SAINT JOHN PASSION
GEMMA SUMMERFIELD, soprano, ANNA HARVEY, mezzo soprano, NICHOLAS MULROY, tenor, MATTHEW BROOK, bass-baritone, COLLEGIUM MUSICALE CHOIR, CORELLI BAROQUE ORCHESTRA, GIANLUCA MARCIANÒ, conductor
Sunday, 18 February at 8:30pm
Venue: SAINT-ELIE CHURCH, KANTARI
Bach originally wrote five Passions, three of those are lost forever, but the St John Passion survives in all its glory. It is definitely a masterpiece of musical beauty.Book NowTicket prices: $90, $60, $40
BACH, Johann Sebastian (1685 – 1750)
• Saint John Passion, BWV 245
GEMMA SUMMERFIELD, Soprano
British soprano Gemma Summerfield was winner of both First Prize and the Song Prize at the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Awards as well as the Jean Meikle Prize for a Duo at the 2017 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. A graduate of the Royal College of Music International Opera School, the Georg Solti Accademia and the Verbier Festival Academy, she is also a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians (and a recipient of their Silver Medal) and a Classical Opera Emerging Artist.
Operatic roles include Gretel Hänsel und Gretel (Royal College of Music International Opera School); Ginevra Ariodante (RCM / London Handel Festival); Rosalinde Die Fledermaus, First Lady Die Zauberflöte and La Chauve-Souris/Une Pastourelle L’enfant et les sortilèges (all RCM); Berenice Il Vologeso (Classical Opera at the Cadogan Hall); and Donna Elvira Don Giovanni (Verbier Festival Academy and Euphonia).
Engagements in the 2017-18 season include Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne); Pianomania concert at Cadogan Hall and Bach Magnificat, B Minor Mass and St John Passion (all for Al Bustan Festival).
Highlights of the 2016-17 season included Fiordiligi Così fan tutte for Bury Court Opera; Barmherzigkeit in Mozart’s Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, Mozart’s Grabmusik and Hyacinthus in Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus (all for Classical Opera); and a concert with Classical Opera at the Wigmore Hall.
An active recitalist, Summerfield’s recent appearances include recitals at the Oxford Lieder Festival, Leeds Lieder, Cambridge Summer Music and Stratford-upon-Avon.
Solo oratorio performances include Fauré’s Messe Basse in Paris; Orff’s Carmina Burana (Glasgow City Halls); Mendelssohn’s Elijah (Holy Trinity, Sloane Square); Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater (RCM); and Bach’s Magnificat in D Major and Christmas Cantata (Dunkeld Cathedral).
Summerfield has taken part in masterclasses with Barbara Frittoli, Leo Nucci, Richard Bonynge, Sarah Connolly, Dame Felicity Palmer; Edith Wiens; Susan Bullock; Patricia MacMahon; Joan Rodgers; and renowned accompanists Malcolm Martineau, Roger Vignoles Jonathan Papp and Anne le Bozec.
ANNA HARVEY, Mezzo soprano
British mezzo Anna Harvey’s operatic engagements in the 2017/18 season include Orlofsky Die Fledermaus and cover Octavian Der Rosenkavalier at Welsh National Opera, where she is an Associate Artist and recipient of the Chris Ball Bursary, and Ramiro La finta giardiniera at the Ryedale Festival. In concert, she appears with ensembles including The English Concert, The Gabrieli Consort, Arcangelo, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and at Al Bustan Festival.
Last season’s engagements included house debuts at Theater Chemnitz (Goffredo Rinaldo), the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar (Zulma L’Italiana in Algeri, Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte, Groom/Theater-gardrobiere/Gymnasiast Lulu, Kay Die Schneekönigin), Landestheater Altenburg (Mayor’s Wife Jenůfa, Gold) and Theater Nordhausen (Page Salome). She appeared at the Last Night of the BBC Proms in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, recorded a disc with Jonathan Cohen for Hyperion, performed Handel’s Messiah on Good Friday at the Royal Albert Hall and took part in the Verbier Festival Academy in both the opera and Lied/art song categories as well as in the main festival’s Elektra with Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Anna studied on the opera course at the Royal Academy of Music under Elizabeth Ritchie and Iain Ledingham, graduating with the Alumni Development Award for a singularly distinguished studentship. She is the recipient of numerous prizes, including the London Bach Society Bach Singers Prize in 2015 and a Leonard Ingrams Foundation Award from Garsington Opera in 2014. At the Royal Academy of Music she was awarded the English and Russian Song Prizes and the Fordyce and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Scholarships.
NICOLAS MULROY, Tenor
Born in Liverpool, Nicholas Mulroy read Modern Languages at Clare College Cambridge and then studied at the Royal Academy of Music.
On the concert platform, he has sung Bach St John Passion with Marc Minkowski and Le Musiciens du Louvre, the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh and with the Handel and Haydn Society; Bach Christmas Oratorio in London with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and with the Netherlands Chamber Choir and Concerto Copenhagen; le Récitant Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ with Sir Colin Davis, María de Buenos Aires with Mr McFalls Chamber Orchestra, Messiah with Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan as well as several appearances
at the BBC Proms (Monteverdi Vespers 1610, Campra Requiem and Bach St John Passion) and with the Staatskapelle Dresden (Bach B Minor Mass and Haydn Harmonie-Messe). He has sung St Matthew Passion with Laurence Cummings at the London Handel Festival and with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Messiah with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in London and across Europe, concerts and recordings of St John Passion with Polyphony under conductor Stephen Layton and Monteverdi Vespers 1610 with the Magdalena Consort at the Cheltenham Festival.
His opera engagements have included Premiere Parque Rameau Hippolyte et Aricie with Emmanuelle Haïm at the Theatre du Capitole Toulouse and Opera National de Paris, Dardanus with Emmanuelle Haïm in Lille, Caen and Dijon, L’incorronazione di Poppea for Glyndebourne on Tour, Opera de Lille and Opera de Dijon and Septimius in Handel Theodora with Trevor Pinnock. He made his Glyndebourne debut under Jurowski in Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery.
A committed recitalist, highlights include Janáček’s Diary of one who Vanished with the Prince Consort in the Oxford Lieder Festival, Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge in Edinburgh and with the Badke Quartet, Gavin Bryars Eight Irish Madrigals with Mr McFall’s Chamber (also on CD), Britten Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo and Fauré La Bonne Chanson at the Lichfield Festival, and, with regular collaborator John Reid, Die Schöne Müllerin, Schumann Op 24 and Op 39, and Tippett’s The Heart’s Assurance. Recent concert appearances include collaborations with the BBC Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé, and the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists at the BBC Proms.
Recordings include a Gramophone Award-winning Messiah, Evangelist St Matthew Passion and Acis Acis and Galatea for John Butt and Dunedin Consort (Linn), Monteverdi Vespers 1610 (Robert King/King’s Consort/Hyperion), a disc of Michael Finissy (Weeks/Exaudi/NMC), Monteverdi Vespers 1610 with Edward Higginbottom and a series of Monteverdi (I Fagiolini /Chandos). He recently featured on two versions of the St John Passion singing the arias for Stephen Layton/Polyphony on Hyperion and Evangelist and arias for John Butt/Dunedin Consort on Linn.
Recent engagements include Evangelist in St John Passion with the Dunedin Consort in the 2017 BBC Proms, a St Matthew Passion with the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Nicholas Kraemer, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with the Royal Danish Opera and Bach’s B minor Mass with Musikcollegium Winterthur.
Current highlights include an Australian tour of Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, a Messiah with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and performances of Bach’s Magnificat and St John Passion at the Al Bustan Festival.
MATTHEW BROOK, Bass-Baritone
Matthew Brook has appeared widely as a soloist, and has worked extensively with conductors such as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Richard Hickox, Sir Charles Mackerras, Harry Christophers, Christophe Rousset, Paul McCreesh and Sir Mark Elder, and many ensembles including the Philharmonia, LSO, the St Petersburg Philharmonic, the RPO, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the English Baroque Soloists, the Gabrieli Consort & Players, the Sixteen, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Orchestre National de Lille.
Matthew’s most recent recordings include Handel’s Esther, all with the Dunedin Consort for Linn Records; and Il Re di Scozia in Handel’s Ariodante with Il Complesso Barocco and Alan Curtis for EMI/Virgin.
Recent and future highlights include Haydn’s Creation with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Magnificat and Brahms’ Triumphlied with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Il Re di Scozia Ariodante with the Staatstheater Stuttgart, Fauré’s Requiem with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Mozart’s Requiem with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, a tour of Bach cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and sings Herod and Father in Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.
COLLEGIUM MUSICALE CHOIR
Estonian chamber choir Collegium Musicale was founded by conductor Endrik Üksvärav in October 2010. The repertoire extends from renaissance to contemporary music. The special place in the repertoire belongs to the Estonian composers: Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis, Erkki-Sven Tüür, Helena Tulve, Tõnu Kõrvits, Mirjam Tally, Pärt Uusberg etc. The aim is to offer high level musical emotions and be the ambassadors of Estonian music.
The choir has co-operated with different orchestras and ensembles – Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Rascher Saxophone Quartet, Tallinn Baroque Orchestra, Corelli Consort, Klaaspärlimäng Sinfonietta etc. and conductors including Tõnu Kaljuste, Andres Mustonen, Kaspars Putninš (LT), Aapo Häkkinen (FIN), Simon Carrington (UK), Jos van Veldhoven (Holland), Darrel Ang (Singapur/FRA), Mihhail Gerts etc.
Collegium Musicale has had concert tours in Italy (Rome, Arezzo, Gorizia etc.), France, Russia, Finland, Germany, Poland, Czech, Malta, Netherlands and Japan. In Japan Estonian composers Erkki-Sven Tüür and Arvo Pärt participated in the choir’s concert in Tokyo. In 2016/2017 the choir had 54 concerts and 23 of them took place outside of Estonia. In 2017 one of the highlights was Lera Auerbach “72 Angels” Estonian premier with Rascher Saxophone Quartet.
Estonian Choral Association has announced Collegium Musicale twice as the Choir of the Year – 2011 and 2014.
CORELLI BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
Corelli Baroque Orchestra (CBO), the period-instrument baroque orchestra from Estonia, performed for the first time in December 2006. The artistic director of the orchestra is Mail Sildos who plays baroque violin herself. CBO is the logical continuation to baroque ensemble Corelli Consort (started in 1992) and concert agency Corelli Music (active since 2004). The tradition of period-instrument baroque orchestra in Estonia has been going on for nearly thirty years and today Estonia has a huge privilege to own the full orchestra of professional musicians who play on authentic baroque instruments.
Since its first concert, CBO has received warm reception from both audience and critics who have especially marked the orchestra’s gallant and tasteful phrasing, professionalism and joy of playing together. CBO has performed numerous brilliant classical large-scale works: Magnificat, St. John’s Passion, St. Matthew’s Passion, Christmas Oratorio, motets, cantatas, Orchestra suite nr 3 by J. S. Bach, Messiah, Resurrezione and Water Music by Händel, Gloria, Magnificat, Stabat Mater by Vivaldi, Magnificat and Weinachts-historie by Schütz, Stabat Mater by Pergolesi/Durante, Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo by Haydn, Te Deum, Messe de Minuit pour Noël, Magnificat H 73 and Concerto for strings H 545 by Charpentier, Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day by Purcell, Missa Bruxellensis by Biber (Estonian premiere), Concerti grossi and solo concertos for string instrument as well as for baroque bassoon, natrual trumpets, natural horn by Corelli, Vivaldi, Händel, Telemann, Graun, Canon and Gigue by Pachelbel, Ouverture BWV 1070 by J. S. Bach / W. Fr. Bach, solo cantatas and arias for countertenor by Bach, Buxtehude, Händel, Vivaldi etc. CBO has worked with many choirs, including Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and soloists. Concerts have been conducted by Estonian conductors: Risto Joost, Tõnu Kaljuste, Martin Sildos, Endrik Üksvärav, from Holland Daniel Reuss and Teunis van der Zwart, from Finland Anssi Mattila.
There are lots of great musicians in Estonia who have been deeply engaged with early music issues for many years and continued studies in numerous master classes all over the world. The period instruments that are necessary to work in baroque orchestra have been mostly acquired by musicians’ themselves and made by Estonian musical instrument makers such as Aaro Altpere, Taavi-Mats Utt, Peeter Talve, etc., or by foreign masters. All orchestra members are active in smaller ensembles that are dedicated to performing early music, both in Estonia (Corelli Consort, Cantores Vagantes, Rondellus, Tallinn Baroque, Estonian Baroque Soloists, Kiili Early Music Ensemble, etc.) and also in Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and elsewhere, as guest musicians.