SAT 11.10 @ 7:30PM C The Midsummer Marriage (Concert Performance)
*New England premiere*
Music + Libretto by Sir Michael Tippett (1905-1998)
Premiered: Jan 27, 1955 at London, Royal Opera House Covent Garden
Soloists: Julius Ahn, tenor; Sara Heaton, soprano; David Kravitz, baritone; Deborah Selig, soprano; Matthew DiBattista, tenor; Joyce Castle, mezzo-soprano
Originally scheduled to receive its New England premiere in February 2012 by Opera Boston (of which BMOP’s Gil Rose was formerly the artistic director), The Midsummer Marriage performance never came to fruition since the opera company shuttered its doors in 2011. Thanks to BMOP, Boston audiences now have a chance to hear Tippett’s first and most celebrated opera.
The Midsummer Marriage is a three-act English fantasy inspired by Greek drama, religion, literature, psychology and theatre. The libretto concerns the problems faced by two pairs of lovers: Mark and Jenifer, and Jack and Bella, that must be overcome before they can marry. Tippett draws from elements of The Magic Flute, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Eliot’s The Waste Land, the legend of the Fisher King who guards the Holy Grail, and Jungian ideas of archetypes and the collective unconscious. The themes of rebirth and purification of love before marriage are alluded to throughout.
Audiences can hear the frenzied fervor of Tippett’s music specifically in the four Ritual Dances from Acts II and III which was turned into a concert suite and has subsequently become one of Tippett’s best-known works.
FRI 2.15 @ 8:00PM C Voilà! Viola!
Symphony Concertante (1952) by Gail Kubik (1914-1984) *New England premiere*
Viola Concerto (2012) by Chinary Ung (b. 1942) *world premiere*
Serenade #1 for Viola and Chamber Orchestra (1962) by George Perle (1915-2009)
Viola Concerto (2011) by Donald Crockett (b. 1951) *world premiere*
Xian Shi (1983) by Chen Yi (b. 1953) *New England premiere*
Soloists: Susan Ung (viola), Kate Vincent (viola)
The viola has not enjoyed wide popularity as a solo instrument. BMOP brings the viola to the forefront in five distinct viola concerto pieces, inclusive of two world premieres, for viola and large ensemble. Having an affinity for revealing the dynamic possibilities of an instrument, Donald Crockett writes for violist Kate Vincent while Chinary Ung turns to his wife/violist Susan Ung for inspiration for their respective new viola concertos. Gail Kubik’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Symphony Concertante is based directly on his score for the 1949 film C-Man proving that film music and abstract orchestral music can have much more in common than is considered possible. Those interested in twelve-tone music should listen to Serenade #1 for Viola and Chamber Orchestra by one of America’s greatest compositional voices, George Perle. And Chen Yi’s Xian Shi, premiered in 2012 by the Chicago Composers Orchestra, rounds out the concert.
SUN 4.14 @ 8:00PM C Olly, All Ye, In Come Free
Music for a Puppet Court (1983) by Oliver Knussen (b. 1952)
Symphony #2 (1971) by Oliver Knussen *New England premiere*
Work TBA (2012) by Michael Gandolfi (b. 1956)
Works TBA (2013) by winners of NEC Concerto and Composition Contests
As the affiliate orchestra for new music at New England Conservatory, BMOP continues its co-sponsorship of NEC’s annual concerto competition for works written after 1961. The winner of the 15th Annual BMOP/NEC Concerto Competition and the score selected from the 16th Annual Composition Contest will both receive their premieres by BMOP on April 14th. The UK composer/conductor Oliver Knussen has been at the forefront of the British music scene for decades. In Music for a Puppet Court, he arranged two 16th-century puzzle canons by Englishman John Lloyd into four colorful movements. And, in Symphony #2, he fused song-cycle and four-movement symphonic form setting poems by Trakl and Sylvia Plath. And, the Boston-based composer Michael Gandolfi continues his long-time relationship with BMOP with the presentation of a new work to be premiered in 2013.
FRI 5.17 @ 8:00PM C Gen OrcXestrated
Desert Transport (2010) by Mason Bates (b. 1977) *New England premiere*
Path of Echoes: Symphony #1 (2006) by Huang Ruo (b. 1976) *New England premiere*
Natural Tendencies (2013) by Andrew Norman (b. 1979) *world premiere*
Representing Generation X are three omnivorous composers wowing audiences and critics alike for their virtuosity, risk-averse style and adventurousness. The aesthetic of young composers in their 20s/30s has a post-boundary approach that eschews traditionally categorized classical, jazz, pop, etc. genres and subsequently creates a hybrid version of music. Mason Bates fuses innovative orchestral writing with electronic sounds as evident in Desert Transport. Chinese-born American composer Huang Ruo is an imaginative straddler of East and West as heard in Path of Echoes.
BMOP’s 2011-13 Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Andrew Norman completes his tenure with the commissioned premiere of a large symphonic work. A composer of chamber and orchestral music and a committed educator, Andrew is known for his wit, clarity and vigor. BMOP was one of five orchestras nationwide selected for an extended Music Alive residency, a program of Meet the Composer and the American Symphony Orchestra League.