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Bard College Conservatory of Music Graduate Vocal Arts Program and the Orchestra Now Present Rest in Pieces: In Memory of Opera

Featuring the Music of Mozart, Strauss, Bizet, Copland, and Puccini
 


ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— The Graduate Vocal Arts Program of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and The Orchestra Now (TŌN) present Rest in Pieces: In Memory of Opera, a devised opera celebrating the tribulations, glories, and loves of this tempestuous art form. Conceived and directed by Stephanie Blythe with John Jarboe, Rest in Pieces features the music of Mozart, Strauss, Bizet, Copland, and Puccini. The program, conducted by James Bagwell, will be performed by singers of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program and The Orchestra Now on Friday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 8, at 3 p.m. in the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater. Tickets start at $15 and can be ordered online at fishercenter.bard.edu or by calling the box office at 845-758-7900. $5 student tickets are available to Bard undergraduate students through the Passloff Pass.



In Rest in Pieces, 14 beloved opera characters gather together at a funeral for a mutual friend, and find themselves forging a new, self-determined path that guides them to a realization of their dreams, relationships, and truths—all within the larger-than-life world of opera.



“What is wonderful about Rest in Pieces has been the process of creating this work as a group. Fourteen singers choosing five operas, choosing the music, then building scenes to tell a new, compelling story—all with the aim of creating performance and writing skill sets in an entirely new way. It is truly an extraordinary undertaking,” said Blythe, Vocal Arts Program artistic director. “Audiences can expect to see and hear characters and music that they already know and love, but they will experience them set free in an entirely new, self-determined world.”





Cast:



Carmen..................................................................................Chuanyuan Liu, Hailey McAvoy

Escamillo..............................................................................Wayne Arthur Paul

Composer .............................................................................Jardena Gertler-Jaffe

Laurie....................................................................................Megan Jones

Donna Elvira.........................................................................Brad Testerman

Rodolfo.................................................................................Max Jansen

Don Ottavio..........................................................................Diana Schwam

Zerbinetta..............................................................................Maggie McGuire

Mimi.....................................................................................Maggie Tigue

Musetta................................................................................Chelsea Fingal DeSouza

Harlequin.............................................................................CodyRay Caho

Commendatore....................................................................Pauline Tan

Don Giovanni……………………………………………..Louis Tiemann





To purchase tickets, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or go to www.fishercenter.bard.edu.





ABOUT THE ARTISTS

A renowned opera singer and recitalist, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is one of the most highly respected and critically acclaimed artists of her generation. Her repertoire ranges from Handel to Wagner, and German lieder to contemporary and classic American songs. Blythe has performed on many of the world’s great stages, such as Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Paris National Opera, San Francisco, Chicago Lyric, and Seattle Opera. She was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year in 2009, received an Opera News Award in 2007, and won the Richard Tucker Award in 1999. Blythe recently released her first crossover recording on the Innova Recordings label with pianist Craig Terry.Blythe’s performances include the title roles in Carmen, Samson et Dalila, Orfeo ed Euridice, La Grande Duchesse, Tancredi, Mignon, and Giulio Cesare; Frugola, Principessa, and Zita in Il Trittico; Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre; Waltraute in Götterdämmerung; Azucena in Il Trovatore; Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera; Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress; Ježibaba in Rusalka; Jocasta in Oedipus Rex; and Ino/Juno in Semele. She also created the role of Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.Blythe has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Opera Orchestra of New York, Hallé Orchestra, and Concertgerbouworkest, among others. She has also appeared at the Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, and Ravinia festivals, and at BBC Proms. Conductors with whom she has worked include Harry Bicket, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, and Michael Tilson Thomas.Blythe has been presented in recital in New York by Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in both its Great Performers Series at Alice Tully Hall and American Songbook Series at the Allen Room, Town Hall, 92nd Street Y, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also been presented by the Vocal Arts Society and at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.; Cleveland Art Song Festival; University Musical Society in Ann Arbor; Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; Shriver Hall in Baltimore; and San Francisco Performances.She has premiered several song cycles written for her, including Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson by the late James Legg; Covered Wagon Woman by Alan Louis Smith, which was commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and recorded with the ensemble (CMS Studio Recordings); and Vignettes: Ellis Island, also by Smith, featured in a television program entitled Vignettes: An Evening with Stephanie Blythe and Warren Jones. She is also artistic director of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar at the Crane School of Music and artistic director of the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program.



John Jarboe is a director, performer, curator, and writer. He has created over 10 original cabaret-plays with his company The Bearded Ladies, producing original work for Opera Philadelphia, Eastern State Penitentiary, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Jarboe has worked with organizations such as The Wilma Theater, Walnut Street Theatre, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and he curates and hosts a monthly performance series at FringeArts. A recipient of a 2013 performing arts fellowship from the Independence Foundation, Jarboe holds degrees in theater performance and English from the University of Michigan. In 2017, he received Center support to present The Poison Cookie Jar, an interactive, web-based mapping project documenting the rich history and contemporary practice of cabaret around the world.



James Bagwell maintains an active international schedule as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He was recently named associate conductor of The Orchestra Now (TŌN), and in 2009 was appointed principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. From 2009 to 2015, he served as music director of The Collegiate Chorale. Highlights of his tenure include conducting a number of operas-in-concert at Carnegie Hall, including Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon, and Boito’s Mefistofele. He conducted the New York premiere of Philip Glass’s “Toltec” Symphony and Golijov’s Oceana, both at Carnegie Hall. Since 2011, he has collaborated with singer and composer Natalie Merchant, conducting major orchestras across the country, including the San Francisco and Seattle Symphonies.

He has trained choruses for numerous American and international orchestras, including the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, and American Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with conductors including Charles Dutoit, Andris Nelsons, Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, Gianandrea Noseda, Yannik Nézet-Séguin, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Louis Langrée, Ivan Fischer, Jesús López-Cobos, and Robert Shaw.



Bagwell prepared The Collegiate Chorale for concerts at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland; in 2012, the Chorale traveled to Israel and the Salzburg Festival for four programs with the Israel Philharmonic. Since 2003, he has been director of choruses for the Bard Music Festival, conducting and preparing choral works during the summer festival at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. He frequently appears as guest conductor for orchestras around the country and abroad, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Symphony, and the Interlochen Arts Festival. He is professor of music at Bard College, director of performance studies, and codirector of the Graduate Conducting Program at Bard College Conservatory of Music.



Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program is a unique master of music program in vocal arts that balances a respect for established repertory and expressive techniques with the flexibility and curiosity needed to keep abreast of evolving musical ideas. Led by the renowned American mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, the program prepares young singers to meet the special challenges of pursuing a professional life in music in the 21st century. Students engage with art song, chamber music, contemporary music, and operatic repertoire throughout their course work. Operatic performance includes a fully staged production at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The program includes seminars and classes in Alexander Technique, acting, diction and translation, development of performance opportunities, and a workshop in career skills with guest speakers who are leading figures in arts management and administration.



The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of vibrant young musicians from across the globe who are making orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences by sharing their unique personal insights in a welcoming environment. Hand-picked from the world’s leading conservatories—including The Juilliard School, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and the Curtis Institute of Music—the members of TŌN are enlightening curious minds by giving on-stage introductions and demonstrations, writing concert notes from the musicians’ perspective, and having one-on-one discussions with patrons during intermissions.



Conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein, whom The New York Times said “draws rich, expressive playing from the orchestra,” founded TŌN in 2015 as a graduate program at Bard College, where he is also president. TŌN offers both a three-year master’s degree in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies and a two-year advanced certificate in Orchestra Studies The orchestra’s home base is the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center at Bard, where they perform multiple concerts each season and take part in the annual Bard Music Festival. They also perform regularly at the finest venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others across NYC and beyond. HuffPost, who has called TŌN’s performances “dramatic and intense,” praises these concerts as “an opportunity to see talented musicians early in their careers.”



The orchestra has performed with many distinguished guest conductors and soloists, including Neeme Järvi, Vadim Repin, Fabio Luisi, Peter Serkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, Zuill Bailey, and JoAnn Falletta. In the 2019–20 season, conductors Leonard Slatkin and Hans Graf will also lead TŌN performances. Recordings featuring The Orchestra Now include Ferdinand Ries piano concertos with Piers Lane on Hyperion Records, and a Sorel Classics concert recording of pianist Anna Shelest performing works by Anton Rubinstein with TŌN and conductor Neeme Järvi. Upcoming albums include a second release with Piers Lane on Hyperion Records in the spring of 2020. Recordings of TŌN’s live concerts from the Fisher Center can be heard on Classical WMHT-FM and WWFM The Classical Network, and are featured regularly on Performance Today, broadcast nationwide. In 2019, the orchestra’s performance with Vadim Repin was live-streamed on The Violin Channel. Explore upcoming concerts, see what our musicians have to say, and more right here at theorchestranow.org. For more information on the academic program, visit bard.edu/theorchnow.





Press Contacts



Mark Primoff

Associate Vice President of Communications

Bard College

Phone: 845.758.7412

Email: primoff@bard.edu
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(2.11.20)



 
This event was last updated on 02-28-2020