FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Starring Wendy Bryn Harmer in the title role alongside William Burden, Jesse Blumberg, and David McFerrin
BOSTON, MA—Boston Baroque’s 50th Season concludes with the much-anticipated annual staged opera with performances of Gluck’s rarely-heard Iphigénie en Tauride. Performances will take place on Thursday, April 20 at 8pm, Friday, April 21 at 8pm, and Sunday, April 23 at 3pm at GBH’s Calderwood Studio in Brighton, MA. The Friday evening performance will also be livestreamed on the global streaming platform IDAGIO, welcoming virtual audiences around the world alongside live studio audiences on site.
The opera comes to life in the hands of conductor and Founding Music Director Martin Pearlman and stage director Mo Zhou (Santa Fe Opera, Wolf Trap), and stars soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer, making her role debut as Iphigénie, alongside fellow Metropolitan opera star tenor William Burden as Pylade, baritone Jesse Blumberg as Oreste, and Boston-based baritone David McFerrin as Thoas. Soprano Angela Yam will make her Boston Baroque debut in this performance as Diana. The opera will be sung in French with English supertitles.
“I believe the story of Iphegénie en Tauride will be especially relevant to audiences,” says stage director Mo Zhou, “and I believe many will relate to the character of Iphigénie. She is a loner trapped in a foreign land, facing the loss of family and trying very hard to reconcile with the trauma of the past. This story—her story—is about how to move on and reconcile with the wounds of the past through humanity.”
Ms. Zhou has brought together a world-renowned crew for the new production, including projection designer Camilla Tassi (Carnegie Hall), and costume designer Neil Fortin (Opera Omaha, Boston Baroque). They are joined by GBH Production Group’s incredible in-house crew, including Lighting Designer Fred Young. Livestream Director Matthew Principe (Metropolitan Opera, Detroit Opera) will bring the story to life for virtual audiences joining from near and far.
Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787), a composer esteemed in his time, is sadly neglected today in modern concert halls. However, his influence is still felt today within opera, as he is credited with breaking down formal conventions to make opera dynamic and truly dramatic—qualities seen clearly in his opera Iphigénie en Tauride. Widely considered Gluck’s greatest achievement, the story is derived from the Ancient Greek play by Euripedes, but with some creative twists. It tells a story which forgoes the traditional pair of operatic lovers, focusing instead on the relationship between sister and brother, Iphigénie and Oreste, and on the love between two close friends, Oreste and Pylade. The seemingly simple, continuous music carries forward the drama with fluidity, upending many of the traditional operatic musical conventions.
The new production will play off of Gluck’s direct and austere musical approach by streamlining “everything to the core of the crucible among the four characters,” says Ms. Zhou. “With Neil Fortin’s Greek-inspired haute couture costume design, along with Camilla Tassi’s striking projection design, we wish to bring the audience to the intertwined worlds of each character, bringing everything to the core of storytelling.”
Audiences near and far will have the opportunity to join Boston Baroque for both programs, as we welcome live studio audiences on site at GBH’s Calderwood Studio, and virtual audiences around the world via livestream on IDAGIO Concerts. This season, Boston Baroque’s virtual audiences have spanned across five continents (North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia) and over 22 countries.
Both in-person and livestream tickets are available for purchase online at baroque.boston or by calling the Box Office at (617) 987-8600. Livestream tickets begin at $9, and in-person tickets range from $50-$175. The virtual performance will become available to stream on-demand 30 days after the live air date, with on-demand rentals beginning at $9.
ABOUT BOSTON BAROQUE
The six-time GRAMMY®-nominated Boston Baroque is the first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America and, according to Fanfare Magazine, is widely regarded as “one of the world’s premier period instrument bands.” The ensemble produces lively, emotionally charged, groundbreaking performances of Baroque and Classical works for today’s audiences performed on instruments and using performance techniques that reflect the eras in which the music was composed.
Boston Baroque has expanded its reach globally through its partnership with IDAGIO, the world’s leading classical music streaming service. Its 2021-2022 Season was the first full season by a Baroque orchestra to stream on the platform, and brought together virtual audiences from across five continents (North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia) and over 17 countries.
Founded in 1973 as “Banchetto Musicale” by Music Director Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque’s orchestra is composed of some of the finest period instrument players in the United States, and is frequently joined by the ensemble’s professional chorus and by world-class instrumental and vocal soloists from around the globe. The ensemble has performed at major music centers across the United States and performed recently in Poland for the 2015 Beethoven Festival, with sold-out performances of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in Warsaw and Handel’s Messiah in Katowice.
Boston Baroque reaches an international audience with its twenty-six acclaimed recordings. In 2012, the ensemble became the first American orchestra to record with the highly-regarded UK audiophile label Linn Records, and its release of The Creation received great critical acclaim. In April 2014, the orchestra recorded Monteverdi’s rarely performed opera, Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, which was released on Linn Records and received two nominations at the 2016 GRAMMY® Awards.
Boston Baroque’s recordings have received six GRAMMY® Award Nominations: its 1992 release of Handel’s Messiah, 1998 release of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, 2000 release of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, 2015 release of Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and 2018 release of Biber’s The Mystery Sonatas.
MEDIA INFORMATION & PHOTOS AND VIDEO ASSETS
- High-res photos and videos of Boston Baroque, including headshots of artists, are available here.
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