'The kinds of roles written for my voice type, as an operatic bass,' writes Michael Galvin in a personal essay, 'have never fit the roles that have excited me as a stage performer. It’s why I’ve been so drawn to early music — the farther back one goes in history, the more the lines blur between what is prescribed and what is possible.'
Biblical oratorios by Handel and Bach are cornerstones of a vast repertoire filled with forgotten treasures. New York's Academy of Sacred Drama is reviving these often-gorgeous obscurities, one show at a time. Led by violinist Jeremy Rhizor, their latest discovery is 'Santa Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi,' with performances this week. 'The oratorios exist as literary narratives as well as stories of Biblical histories and lessons.'
You can now watch EMA's extraordinary 2023 Emerging Artists Showcase, with three headliners. To introduce their performance, a member of The Fooles here offers insights into new postures and techniques required of this 17th-c. repertoire. And period-instrument ensembles everywhere should take note of their brilliant tuning regimen, where tuning fickle instruments isn't a disruption but an engaging part of the show.
Like a jukebox musical, a pasticcio opera takes hit tunes from an artist or era and stitches them together with a bespoke plot. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Portland Baroque Orchestra is set to perform 'Dinner with Handel,' a pasticcio where the great composer is caught in a surprise dinner party—revealing the man and his complicated relationships.
Even before the ubiquity of Zoom, we were all conditioned to think that in-person musical interactions are always superior to anything online. Always. But what if a musician can't spend the money or time to connect in person? The author argues that newer technology allows us a more nuanced approach: we can pick solutions that are financially, logistically, and artistically preferable.
Los Angeles-based viola da gamba player Lucy Jones, the go-to seismologist after a California earthquake, is turning her scientific renown towards a bigger crisis. 'Tempo: Music for Climate Action' uses music to depict the science of climate change.
The latest installment of 'Early Music: the Americas' explores the life and impact of an important Cuban musician from the later 18th century, Esteban Salas. As a composer, pedagogue, and priest, Salas left a huge output of music, but research and performances are still lagging far behind.
The Aston Magna Festival, which stakes a claim as the oldest period-instrument festival in the country, turned 50 this past summer. As its long-time artistic director, violinist Daniel Stepner, plans to retire, the venerable festival is in for major changes.
An early musician's rant about the streaming-service behemoth Spotify: We have better options! From sound and search to library size and liner notes, there are two newer services that will improve the quality of your early-music listening experience. They're somewhat more fair in artist compensation, too, a meaningful distinction for the consumer.