Boston Baroque begins a new season with Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans

Friday, October 23, 2015 at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall in Boston
By: Boston Baroque
 
 
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BOSTON - Oct. 6, 2015 - PRLog -- Boston, MA--Boston Baroque's 2015-2016 season begins Friday, October 23 when the ensemble presents Vivaldi's only surviving and rarely heard oratorio, Juditha Triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie (Judith triumphant over the barbarians of Holofernes)at NEC's Jordan Hall, 8:00 pm [30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA 02115].The concert's evening will begin at 7:00 pm in NEC's Keller Room with "Improper Baroque," Boston Baroque's signature cocktail mixer that features SILO Distillery's delightful martini cocktails and light food, for the 30-and-under set.

Juditha Triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie depicts the Old Testament Biblical story from the Book of Judith that takes place in the Middle East. It's a story of war, feminine intrigue, sex and women's empowerment, ending with the seduction and then decapitation of the barbarian invader Holofernes by the beautiful young Jewish widow, Judith, as a means of putting an end to an awful war against her people. The fascinating story has been portrayed over the centuries by many painters and was also depicted in the 1914 silent film, Judith of Bethulia.

The oratorio, discovered in Turin the late 1920s, uses a number of unusual instruments and unorthodox instrumentations including the viola d'amore, a hybrid instrument with fourteen wire strings, the use of theorbos (the long-necked lutes which are normally used only for accompaniment) in solo lines, a solo mandolin accompanied by a single line of pizzicato violins, the French "chalumeau," a rare Baroque instrument thought to have been a precursor of the clarinet and the "viola d'inglese," among others.

In this concert, Mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack will make her Boston debut, as Juditha. Other soloists in Juditha Triumphans include mezzo-soprano Leah Wool as Holofernes, soprano Amanda Forsythe as Vagaus and soprano Sonja DuToit Tengblad as Abra and Ozias.

Daniela Mack was acclaimed for her “caramel timbre, flickering vibrato and crisp articulation" by the German opera magazine, Opernwelt. She “hurls fast notes like a Teresa Berganza or a Frederica von Stade” stated The San Francisco Chronicle. Ms. Mack, also a finalist in the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, received another accolade in November 2013 from The San Francisco Chronicle: "She sang with an irresistible combination of tonal luster and bravado, bringing energy and charm to her coloratura passages and delicate wit to her characterization" wrote Joshua Kosman.

Mezzo Soprano Leah Wool returns to Boston Baroque after her 2014 performance as Minerva in the production and recording of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. "All the other singers contributed mightily to the evening’s success. Among them Leah Wool’s radiant soprano voice embodied the sympathetic goddess Minerva who aids Ulisse’s return," wrote John W. Ehrlich in American Record Guide.

Ms. Wool has been hailed by Opera News as “among the more distinctive and accomplished artists of her generation, with a “voice of truly beautiful timbre." Her 2014-2015 season brought anticipated returns to The San Francisco Symphony, for Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Jane Glover, and the Utah Opera, for Dorabella in Così fan tutte.

Soprano Amanda Forsythe returns following her 2015 performance as Poppea in Boston Baroque's production of Handel's Agrippina. "Amanda Forsythe owned the role of Poppea, exuding feistiness, style, and gleaming tone," wrote Jeremy Eichler in The Boston Globe in his review.

"
As Poppea, the material girl in love with jewels and pearls, who sets the lust of half the male members of the cast in overdrive, Amanda Forsythe played the role to comic perfection, shooting glances, taking poses, endlessly primping, all the while producing the sweet, seamless soprano she is known for," wrote critic David Bonetti for Berkshire Fine Arts.

SopranoSonja Dutoit Tengblad returns to perform with Boston Baroque following her performances as Giunone and La Fortuna in the 2013-2014 season’s performances and recording of Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria. Praised by The Boston Globe for her "crystalline tone and graceful musicality," Tengblad is a versatile performer with credits spanning the Renaissance era through the most current composers of our time.

Tickets:

Tickets to the performance of Juditha Triumphans ($30 - $95) as well as full season subscriptions ($168 - $430) are on sale now at bostonbaroque.org (http://www.bostonbaroque.org) or by calling: 617-987-8600.  Discounted tickets will be available beginning at 6:00 PM on the day of the concert at the box office: student tickets are $10.00, for those under 30 years old, tickets are $30.00 and senior tickets are $20.00.

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