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Trinity Church Wall Street’s Time’s Arrow Festival (March 5-9) Features Laura Schwendinger’s Opera Artemisia and Handel’s Oratorio Susanna, Plus Early

February 13, 2019 | By 21C Media Group

Trinity Church Wall Street’s Time’s Arrow festival (March 5-9), known for its signature combination of early and new music, focuses this spring on amplifying the voices of female artists and exploring sensitive contemporary themes. The centerpiece of the festival is a juxtaposition of two musical portraits of the biblical figure Susanna: Handel’s oratorio Susanna, and Artemisia, an opera by Laura Elise Schwendinger, with a libretto by Ginger Strand. Complementing these large-scale pieces is a concert centered on works by Barbara Strozzi, the most prolific composer of secular vocal music in Venice in the mid-17th century and a renowned poet who likely wrote many of her own texts. Performed by Trinity Choir soprano Molly Netter, the concert also features world premieres by Jessica Meyer, Doug Balliett, Alyssa Weinberg, and others (March 8). A Pipes at One concert on that same day, featuring Trinity Associate Organist Janet Yieh, will also reflect the Time’s Arrow theme, with compositions by Rachel Laurin, Florence Price, Lili Boulanger, Clara Schumann, and others. All performances take place in the intimate surroundings of St. Paul’s Chapel, a Georgian-era gem just a few blocks north of Trinity, and the oldest building in continuous use in Manhattan.

 

Long celebrated for their matchless yearly performances of Handel’s Messiah, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and The Trinity Baroque Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Julian Wachner, are also in the midst of a long-term presentation of the composer’s entire oratorio output, including Susanna. But for Time’s Arrow what matters is the oratorio’s subject matter: a blameless young woman’s reputation is smeared by wrongful accusations. Soloists are Lauren Snouffer, John Holiday, Oliver Mercer, Christopher Burchett, and members of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street. The three-act oratorio will be heard over the course of three 1pm performances on March 5, 7 and 9.

 

Laura Elise Schwendinger’s Artemisia approaches the same story through the lens of a different era and culture, by means of the Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi, who portrayed herself as Susanna in her famous painting Susanna and the Elders. Schwendinger, winner of the first Berlin Prize in composition, has been praised in the Chicago Tribune for “an acute sonic imagination and sure command of craft,” and in the New York Times for music that is “darkly attractive, artful and moving.” She is also a longstanding Trinity collaborator: Wachner and The Choir performed her Six Choral Settings in Zankel Hall in 2012 and have helped her develop Artemisia through workshop performances. The fully staged production of Artemisia will be directed by Christopher Alden, and features resident contemporary ensemble NOVUS NY under the direction of Lidiya Yankovskaya, with a cast comprising Heather Buck, Augusta Caso, Oliver Mercer, Christopher Burchett, and Richard Troxell. Artemisia will be performed twice, at 7pm on March 7 and 9.

 

A further highlight of Trinity’s “indispensable and unmissable” (New York Times) array of free, ambitious musical offerings this winter and spring will be the presentation by Wachner, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and NOVUS NY of the New York premiere of Daniel Schlosberg’s nightingale rose, along with the East Coast premiere of The Faire Starre by Nico Muhly (Feb 15). The latter piece was co-commissioned by Trinity Church Wall Street, Vocal Essence Minneapolis, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

 

These programs come on the heels of a pair of critical triumphs for Trinity’s musical forces. The perennially popular Christmas Messiah performances were singled out twice by the New York Times this season. Under the headline “This Is the Best ‘Messiah’ in New York,” the first review elaborated: “If you grew up thinking of Handel’s “Messiah” as a sweet, staid pageant, a holiday ritual involving a little nap and a stand-and-deliver ‘Hallelujah’ chorus, the forces of Trinity Wall Street offer the gritty, fearless cure…with what stands apart as New York’s best.” Two weeks later a different Times critic raved: “There’s a reason Trinity’s ‘Messiah’ sits at the top of critics’ lists each year. Mr. Wachner’s take on the score is fresh and urgent, and members of the nimble professional choir step out to sing solos, creating a sense of the oratorio as town hall meeting.”

 

Likewise, the contributions of Wachner, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and NOVUS NY to the world premiere of Ellen Reid and Roxie Perkins’s new opera p r i s m, co-commissioned by Trinity Church Wall Street and Beth Morrison Projects, met with a glowing critical reception. Praising the “lush, eerie harmonies of an invisible chorus,” the New Yorker called the choir “one of the nation’s best.” The New York Times agreed:

 

“Ellen Reid’s score is accessible in the best way, disconcertingly sweet without being syrupy, with occasional whispers of choral voices so soft they’re almost more odor than sound. The truly prismatic Choir of Trinity Wall Street is astonishing here; Trinity’s new-music ensemble, Novus NY, plays beautifully under Julian Wachner.”

 

The premiere of p r i s m was last November at REDCAT in Los Angeles, and the East Coast premiere of the work was at New York’s La MaMa during the Prototype Festival in January.

 

About Trinity Church Wall Street

Trinity Church Wall Street is a growing Episcopal community that seeks to serve and heal the world by building neighborhoods that live Gospel truths, generations of faithful leaders, and sustainable communities. The mission is grounded in Trinity’s core values: faith, integrity, inclusiveness, compassion, social justice, and stewardship. Trinity is located in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District, where it has created a dynamic home for music. Serving as director of Trinity’s music program – as well as principal conductor of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, the period-instrument Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and contemporary-music ensemble-in-residence NOVUS NY – Julian Wachner also oversees all liturgical, professional and community music programming at Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel. Music at Trinity ranges from large-scale oratorios to chamber music, and from intimate a cappella singing to jazz improvisation. Many concerts at Trinity are professionally filmed, streamed live and available on-demand at http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/videos. The Rev. Dr. William Lupfer is Rector of Trinity Church Wall Street and the Rev. Phillip Jackson is Vicar of Trinity Church Wall Street.

 

High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.

 

 

www.trinitywallstreet.org/music

www.facebook.com/MusicTrinityWallStreet

twitter.com/trinitywallst

 

 

Trinity Church Wall Street: Time’s Arrow Festival and spring highlights

All events free and located at St. Paul’s Chapel unless otherwise indicated.

 

Feb 15 at 7:30pm

Evening Concert Series

Julian Wachner: Epistle Mass

Daniel Schlosberg: nightingale rose (New York Premiere)

Nico Muhly: The Faire Starre* (East Coast Premiere)

*Co-commissioned by Trinity Wall Street, Vocal Essence Minneapolis, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; NOVUS NY; Julian Wachner, conductor

 

Feb 17 at 11:15am

Sunday Service

Wood: O thou the central orb

Tallis: In Jejunio et Fletu

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Avi Stein and Janet Yieh, organ; Julian Wachner, conductor

 

Feb 17 at 8pm

Compline by Candlelight

Rheinberger: Ad te levavi

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street

 

Feb 22 at 1pm

Pipes at One

Paolo Bordignon, Interim Organist and Choirmaster, St. Bartholomew’s NYC

 

Feb 24 at 11:15am

Sunday Service

Diton and Schwenck: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Palestrina: Haec dies quam fecit Domini

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Avi Stein and Janet Yieh, organ; Julian Wachner, conductor

 

Feb 24 at 8pm

Compline by Candlelight

Guerrero: Ave virgo sanctissima

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street

 

March 1 at 1pm

Pipes at One

Students of Alan Morrison from the Curtis Institute of Music, PA – Adrian Binkley, Clara Gerdes, Aaron Patterson

 

March 3 at 11:15am

Sunday Service

Vaughan Williams: O how amiable

Tallis: Derelinquit impius

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Avi Stein and Janet Yieh, organ; Julian Wachner, conductor

 

March 3 at 8pm

Compline by Candlelight

Wood: Hail, Gladdening Light

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street

 

March 6 at 10am and 4:30pm

Ash Wednesday

Allegri: Miserere mei

Poulenc: Vinea mea electa

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Avi Stein and Janet Yieh, organ; Julian Wachner, conductor

 

March 5-9 Time’s Arrow

March 5 at 1pm

Time’s Arrow

Handel: Susanna, Part the First

Lauren Snouffer – Susanna

John Holiday – Joachim

Paul An – Chelsias

Molly Netter – Daniel

Oliver Mercer – First Elder

Christopher Burchett – Second Elder

Steven Hrycelak – Judge

Melissa Attebury – An Attendant

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; The Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Julian Wachner, conductor

 

March 7 at 1pm

Time’s Arrow

Handel: Susanna, Part the Second

Lauren Snouffer – Susanna

John Holiday – Joachim

Paul An – Chelsias

Molly Netter – Daniel

Oliver Mercer – First Elder

Christopher Burchett – Second Elder

Steven Hrycelak – Judge

Melissa Attebury – An Attendant

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; The Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Julian Wachner, conductor

 

March 7 at 7pm

Time’s Arrow

Laura Elise Schwendinger: Artemisia

Heather Buck – Susanna

Augusta Caso – Artemisia Gentileschi

Oliver Mercer – Agostino Tassi/Elder 1

Christopher Burchett – Cosimo di Medici/Elder 2

Richard Troxell – Tomasso/Occulist

NOVUS NY

Laura Schwendinger – composer

Ginger Strand – librettist

Christopher Alden – stage director

James Smith – assistant director

Lidiya Yankovskaya – conductor

Zachary Goodman – assistant conductor

Ika Avaliani – scenic, lighting, and costume designer

Kelly Ruth Cole – production and stage manager

Mason Fick – assistant production and stage manager

 

March 8 at 1pm

Time’s Arrow

Pipes at One

Janet Yieh, organ

Works by Rachel Laurin, Florence Price, Lili Boulanger and others

 

March 8 at 8pm

Time’s Arrow

Lagrime Mei

Works of Barbara Strozzi with world premieres by Jessica Meyer, Doug Balliett, Alyssa Weinberg and others

Molly Netter, soprano

 

March 9 at 1pm

Time’s Arrow

Handel: Susanna, Part the Third

Lauren Snouffer – Susanna

John Holiday – Joachim

Paul An – Chelsias

Molly Netter – Daniel

Oliver Mercer – First Elder

Christopher Burchett – Second Elder

Steven Hrycelak – Judge

Melissa Attebury – An Attendant

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; The Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Julian Wachner, conductor

 

March 9 at 7pm

Time’s Arrow

Laura Elise Schwendinger: Artemisia

Heather Buck – Susanna

Augusta Caso – Artemisia Gentileschi

Oliver Mercer – Agostino Tassi/Elder 1

Christopher Burchett – Cosimo di Medici/Elder 2

Richard Troxell – Tomasso/Occulist

NOVUS NY

Laura Schwendinger – composer

Ginger Strand – librettist

Christopher Alden – stage director

James Smith – assistant director

Lidiya Yankovskaya – conductor

Zachary Goodman – assistant conductor

Ika Avaliani – scenic, lighting, and costume designer

Kelly Ruth Cole – production and stage manager

Mason Fick – assistant production and stage manager

 

© 21C Media Group, February 2019


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