Venice Baroque Orchestra
Vivaldi's Juditha triumphans
Venice Baroque Orchestra
Andrea Marcon, Music Director and Conductor
Delphine Galou, Contralto (Juditha)
Mary-Ellen Nesi, Mezzo-Soprano (Holofernes)
Ann Hallenberg, Mezzo-Soprano (Vagaus)
Francesca Ascioti, Contralto (Ozias)
Silke Gäng, Mezzo-Soprano (Abra)
Jolle Greenleaf, Artistic Director
VIVALDI Juditha triumphans
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately three hours, including one 20-minute intermission. Please note that there will be no late seating before intermission.
Pre-Concert TalkPre-concert talk starts at 6:00 PM in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with Fred Plotkin, author of Opera 101 and Classical Music 101.
This performance is sponsored by Chubb.
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.
At a Glance
Unlike, say, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s “sacred military oratorio” has no narrator: The story is told entirely by the characters themselves in a succession of solo arias, recitatives, and choruses. Also unexpected is the all-female castof Juditha triumphans—a pragmatic necessity given Vivaldi’s position as music director of a girl’s conservatory and orphanage in Venice. Inspired by Judith’s heroic exploits, he created a stirring score that is notable for its dramatically effective vocal writing, supported by a large and colorful orchestra that gave full scope to Vivaldi’s genius for scene painting.
Like many of Vivaldi’s works, Juditha triumphans disappeared after its first performance and was not heard again until its modern premiere in Siena in 1941. The rediscovery of Vivaldi’s long-overlooked manuscript scores in Italy in the 1920s and ’30s fueled a popular taste for the Italian master’s music that continues to this day. Describing the modern “Vivaldi craze,” musicologist Robert Craft called it “as momentous for lovers of Baroque music as that of the Dead Sea Scrolls for students of religion.”
Conductor, organist, and harpsichordist Andrea Marcon was born in Treviso, Italy. He received a diploma in early music from the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Switzerland, where he studied organ and harpsichord with Jean-Claude Zehnder and conducting with Hans-Martin Linde. His subsequent teachers include Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, Hans van Nieuwkoop, Jesper Christensen, Harald Vogel, and Ton Koopman. He has won first prize for organ performance at competitions in Innsbruck and Bologna.
Mr. Marcon founded the Venice Baroque Orchestra in 1997 and has led the group to international acclaim on four continents. Today he is widely recognized as a leading interpreter of music from the Baroque and Classical periods. Mr. Marcon is a regular guest conductor at the Oper Frankfurt and Theater Basel, and has conducted several of the principal European symphony orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. A specialist in Baroque opera, he has conducted numerous productions that include works by Charpentier, Handel, Monteverdi, Cavalli, Purcell, Cimarosa, Boccherini, Galuppi, Vivaldi, and Mozart. In 2012, Mr. Marcon was appointed artistic director of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada in Spain, with whom he performs Romantic repertoire. He is also the artistic director of La Cetra in Basel.
Highlights of recent seasons included his conducting debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival; performances at the Dutch National Opera and Ballet, Salzburg Festival, and Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada; and tours with Magdalena Kožená, Patricia Petibon, and Philippe Jaroussky. In addition, Mr. Marcon has worked with Cecilia Bartoli, Anne Sofie von Otter, Andreas Scholl, the Labèque sisters, Viktoria Mullova, and (for almost two decades) Giuliano Carmignola.
Mr. Marcon has recorded more than 50 albums for labels that include Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, and Erato/Warner. He is a professor of harpsichord, organ, and Baroque interpretation at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. In 1982, he was a founding harpsichordist and organist for the Treviso-based ensemble Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca. He also founded and served as artistic director of the International Organ Festival "Città di Treviso," where he helped facilitate the restoration of the city's historic organs.
Venice Baroque Orchestra
Founded in 1997 by Baroque scholar and harpsichordist Andrea Marcon, the Venice Baroque Orchestra (VBO) is recognized as one of the finest period instrument ensembles. The orchestra has received critical acclaim for its concert and opera performances throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, and has appeared in more cities across the United States than any other Baroque orchestra in history.
Committed to rediscovering 17th- and 18th-century masterpieces under Mr. Marcon's leadership, the VBO has given the modern premieres of Francesco Cavalli's L'Orione, Vivaldi's L'Atenaide and Andromeda liberata; Benedetto Marcello's La morte d'Adone and Il trionfo della poesia, e della musica; and Boccherini's La Clementina. With Teatro la Fenice in Venice, the orchestra has staged Cimarosa's L'Olimpiade; Handel's Siroe, which was reprised at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; and Galuppi's L'Olimpiade. Accomplishing an unusual feet for a Baroque ensemble, the VBO also premiered Philip Glass's The American Four Seasons.
Not only celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Venice premiere of Vivaldi's Juditha triumphans with performances at London's Barbican Centre, Brussels's Palais des Beaux-Arts, and Carnegie Hall, the ensemble also performs this season with violinist Viktoria Mullova at Vienna's Musikverein; violinist Nicola Benedetti on tour across the US; and mandolinist Avi Avital in Japan.
The VBO has toured Europe, the United States, and Asia with countertenor Philippe Jaroussky; performed concerts in France and Belgium with contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux; given concerts in Italy, Croatia, Germany, Spain, France, Mexico, the US, and Canada with mandolinist Avi Avital; appeared at the Dresden Music Festival with soprano Karina Gauvin; and played at the Istanbul Festival and the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená.
The orchestra's latest recording was released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2015. Previous releases received a Grammy nomination, a Choc du Monde de la Musique, a Diapason d'Or, an ECHO Award, and an Edison Award. Along with several television specials broadcast worldwide, the ensemble is the subject of three recent video recordings, and its performances were featured in Richard Dindo's documentary Vivaldi in Venice.
The Venice Baroque Orchestra is supported by Fondazione Cassamarca in Treviso.
Delphine Galou was born in Paris. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, along with piano and voice. In 2004, she was declared to be the Discovery of the Year by the French Association for the Promotion of Young Artists, ADAMI. She decided to specialize in the Baroque repertoire, leading to collaborations with numerous ensembles that include the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, I Barocchisti, Accademia Bizantina, Collegium 1704, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Il Complesso Barocco, Les Siècles, Les Arts Florissants, Le Concert des Nations, Ensemble Matheus, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Le Concert d'Astrée, Les Ambassadeurs, and Les Talens Lyriques.
Ms. Galou has performed at many leading venues and festivals, including the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris; Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels; Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London; Theater St. Gallen; Theater Basel; Opernhaus Zürich; Händel-Festspiele Karlsruhe; SWR Schwetzingen Festspiele; Berlin State Opera; Theater an der Wien; and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino at the Opera di Firenze. Her discography includes Porpora's Vespro per la festività dell'Assunta under the baton of Martin Gester, Vivaldi's Teuzzone led by Jordi Savall, Vivaldi's Orlando under Federico Maria Sardelli, Vivaldi's L'incoronazione di Dario under Ottavio Dantone, Caldara's La Concordia dei' Pianeti under Andrea Marcon, and Vivaldi's L'incoronazione di Dario and Rossini's Petite messe solennelle under Ottavio Dantone.
Born in Montreal to Greek parents, Mary-Ellen Nesi studied in London and Athens. She has appeared in opera houses that include the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Semperoper Dresden, Oper Frankfurt, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Theater an der Wien, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, L'Opéra Royal in Versailles, London's Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Teatro Olimpico in Rome, Teatro Comunale di Florence, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Greek National Opera, Opera of Thessaloniki, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, and Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville. Her festival appearances include Spoleto, Boston Early Music, and the Handel festivals in Göttingen and Halle.
Ms. Nesi has an unusually wide range of operatic roles, including the title role in Carmen, Adalgisa in Norma, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in La Cenerentola, Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Charlotte in Werther, Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, and Maddalena in Rigoletto. She has also created a number of roles in contemporary operas and sung more than 30 leading roles in Baroque operas by Monteverdi, Handel, Vivaldi, Paisiello, Scarlatti, and Pergolesi.
Ms. Nesi regularly performs in concerts and has collaborated with prominent conductors, including Ivor Bolton, Frédéric Chaslin, Teodor Currentzis, Alan Curtis, Rubén Dubrovsky, Ottavio Dantone, Marcello Di Lisa, Charles Dutoit, Diego Fasolis, Eduardo López Banzo, Andrea Marcon, Miguel Gómez Martínez, Rainer Mühlbach, George Petrou, Federico Maria Sardelli, and Jean-Christophe Spinosi.
Her more than 30 recordings include operas, cantatas, masses, and oratorios by such composers as Mozart, Gluck, Handel, Vivaldi, Hasse, Scarlatti, Pergolesi, and Leo.
Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg rose to fame in 2003 when she replaced Cecilia Bartoli on one day's notice in Handel's Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno at the Opernhaus Zürich. She is now established as one of Europe's leading mezzo-sopranos.
She regularly appears in opera houses and festivals such as Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Real in Madrid, Theater an der Wien, Opernhaus Zürich, Opéra National Paris, Opéra de Lyon, Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels, Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam, Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Berlin State Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Royal Swedish Opera, Salzburg Festival, Verbier Festival, and Edinburgh Festival.
Her operatic repertoire includes a large number of roles by Rossini, Mozart, Gluck, Massenet, Handel, Vivaldi, and Monteverdi. Equally at home on the concert stage, she frequently appears throughout Europe and North America with a vast repertoire that spans Monteverdi, Cavalli, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Mahler, Chausson, and contemporary works by Franz Waxman and Daniel Börtz.
Ms. Hallenberg regularly works with conductors who include Fabio Biondi, Ivor Bolton, William Christie, Patrick Fournillier, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Emmanuelle Haïm, Philippe Herreweghe, Paavo Järvi, Louis Langrée, Marc Minkowski, Christopher Moulds, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Antonio Pappano, Christophe Rousset, Lothar Zagrosek, and Alberto Zedda.
Her more than 40 recordings include music by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart, Haydn, Gluck, Rossini, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Bruckner. At the International Opera Awards in London in 2016, her solo CD Agrippina won the award for Best Operatic Recital. This was her second award in the category, having also won in 2014.
Francesca Ascioti graduated from the Conservatorio Luca Marenzio Brescia e sezione di Darfo. In 2010, she won a scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies at the Ateneo Musicale in Sulmona. Her first operatic performance was at the Sulmona Academy, debuting in the role of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro. Her primary vocal professors were Bernadette Manca di Nissa, Alberto Rinaldi, and Teresa Berganza Vargas.
In November 2013, Ms. Ascioti appeared in the role of Quickly in Falstaff at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Busseto. In this production directed by Marina Bianchi and in cooperation with the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Teatro Regio in Parma, she performed opposite Renato Bruson.
Ms. Ascioti was a finalist in the Marcello Giordani Competition and won a prize for her debut in the role of Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria rusticana at Vero Beach Opera in Florida in January 2014.
Recent performances have included Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania; the Baroness of Champigny in Nino Rota's Il cappello di paglia di Firenze at the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari; Ozias in Juditha triumphans at Teatro La Fenice in Venice; Giunone in Vivaldi's La fida ninfa at Theater Basel and the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden; Maddalena in Rigoletto at Teatro Regio di Parma; and the role of Euterpe in Handel's Parnasso in Festa at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Born in Germany, Silke Gäng studied singing at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel, Switzerland. A Heidelberger Frühling scholarship holder in 2012, she studied with Thomas Hampson, Brigitte Fassbaender, Graham Johnson, and Wolfram Rieger. Ms. Gäng has won various international awards, including at the fifth international Ernst Haefliger competition, and she has appeared twice at the Lucerne Festival.
This season, she performs the roles of Annio in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito, Speranza and Persephone in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, and will contribute to the La Cetra Basel production of Handel's Parnasso in festa with Andrea Marcon. During the 2015-2016 season, she gave song recitals at the Lavaux Classic festival and at the Heidelberger Frühling festival alongside Thomas Hampson. Her recordings include a solo CD of songs based on poems by Walt Whitman and Mascha Kaléko. She also appeared in the modern premiere of Heinichen's 1720 opera Flavio Crispo with the Barockorchester Stuttgart under Jörg Halubek, and made her Italian debut in Venice in Vivaldi's Gloria.
Ms. Gäng has made several appearances at Theater Basel, including the title role in Juditha triumphans, Nérine in Charpentier's Médée, and as singer and speaker in 12 concerts at the Davos Festival. Other highlights from recent years include performances at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Handel Festival in Halle, Schwetzingen Festival, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Staatstheater Stuttgart, Theater Freiburg, Theatre Royal of Norwich, and Salzburg Festival.
TENET celebrates its eighth anniversary as one of New York's preeminent vocal ensembles. Artistic Director Jolle Greenleaf has won acclaim for the ensemble's innovative programming, virtuosic singing, and command of repertoire that spans the Middle Ages to the present with a focus on early music. Renowned for their interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque repertoire, TENET features distinguished soloists who shine in one-voice-to-a-part singing and as joined voices in small ensembles. The ensemble sponsors the highly praised Green Mountain Project, giving annual performances of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, as well as other vespers that have been newly reconstructed by musical director Scott Metcalfe, including those by Gabrieli, Charpentier, and their contemporaries. A driving force in cultivating the New York City early music community, TENET collaborates regularly with other acclaimed ensembles and organizations, including Dark Horse Consort, Five Boroughs Music Festival, New York Polyphony, and the Sebastians. Highlights from TENET's celebrated New York City concert series include performances of Bach's motets, a three-year cycle of Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsories, performances of works by Purcell and his contemporaries in celebration of St. Cecilia (music's patron saint), two miniseries of medieval music (The Sounds of Time and The Cycle of Invention), and an original theatrical production that highlights works composed by, for, and about women in 17th-century Italy.
Soprano Jolle Greenleaf, artistic director of TENET, has been hailed as a major force in the New York early music scene and a leading voice in the field. She is a sought-after soloist for works such as Bach's St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, and Mass in B Minor; Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri; Handel's Messiah and Israel in Egypt; as well for music by Purcell and most notably Monteverdi. Career highlights include tours to festivals such as Costa Rica's International Music Festival, Festival Casals de Puerto Rico, Cuba's Festival de Música Antigua Esteban Salas, the Vancouver Early Music Festival, as well as performances in Denmark and throughout the US. She has performed as a soloist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Helmuth Rilling and in Arvo Pärt's Passio, as well as collaborating with John Rutter in his Requiem. She can be heard throughout TENET's entire discography and as a soloist on the Grammy-nominated CD Israel in Egypt with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and Choir of Trinity Wall Street.