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Celebrate the season
with Conductor Patrick Dupré Quigley

 

 

GRAMMY®-nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire’s Patrick Dupré Quigley ignites a fresh flame with Philharmonia. Two Bach cantatas present two sides of the multifaceted master: the florid, Italianate Vivaldi enthusiast, and the stern, stately Lutheran of Saxony. Sandwiched with choral delights by Monteverdi, Vivaldi, and Purcell, this sparkling holiday program will warm you to the core.

MONTEVERDI “Confitebor tibi Domine,” No. 2, from Selva Morale e Spirituale
BACH Cantata No. 61 Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland
VIVALDI Nisi Dominus
PURCELL The Frost Scene (Act III, Scene II), from King Arthur
BACH Cantata No. 140 Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme

Patrick Dupré Quigley, conductor
Margot Rood, soprano
Reginald Mobley, countertenor
Steven Soph, tenor
Steven Eddy, baritone

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Wednesday December 5 @ 7:30 pm | Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Friday December 7 @ 8 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Saturday December 8 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday December 9 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Read the Program Notes

Notes from the Conductor…

By Patrick Dupré Quigley

This program features two sides of Bach’s musical personality: the florid, Italianate Bach who studied the music of the Roman priest Antonio Vivaldi, and the firm, Lutheran Bach in the capitol of Saxony.  The first half sees a nearly-Handelian cantata for the first Sunday of Advent, BWV 61, Nun komm der Heiden Hiland, surrounded by its Italian predecessors.  One of the finest Baroque cantatas written for the human voice, Vivaldi’s Nisi dominus is a dramatic catharsis on Psalm 126 (127) for alto. It explores both the depths and the heights, musically and vocally. The concert begins with Vivaldi’s Venetian musical ancestor Claudio Monteverdi.

The second half begins with a secular Winter gem, the Frost Scene, from Purcell’s King Arthur, defender of England against the Saxons. This tongue-in-cheek miniature sees Love conquering Reason, warming the cockles of music’s first Grinch, The Cold Genius.  There is no chill to Bach’s genius, however, in the evening’s final cantata: BWV 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme.  A regal masterpiece, used only on years of early Easters, this brilliant vocal-orchestral concerto for the week preceding Advent is at the very heart of Bach, the Lutheran. Bach handles the chorale tune so delicately that one can feel his reverence through his pen stroke.

Some Interesting Facts…

BWV 61 and BWV 140 were composed for a similar purpose and premiered 7 days shy of 17 years apart.  In the first, we see a serious, young Bach trying to prove himself at the Weimar Ducal Court in his new position as Director of Music. In the latter, we find Bach a year into the job where he would spend the rest of his life: Thomaskantor in Leipzig. The writing is self-assured, warm, and joyous, and shows Bach at his most melodic.

That the “Cold Genius” aria is not the first piece we think of when Purcell’s name is mentioned is a testament to the even greater triumph that is Dido and Aeneas.  In the “Frost Scene” —a play within the larger five act play of King Arthur—we encounter Cupid and the Cold Genius locked in a rhetorical battle over the value of Reason without Love. With fantastical effects from the orchestra and vocalists, Purcell conjures up a chilly world that is thawed by the warmth of Love.

Vivaldi’s “Nisi Dominus” is a concerto for the Alto voice. There is some thought that, as the piece cannot be definitively traced back to the all-female choir and orchestra at the Pieta, Vivaldi’s primary employer, that this piece may have been written for performing forces outside of the Venetian orphanage, thus performed by both countertenors and contraltos. The scope of the piece, alone, would be daunting for most singers. It is, however, a primer on the facility of the lower treble voice—alternatingly mourning, soulful, didactic, virtuosic, and plaintive. Its harmonic language remains fresh and bracing to even the most modern-biased ear.

 

PATRICK DUPRÉ QUIGLEY – conductor

Conductor Patrick Dupré Quigley is the founder and artistic director of the internationally-acclaimed ensemble, Seraphic Fire. He frequently collaborates with the Cleveland Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, and the New World Symphony. He was nominated for a GRAMMY® Award for his recording of Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem.

This season, Quigley takes the podium at The Cleveland Orchestra in Mozart, the Utah Symphony in Haydn, and Seraphic Fire in masterworks of Bach, Monteverdi, Pärt, and the Pulitzer-prize-winning David Lang. Mr. Quigley is a Music Director finalist for the Spartanburg Philharmonic, leading that ensemble in Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2, along with music of Gliere and Mozart.

In addition to his busy guest conducting schedule, Quigley regularly leads Seraphic Fire on critically-acclaimed tours.  His performances have been described by the press as “extraordinary” (Gramophone), “authoritative” (The Philadelphia Enquirer), “inspirational” (The Chicago Sun-Times), “vivid, sensitive” (The Washington Post), and displaying “transformative brilliance” (New York Lucid Culture). He is the recipient of the Robert Shaw Conducting Fellowship, the ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award, and the Louis Botto Award for his entrepreneurial leadership of Seraphic Fire.

Over his fifteen seasons at the helm of Seraphic Fire, one of the country’s premiere professional choral-orchestral ensembles, Quigley grew the organization’s budget to $1.6 million, started the Seraphic Fire Youth Initiative, launched the Seraphic Fire Media label (with two GRAMMY® Nominations), established Seraphic Fire’s endowment, inaugurated a unique young artist professional training program with the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA, and released fourteen recordings on the SFM label.

Quigley holds degrees from the Yale University School of Music and the University of Notre Dame. He lives with his husband in Washington, D.C. where they are restoring a turn-of-the century row home.

MARGOT ROOD – soprano

Hailed for her “colorful and vital” singing by The Washington Post, performs a wide range of repertoire across North American stages.

Margot was fortunate to make her solo debut at Boston’s Symphony Hall in 2011, and since then has been a frequent soloist with Handel and Haydn Society. The 2018/2019 season marks her debuts with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale, New Jersey Symphony and Charlotte Symphony. Recent and upcoming solo appearances include those with Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New World Symphony, Seraphic Fire, Bach Collegium San Diego, A Far Cry, and numerous concerts with acclaimed ensemble Blue Heron. Margot was formerly a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow at Emmanuel Music, where she is often featured on Emmanuel’s nationally-known Bach cantata series.

Margot’s recent and upcoming stage appearances include La Renommée in Lalande’s Les Fontaines de Verasilles and Francesca Caccini’s Alcina with Boston Early Music Festival, Galatea in Acis & Galatea and First Witch in Dido & Aeneas with Handel and Haydn Society, Hyacinthus in Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus with Emmanuel Music, Amor in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Grand Harmonie, and Johanna in Sweeney Todd with St. Petersburg Opera. Margot recorded the role of Emily Webb in Rorem’s Our Town with Monadnock Music which was widely released by New World Records in 2017.

In addition to opera and oratorio, Margot has performed as soloist with some of the United States’ premiere new music ensembles, and is a past recipient of the St. Botolph Club Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award for her work in new music. Notable new music engagements include her Carnegie Hall debut in the world premiere of Shawn Jaeger’s Letters Made with Gold, and Kati Agocs’ Vessel and Arvo Pärt’s Passio with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Margot has been invited by composers at Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, McGill University, and Keene State College for performances and masterclasses. She has recorded numerous world premieres and 21st-century works with Albany Records, New World Records, BMOP Sound, and Sono Luminus. Her solo recording with composer Heather Gilligan, Living in Light, is now available from Albany Records.  Margot holds degrees from the University of Michigan and McGill University.

REGINALD MOBLEY – countertenor

Particularly noted for his “crystalline diction and pure, evenly produced tone” (Miami Herald), as well as an “elaborate and inventive ornamentation” (South Florida Classical Review), countertenor Reginald Mobley is highly sought after for baroque, classical and modern repertoire. Past performances of note include premiering a reconstruction of Bach’s Markus-Passion at the Oregon Bach Festival, constructed and led by Matthew Halls, as well as an extensive tour of sixteen concerts around Europe singing Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with the Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists led by Sir John Eliot Gardiner. He returns to work with the ensemble this season, for a further European tour, concerts of Handel’s Messiah with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Purcell’s King Arthur with the Academy of Ancient Music in London. Upcoming engagements includes concerts with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and New Jersey Symphony. Mobley will also be performing in Mozart Requiem in Poland in 2019 as well as other European dates.

STEVEN SOPH – tenor

A “superb vocal soloist” (The Washington Post), tenor Steven Soph performs music spanning the medieval to modern day. Upcoming in 2018-2019, Steven makes his Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra debut in this program, as well as his New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, Variant 6, and Bourbon Baroque debuts.

Recent seasons’ highlights include joining The Cleveland Orchestra for the Severance Hall premier performances of Stravinsky’s Threni id est Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, an all-Handel program led by Ton Koopman, and Mozart’s Requiem led by Patrick Dupré Quigley. Steven performed Reich’s The Desert Music with the New World Symphony and Seraphic Fire; Mozart’s “Orphanage” Mass with San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra; and Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Bach Society of St. Louis and the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra. He has performed Handel’s Messiah with the Bach Society of St. Louis, Master Chorale of South Florida, Handel Oratorio Society (Augustana College), Spire Chamber Ensemble, and Apollo Master Chorus of Chicago; Vivaldi’s Introduction and Gloria with Voices of Ascension; Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Master Chorale of South Florida and Seraphic Fire; Haydn’s Creation with Texas Choral Consort, Colorado Pro Musica, and Juilliard 415; and Evangelist in the North American debut of Keiser’s Brockes-Passion at the University of Connecticut.

An active Bach interpreter, Steven has performed as the Evangelist in the St. Matthew Passion with Chicago Chorale, Seraphic Fire (Mendelssohn version), Bach Society of St. Louis, Brown University Chorus, and Boston University’s Marsh Chapel. He has performed as the Evangelist in the St. John Passion with University of North Texas’ Collegium (1725 version), Concord Chorale, Chicago Chorale, and Boston University’s Marsh Chapel. Steven appeared in Bach’s B minor Mass with Symphony Orchestra Augusta, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and Chicago Chorale; Bach’s Magnificat with Voices of Ascension, True Concord Voices & Orchestra, and Seraphic Fire; and BWV 34 with The Cleveland Orchestra.

Steven holds degrees from the University of North Texas and Yale School of Music, where he studied with renowned tenor James Taylor. He was a 2014 Carmel Bach Festival Adams Fellow and 2016 Oregon Bach Festival Young Artist.

STEVEN EDDY – baritone

Praised for his “polished baritone and acting skills” and “sterling musical and physical work,” baritone Steven Eddy is a versatile performer with a broad repertoire spanning opera, oratorio, and art song.

Mr. Eddy’s recent engagements have included concerts with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in Richard Strauss’s Friedenstag; soloist with Distinguished Concerts International in Howard Goodall’s Eternal Light; Charlie (Three Decembers), Opera Birmingham; a regular soloist with Brooklyn Art Song Society; Bach’s Weihnachts- Oratorium, Choral Arts Philadelphia; and, Messiah, Handel Choir of Baltimore. Additionally, he performed with LoftOpera as Raimbaud in Rossini’s Le comte Ory and toured with the Grammy-nominated choral ensemble Seraphic Fire. He returns to Seraphic Fire this season with several engagements, is concert soloist with Columbia Pro Cantare; guest with Brooklyn Art Song Society and is Watson in Sherlock Holmes with American Lyric Theater.

An avid concert performer and Baroque music specialist, Mr. Eddy appears frequently with Seraphic Fire, American Classical Orchestra, Handel Choir of Baltimore, New York Virtuoso Singers, Holy Trinity Church Wall Street, The Choralis Foundation, Columbia Pro Cantare, Ensemble VIII, Saginaw Choral Society and Kalamazoo Bach Festival. He has a wide range of oratorio and concert works, some of which include Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, St. Matthew Passion and many cantatas, Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine, Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Requiems of Mozart, Fauré and Duruflé, and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.

Mr. Eddy completed his Specialist of Music in Voice degree at the University of Michigan School and received his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Church Wall Street

Winner of the Joy in Singing Debut Artist Award and Positively Poulenc! competitions, Mr. Eddy has also been honored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Oratorio Society of New York’s Lyndon Woodside Competition, the Howard County Arts Council Rising Star, and the University of Michigan Friends of Opera competitions and is the recipient of the Earl V. Moore Award in Music from the University of Michigan.

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“The performance [Quigley] led was … joyful with thumping timpani and gleaming trumpets, radiant in the choir’s singing of Bach’s otherworldly harmonies and majestic in passages of choral grandeur…”

–Miami Herald

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