Recordings, Roasts, Rollicking Music
by Stephen Stubbs
Having completed our highly successful March concert with Reggie Mobley (full house, standing ovation, glowing review) and our recording of virtuoso violin repertoire of the 17th century (Stylus Phantasticus) with soloist Tekla Cunningham and the wonderful recording team at Bastyr, I’m headed to New York for the next month to conduct Rameau’s first operatic masterpiece Hippolyte et Aricie. This will be the largest ever baroque extravaganza produced by the Juilliard School, with Stephen Wadsworth stage directing and Zack Winokur creating the choreography, and for the first time ever, bringing the Vocal Arts department, the Dance department and the Historical Performance department (providing the period orchestra) of Juilliard together in a full-fledged collaboration. If you have plans to be in New York in April, the performances are April 17, 18 and 21.
Also next Saturday (March 17) will be the annual BEMF Soiree, this time honoring my long-time co-director Paul O’Dette and me with what they promise will be in the form of a “roast” with another long-time colleague, Douglas Williams, the incredible bass singer and (unknown to many) talented stand-up comic, doing the roasting. This occasion will also provide us with an opportunity for a BEMF “summit” with a huge program of plans for our upcoming chamber operas (next one in November 2018 with Francesca Caccini’s Alcina on the program), bi-annual festivals (next one in June 2019 featuring Agostino Steffani’s opera Orlando) and a full program of future recording projects (which will include Charpentier and De La Lande as well as – eventually – all three of Monteverdi’s surviving operas).
So, while you won’t see me in Seattle until the Handel concerts with Amanda Forsythe on May 12 th and 13 th (which I wrote about in the February blog), I will not be idle – and neither is PMW, with Henry Lebedinsky keeping up the incredibly successful initiatives of the Pacific MusicWorks Underground series and the Sanctuary in the City concerts every first Wednesday of each month. Please visit the Pacific MusicWorks website for all the listings and ticket information.