Sunday, September 23, 2012

Michael Kelly & Zach Altman in Monteverdi Rarity

Michael Kelly & Zach Altman
Gotham Chamber Opera begins its 2012-2013 season with GOTHAM @ LPR: ORIENTALE, a collaboration with Company XIV and MAYA, featuring the artists of Gotham Chamber Opera. The program will include Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, along with music by Rameau, Lully, Szymanowski, Delibes, Schumann, Bizet, John Hadfield, and traditional Armenian music.

Michael Kelly and Zach Altman, two barihunks who have been featured regularly on this site, will perform along with soprano Maeve Höglund and Jennifer Rivera (wife of barihunk and OperaNow! podcaster Michael Rice).

The show will be performed on Monday, October 1st and Wednesday, October 3rd at 8pm (doors open at 7pm) at (le) poisson rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, NYC. Tickets are $15-$25 and are available online at 

Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (SV 153) is an operatic scena for three voices by Claudio Monteverdi, although many dispute how the piece should be classified. The piece has a libretto drawn from Torquato Tasso's La Gerusalemme Liberata ("Jerusalem Delivered", Canto XII, 52-62, 64-68), a Romance set against the backdrop of the First Crusade. Il Combattimento was first produced in 1624 but not printed until 1638, when it appeared with several other pieces in Monteverdi’s eighth book of madrigals (written over a period of many years).

In Il Combattimento the orchestra and voices form two separate entities. The strings are divided into four independent parts instead of the usual five – an innovation that was not generally adopted by European composers until the 18th century.

Il combattimento
contains one of the earliest known uses of pizzicato in baroque music, in which the players are instructed to set down their bows and use two fingers of their right hand to pluck the strings. It also contains one of the earliest uses of the string tremolo, in which a particular note is reiterated as a means of generating excitement. This latter device was so revolutionary that Monteverdi had considerable difficulty getting the players of his day to perform it correctly. These innovations, like the fourfold division of the strings, were not taken up by Monteverdi’s contemporaries or immediate successors.

Zach Altman just wrapped up a run as Zurga in Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers" at Opera San Jose, where he is one of the resident artists. He will open as Dr. Falke in Johann Strauss' "Die Fledermaus" on November 10th.

On October 6th, Michael Kelly will be appearing at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City in "Hommage a Debussy" - a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great French composer. On October 21st, he'll perform Durufle's glorious Requiem at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. before heading off for three performances of Orff's Carmina Burana with the Kansas City Symphony in November.


1 comment:

  1. Where are any /all the Tenors for Hunkentenors its been launched sinced June and not a Tenor in site?????