From the Source, Sacred and Profane, La Voix de Viole, and more

BSR Classical Music Interludes, April 2023, part 2

4 minute read
A group of performers in all black with composer stands in a church-like area, a crowd before them as they sing
Variant Six performs 'Sacred and Profane' live this April. (Photo courtesy of Variant Six.)

The second half of April—it’s going by so fast!—has music both old and new. Filament plays unpublished 17th-century works and Ravensong pairs Bach with some French masters, while Variant Six vocally mixes up the musical centuries. There are two widely divergent opera offerings: OperaDelaware has a work in development, while Opera Philadelphia turns the tables on Puccini. And the Delaware Symphony celebrates David Amado’s 20-year tenure with twice the Beethoven.

Filament: From the Source
Saturday, April 15, 7pm
Immanuel Church on the Green, 50 Market Street, Old New Castle

Sunday, April 16, 4pm
Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church, 916 South Swanson Street, Philadelphia

This final concert of their season takes Filament (Evan Few, violin; Elena Kauffman, viola de gamba; and John Walthausen, harpsichord) back to their musical roots of discovery and investigation. The trio will offer works of three rare unpublished manuscripts from 17th-century libraries in Paris, Durham, and Kroměříž, playing in two of the region’s most beautiful and intimate sacred spaces. The concert in Old New Castle is free (donation requested), and tickets are available here for the Philadelphia concert.

OperaDelaware: Fearless
Sunday, April 16, 2pm
OperaDelaware Studios, 4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington

OperaDelaware closes out their season with a workshop presentation of Fearless, a new opera-in-development that merges musical theater and classical singing. Sung in English and created by Derrick Wang, noted composer/librettist of the lauded opera Scalia/Ginsburg, it features eight singers who will unfold the story of unsung American hero Hazel Ying Lee (mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn), a Chinese American Women’s Air Force service pilot during World War II. There are limited tickets for this intimate presentation in the company’s studio space.

Variant Six: Sacred and Profane
Friday, April 21, 8pm
University Lutheran Church, 3637 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

Saturday, April 22, 5pm
Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia

Sunday, April 23, 4pm
All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 16 All Saints’ Road, Princeton

You have three chances to hear this busy vocal group—recently recorded by WRTI Radio and heard during Easter week on the station’s “Breakfast with Bach”—singing what they term “a kaleidoscope of madrigals.” The concert includes Medieval prayers set by Benjamin Britten, fables and fairy tales by Maurice Ravel, meditations by Pablo Ortiz, and excerpts from Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore. In their sole a cappella show this season, the ensemble explores the ways in which text and music intertwine.

Ravensong: La Voix de Viole, with Duo Gordis-Hantaï
Friday, April 28, 7pm
St. Mark’s Church, 1625 Locust Street, Philadelphia

The early music collective Ravensong rounds out their season with a recital by two musicians who are virtuosic soloists in their own right: Jérôme Hantaï and Lillian Gordis. Here playing as a duo, they will present a program blending the music of French masters Marin Marais and François Couperin with Johann Sebastian Bach, culminating in the virtuosic Sonata in G minor for harpsichord and viola da gamba.

Delaware Symphony: Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 8 and No. 9 (“The Choral”)
Friday, April 28, 7:30 pm
Grand Opera House, 818 North Market Street, Wilmington

The Delaware Symphony under David Amado presents a double helping of Beethoven! And for the Choral Symphony, they’ll be joined by soloists Mary Wilson (soprano), Clara Osowski (mezzo), Thomas Cooley (tenor), and Matthew Burns (bass-baritone), with the University of Delaware Symphonic Choir. The work has been lauded since its very first performance, when the deaf composer, who was conducting, was turned around by a soloist so he could see the riotous standing ovation. The evening celebrates Amado’s 20-year tenure and his new role as music director laureate, the first in the orchestra’s 117-year history. And at this concert, Amado will also be presented with the Delaware Symphony's prestigious Alfred I. duPont Award.

Opera Philadelphia: La Bohème
Friday, April 28, 8pm
Sunday, April 30, 2pm
Friday, May 5, 8pm
Sunday, May 7, 2pm
Kimmel Cultural Campus, Academy of Music, 240 South Broad Street

Opera Philadelphia will present Puccini’s timeless classic (the inspiration for Broadway’s Rent and so many others) in Italian with English supertitles. Nothing unusual there, but hold on—here, the beloved bohemians go from tragedy to hope, death to life, loneliness to love. This visionary production, directed by MacArthur "genius grant” recipient Yuval Sharon, is staged in reverse order, ending with the new love and the joys of friendship, wine, and song in act one and literally turning the Paris café tables upside down.

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