CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Saturday, February 18, 2017 | 7:30 PM

Cappella Mediterranea

Angeli e Demoni

Zankel Hall
Monteverdi’s grand opera L'incoronazione di Poppea—among the most seductive music he wrote—recounts a tale of adultery and murder in which there is no true “good guy.” Although his Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria has its noble characters, it too is populated by corrupt suitors, glutinous servants, and other rogues. On a more intimate scale, his dramatic and ravishingly beautiful madrigals form one the great bodies of music, rivaling the probing song cycles of the Romantics for their breadth of emotion.

Part of Mix and Mingle.

Performers

  • Cappella Mediterranea
    Leonardo García Alarcón, Artistic Director
  • Olivier Lexa, Stage Direction

Program

  • MONTEVERDI Ritornello,"Dal mio permesso amato" from Prologue to L'Orfeo
  • MONTEVERDI "Speranza, tu mi vai" from L'incoronazione di Poppea
  • MONTEVERDI "Sí dolce è'l tormento" from Quarto scherzo delle ariose vaghezze
  • MONTEVERDI "Chi parla?" from L'incoronazione di Poppea
  • MONTEVERDI "Compagni, udiste?" from Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria
  • MONTEVERDI "Ardo e scoprir, ahí lasso" from Madrigals, Book VIII
  • MONTEVERDI "Son risoluto insomma" from L'incoronazione di Poppea
  • MONTEVERDI "Hor che Seneca è morto" from L'incoronazione di Poppea
  • MONTEVERDI "O ciechi chiechi" from Selva morale e spirituale
  • MONTEVERDI "Pastor d'armenti puo" from Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria
  • MONTEVERDI "Imparate mortali" from Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria
  • MONTEVERDI "Sí ch’io vorrei morire" from Madrigals, Book IV
  • MONTEVERDI "Orfeo son io" from L'Orfeo
  • MONTEVERDI "Voglio di vita uscir"
  • MONTEVERDI "Altri canti d'amore" from Madrigals, Book VIII

  • Encore:
  • FRESCOBALDI "Se l'aura spira" from Primo libro d'arie musicali per cantarsi

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. 

Bios

  • Cappella Mediterranea


    The ensemble Cappella Mediterranea was founded in 2005 by Argentinian conductor Leonardo García Alarcón. As its name indicates, the ensemble originally arose from a passion for the music of the Mediterranean basin, and also aimed to propose a different approach to Baroque music of the Latin tradition.

    Twelve years later, the repertory of Cappella Mediterranea has grown more diversified. With more than 45 concerts each year, the ensemble explores madrigals, polyphonic motets, and operas--a mixture of genres that has molded a unique performing style characterized by an exceptionally close rapport between the conductor and the musicians. Cappella Mediterranea's enthusiastic encounters with previously forgotten works, its original reinterpretations of the repertory, its concerts that combine theater and dance, and its recordings have attracted great public and critical attention.

    Cappella Mediterranea has been invited to give concerts in numerous festivals and at prestigious venues, including the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Royal Opera of Versailles, Vienna Konzerthaus, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

    In the field of opera, Cappella Mediterranea enjoyed its first success in 2013 with a performance of Cavalli's Elena at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. Since then, it has received many invitations to perform at leading opera houses. In September 2016, the group gave the first performance of a work by Cavalli at the Opéra National de Paris with Eliogabalo.

    Cappella Mediterranea has made some 15 recordings, released on the Ambronay Éditions, Naïve, and Ricercar labels. Its recording of works by Barbara Strozzi, Virtuosissima compositrice, was nominated for a MIDEM Classical Award, while Sogno Barocco with Anne Sofie von Otter received a Grammy nomination in 2013. Monteverdi: I 7 Peccati Capitali has been nominated for a 2017 Victoire de la Musique.



    Leonardo García Alarcón


    After studying the piano in Argentina, Leonardo García Alarcón moved to Europe in 1997 for advanced studies at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève in the harpsichord class of Christiane Jaccottet. He was a member of Ensemble Elyma, and became Gabriel Garrido's assistant before founding his own ensemble, Cappella Mediterranea, in 2005. From 2010 to 2013, he was in residence at the Centre Culturel de Rencontre d'Ambronay, where he is now an associate artist.

    In 2010, he was appointed artistic director and principal conductor of the Choeur de Chambre de Namur. In 2015, he founded the Millenium Orchestra. He is also a professor of harpsichord conducting and Baroque vocal interpretation at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève.

    His discography--with Cappella Mediterranea, the Namur Chamber Choir, and Millenium Orchestra--has received widespread critical acclaim.

    As a conductor and harpsichordist, he is invited to perform at festivals and concert halls the world over, including the opera houses of Montpellier, Lyon, Nantes, Rennes, and Lille; Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Opéra de Monte-Carlo; Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris; Wigmore Hall in London; and Teatro Massimo in Palermo. He has conducted the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, and Freiburger Barockorchester, among others.

    Since its first modern performance under his direction in 2011, Falvetti's Il diluvio universale has been heard all over Europe, with concerts scheduled in 2016 and 2017 at the Vienna Konzerthaus and venues in Versailles and Geneva.

    Following the success of Cavalli's Elena at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in 2013, Leonardo García Alarcón also has been invited to appear at international opera houses, including the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, Opéra national de Paris, and Dutch National Opera and Ballet in Amsterdam.

    In 2017, he will conduct three of Cavalli's operas: Giasone in Geneva, Erismena in Aix-en-Provence, and Eliogabalo in Amsterdam. He also will lead Monteverdi's Orfeo in Europe this spring, before taking it on tour to South America next fall. 

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  • Olivier Lexa


    Author and stage director, Olivier Lexa is trained as a historian and musician. He started his stage-directing career in 1999 as assistant director of Koltès's Sallinger at the contemporary arts theater 3 bis f in Aix-en-Provence. He went on to assist Benjamin Lazar at the Théâtre de l'Incrédule and co-direct the Festival Opéra des Rues in Paris, before being appointed chief executive of the Palazzetto Bru Zane in 2007. After three years devoted to the repertoire of French Romantic music, he founded the Venetian Centre for Baroque Music in 2010, of which he is artistic director. In 2014, he staged the first recreation of Cavalli's Eritrea in a production by Teatro La Fenice. In 2016, he was the dramaturge for new productions of Verdi's I due Foscari (with Plácido Domingo singing the title role) and Madama Butterfly (conducted by Riccardo Chailly) at Teatro alla Scala, as well as Gassmann's L'opera seria (conducted by René Jacobs) at La Monnaie. In 2016, he staged the first modern revival of Cavalli's Oristeo, led by Jean-Marc Aymes in Marseille.

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Pre-concert

Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 PM in Zankel Hall with Olivier Lexa, Founder and Artistic Director of the Venetian Center for Baroque Music, in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

At a Glance

Like a Mannerist painter, in an inspired and unprecedented fashion, Claudio Monteverdi invented a new way to represent human passions by twisting and deforming his musical material. This procedure led to the birth of the seconda pratica, which he described in the preface to his Madrigals of War and Love, Book VIII. His entire oeuvre, throughout his life, was the laboratory for and, in the result, the expression of this style, with two leitmotifs running through it: realistic depiction of emotions through music and meditations on human vanity.

To mark the 450th anniversary of his birth, Cappella Mediterranea wishes to pay homage to Monteverdi in a program of compositions on the theme of sin and virtue, a constant throughout his operas, his madrigals, and the renowned Venetian collection of devotional music Selva morale e spirituale. In L’incoronazione di Poppea—perhaps the greatest depiction of corrupt immorality in the history of opera—he represented vice and its associated emotions; but he also offered a virtuous counterpart, a remedy to vice, in the madrigals of the Selva morale. This was the perspective in which Leonardo García Alarcón devised the project, taking inspiration from the way that the subplots of an opera often shed light on its main plot even though they are disconnected from the action or characters’ development. Freed from an opera’s demand for narrative continuity, each tableau heard tonight is viewed in light of the preceding one, while also setting up expectations for the next. Rather than an allegory, this program offers a theatrical and madrigalian catharsis—in the Greek sense of “emotional purification.” 
Program Notes

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La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic is sponsored by Chubb.
The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism has granted La Serenissima: Music and Arts from the Venetian Republic its official support (“Patrocinio”) in recognition of Carnegie Hall’s celebration of Italy’s extraordinarily rich cultural legacy.

Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Tourism in Rome; the Embassy of Italy in Washington, DC; and the Consulate General of Italy in New York.
This performance is part of Baroque Unlimited.

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