verdi’s Don Carlos in an uncut performance of the four-act version, sung in French. Renowned mezzo Jennifer Larmore sings her first-ever Eboli. This semi-staged concert performance will be preceded by lectures and recitals in the Spanish Courtyard.
The opera will not exceed four hours, including two intermissions. With applause and tunings, and holding both intermissions to 23 minutes (i.e. 20 official minutes), Don Carlos is expected to run approximately three hours and fifty-five minutes. The time is a guess based on recordings whose tempos the conductor generally likes, not real-time runs with the conductor’s tempos. But the length of the opera will be in that ballpark, and we're guaranteeing that it will not run over four hours.
Pre-Opera Events: Free for ticket holders.
2:30pm En decouvrant Don Carlos (Discovering Don Carlos) One of the most dramatic events in the history of operatic scholarship was Andrew Porter's discovery, in 1967, that dozens of pages of unknown music by the mature Verdi could be recovered from orchestral parts preserved at the Paris Opera. Mr. Porter returns to Caramoor to tell the story of this adventure in a panel discussion on the rediscovery of Don Carlos with Philip Gossett and Will Crutchfield.
3:30pm Pages inconnues (Unknown Pages) Andrew Porter introduces the Caramoor Bel Canto Young Artists as they sing excerpts from the Don Carlos music Verdi later cut or revised – including some passages never before performed in public, such as a version of the last act that begins with Don Carlos (not Élisabeth) waiting alone at the Monastery of Yuste.
4:30pm Schiller dans le musique (Schiller in Music) Friedrich Schiller was the dramatist to whom Verdi turned to more often than any other for operatic subjects, and his visionary idealism inspired dozens of other composers as well. Caramoor delved into this body of works in 2011 (when another Schiller opera, Guillaume Tell, was on the bill). This performance returns to that theme with a fresh program, this time emphasizing the Verdian connection.
5:30pm Dinner Break
6:30pm Pre-opera lecture: Andrew Porter introduces Don Carlos
Ride the Caramoor Caravan round-trip from NYC. More Info
July 25 Verdi: The Complete Songs for Voice and Piano Verdi in Paris Thursday, 6:00pm ~ Spanish Courtyard (One Hour Concert. No Intermission) Tickets: $15.00, $25.00, $35.00 Buy Now
Bel Canto Young Artists
This piano-accompanied song, or “Romanza,” in Verdi’s Italy, was basically an opera aria without orchestra. Since Verdi composed most of the world’s favorite arias, it is no surprise that his songs are a treasury of inspired melody and dramatic variety. Only about half of them have even been readily available in print. This program presents the entire series, supervised and introduced by Philip Gossett, editor-in-chief of the Ricordi complete edition of Verdi’s works.
All artists and programs are subject to change without notice.
A look at last summer's opera events:
This Summer at Caramoor July 4 - 8 features Ciro in Babilonia
This Summer at Caramoor July 20 - 22 features I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Bel Canto at Caramoor In 1997, following the success of a production of Rossini's La Cenerentola that introduced Vivica Genaux, Caramoor decided to establish a formal concentration on bel canto opera, and - Bel Canto at Caramoor was born.
Reviews of the 2012 Bel Canto Productions: As Baldassare (Belshazzar), tenor Michael Spyres impressed mightily with his technique, stamina and ringing high notes… Associated Press
...it is wonderful to have local companies show us just where all the pleasures of opera lie. Caramoor and Will Crutchfield do just this, season after season... Berkshire Fine Arts
...Crutchfield placed the orchestra on the audience floor level of the Venetian Theater... provid[ing] a lovely transparent balance of vocal and orchestral detail. Musical America Worldwide
There could be not doubt that the Orchestra of St. Luke's was a superb ensemble and that Maestro Crutchfield mastered the score with complete comprehension and energetic commitment. New York Arts
Will Crutchfield, founder and leader of the bel canto series at Caramoor, led the St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra in a performance full of melodious charm, with several extraordinary moments in preludes and ritornellos, as well as vigorous accompaniment of the singers. Parterre Box
Soprano Jessica Pratt sang with powerful, warm tone and a glamorous presence that recalled an old-fashioned screen queen. Super Conductor
Mr. Crutchfield, playing recitative accompaniments on a fortepiano as well as conducting, led a stylish, well-paced and vibrant account of this impressive score. The New York Times
Will Crutchfield’s Bel Canto at Caramoor summer series is something that New York opera fans count on. Time Out New York
...Michael Spyres (Baldassare), who deployed his precise, scintillating tenor with absolute confidence and abandon, and made the insinuating runs and fierce high notes into a portrait of nastiness. One fluid upward swoop in Act II provoked an audible gasp of "Wow!" from an audience member, and he was called back to the stage for an extra bow after his mad scene. Wall Street Journal
Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi ~ July 21 Crutchfield led the excellent Orchestra of St. Luke's and the men's chorus with his customary enthusiasm and attention to detail. Associated Press
Crutchfield led his forces with a sure hand, with strong ideas about tempos but also the finesse to allow his singers rhythmic freedom... The Classical Review
Mr. Crutchfield elicited lively, buoyant work from the Caramoor Festival Chorus and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, with superb solo work from the French horn player R. J. Kelley, the cellist Myron Lutzke and the clarinetist Jon Manasse. The New York Times
Bel Canto at Caramoor Young Artists Of all the operatic works restored to life in our age of revivals, the most extensive and durable group has been the products of the bel canto school.
Donizetti's ElisabethbyWill Crutchfield These extensive introductory notes were written for the first performance of this reconstructed French version of Donizetti's opera at the Caramoor Festival, New York, July 17 & 19, 2003, conducted by Will Crutchfield.
History of Bel Canto at Caramoor
Of all the operatic works restored to life in our age of revivals, the most extensive and enduring group has been the products of the bel canto school - Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini, and the young Giuseppe Verdi. Between 1808 and 1850 these masters produced some 125 works of musical theater in a style that made Italian opera the world’s most popular art form. Later, the shifting winds of taste swept all but about ten of these operas from regular use. But beginning with the spectacular example of Maria Callas, and continuing through Marilyn Horne, Joan Sutherland, and Beverly Sills, exciting artists have rediscovered the lapsed skills of bel canto singing and revealed dozens of masterpieces anew to modern audiences. In 1997, following the success of a Caramoor production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola that introduced Vivica Genaux to New York, we decided to establish a formal concentration on bel canto opera, and Bel Canto at Caramoor was born.