Jan 16, 2014
Vesuvius Ensemble joins Tafelmusik for Ontario Tour of Bella Napoli - Feb 6-10, 2014
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Toronto, January 15, 2014 … From February 6 to 10, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Vesuvius Ensemble bring some southern Italian warmth to a cold Ontario winter, taking their unique and vibrant programme Bella Napoli on the road for an Eastern Ontario tour. Bella Napoli celebrates the musical richness — classical and traditional — of Naples and southern Italy, and will be heard by audiences in Ottawa (Feb. 6), Port Hope (Feb. 7), Lindsay (Feb. 8) and Port Perry (Feb. 10). The Bella Napoli is made possible in part by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council’s National and International Touring Program. Concert times, locations, and full programme details are listed below.
In addition to the tour, Tafelmusik artists Patricia Ahern, Allen Whear, Charlotte Nediger, and Ivars Taurins will be in residence at Western University in London from Feb. 24 to 28. The residency includes lectures, masterclasses, and rehearsals, as well as two public performances on Feb. 27 and 28. Violinist Julia Wedman presents a string masterclass at Queen's University on Feb. 26. Further Tafelmusik education and artist training programmes are planned for March and April in Port Stanley, St Thomas, Tillsonburg and Strathroy.
The Bella Napoli programme was first presented in 2012 as part of Tafelmusik’s Toronto subscription series, where it garnered high praise from the Toronto Star: “Through the magic of personality and conviction, Tafelmusik and Vesuvius Ensemble turned a strange mixture of popular and art music from Naples into an enchanted evening at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre ….”
Despite earthquakes, war, pestilence and the occasional eruption of Mount Vesuvius, baroque Naples could boast a superb music scene. Bella Napoli celebrates that vibrancy by recreating a musical snapshot of a day in the life of baroque Naples. Two contrasting types of music share the programme: the classical repertoire of the royal court, and the traditional music heard on the street. Refined concertos and sonatas by Leonardo Leo, Alessandro Scarlatti and Francesco Durante rub shoulders with effervescent tarantellas, earthy street songs sung in various regional dialects, and arias from comic operas. The traditional segment of the programme opens with a fronna — an improvised and highly ornamented vocal lament often heard in processions and funerals in rural areas of southern Italy — sung a cappella by tenor Francesco Pellegrino.
Tafelmusik maintains a rigorous schedule of touring engagements, spending an average of 7 to 12 weeks each season on the road with tours. The orchestra recently completed a tour of Japan and South Korea, featuring Alison Mackay’s multi-media concert The Galileo Project. Following the Ontario tour, Tafelmusik returns to New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall on March 17, 2014, with a mixed baroque programme. In May 2014, Tafelmusik joins long-time collaborators Opera Atelier for performances of Lully's Persée in Versailles, France - the second such engagement in as many years. Tafelmusik concludes its 2013/14 touring season in June 2014 with a prestigious debut as Orchestra-in-Residence at BachFest Leipzig, in Bach’s historic home city.
Vesuvius Ensemble is Canada’s premiere professional ensemble specializing in the traditional music of southern Italy. For these concerts, ensemble members Francesco Pellegrino (tenor & chitarra battente), Marco Cera (baroque guitar, mandolino and ciaramella) and Lucas Harris, (baroque guitar & theorbo) are joined by Ben Grossman (baroque guitar, saz & percussion).
Vesuvius Ensemble’s repertoire consists of songs from the Italian countryside which are performed in dialect and have been passed on over centuries. They are accompanied by baroque continuo instruments (baroque guitars, chitarrone) in combination with rustic string, percussion, and wind instruments typical of the region: chitarra battente, colascione, tammorra, and ciaramella - a sort of early oboe played by Italian shepherds at Christmas. A classically trained tenor, the ensemble’s leader Francesco Pellegrino also possesses rare first-hand experience with the traditional folk music of southern Italy, and formed Vesuvius Ensemble as a North American vehicle for its performance and preservation.
Feb 6 at 7:30 pm
Dominion-Chalmers United Church, 355 Cooper Street, Ottawa
Presented by Ottawa Chamber Music Society, (613) 234-6306
Preceded by Open Rehearsal from 12:30 – 1:30 pm
(for area high school students)
Feb 7 at 7:30 pm
Port Hope United Church, 34 South Street, Port Hope
presented by Port Hope Friends of Music
Preceded by Education Concert, time TBA
Feb 8 at 8:00 pm
Cambridge Street United Church, 61 Cambridge St N, Lindsay
presented by Kawartha Concerts
Feb 10 at 7:00 pm
One-hour Community concert
Hope Christian Reformed Church, 14480 Old Simcoe Rd, Port Perry
Preceded by early afternoon Education Concert (for area students; time TBA)
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, founded in 1979 and led by Music Director Jeanne Lamon since 1981, is one of the world’s leading period performance ensembles. The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, under the direction of Ivars Taurins, was formed in 1981 to complement the Orchestra. The orchestra performs more than 50 concerts each year at home in Toronto, and travels extensively around the world to such places as this season's tour destinations: Japan and South Korea, Carnegie Hall in New York City, BachFest Leipzig in Germany, cities across Ontario, and a tour with Opera Atelier to Versailles, France. The choir and orchestra’s multi-platform recording label Tafelmusik Media was launched in January 2012, along with the Watch and Listen site, Tafelmusik‘s digital concert hall. Tafelmusik has a rich discography of more than 80 CDs recorded on the Sony Classical, CBC Records, Analekta and Tafelmusik Media labels. Since 1991, Tafelmusik has received nine JUNO Awards and a Grammy Award nomination. Tafelmusik is the Baroque Orchestra-in-Residence at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and operates its annual artist training programmes, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute and Tafelmusik Winter Institute.