Friday, October 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Empyrean Ensemble to present music by Monteverdi plus a modern setting by Ortiz

By
From page A11 | April 19, 2013 |

Check it out

What: Empyrean Ensemble presenting Monteverdi and Pablo Ortiz’s ‘Parodia’

When: 7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts

Ticket: $20 general, $8 students; www.mondaviarts.org, 530-754-2787

The Empyrean Ensemble will present two works featuring largely the same text — one composed in Italy during the early 1600s, the other composed in Argentina in modern times — at a concert in the Mondavi Center’s Vanderhoef Studio Theatre at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Presenting music that is nearly 400 years old is a bit of a departure for the Empyrean Ensemble, which ordinarily focuses on music composed in the last decade or two, or even new music that is being performed for the first time. But Claudio Monteverdi’s “Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda” is thought to have been first performed in 1624, and published in 1638, so you could think of it as having been very forward-looking for its times.

“Il combattimento” is sometimes described as an operatic scene, and sometimes described as a dramatic madrigal; it has three vocal parts, and runs around 25 minutes, more or less. The setting is the Middle Ages, the era of Crusaders. The story is narrated by a character known as Testo, who describes the deadly combat between the fierce Tandcredi and the valiant woman-in-armor Clorinda, who perishes.

The Empyrean Ensemble is not intending this performance as a historic recreation of the music using the same instruments that would have been heard in Monteverdi’s time. The ensemble will include a clarinet, which didn’t assume its modern form until the 1700s, and a marimba, which originated in the New World; both instruments would have been unfamiliar in Italy in the early 1600s. But there also will be a harpsichord and strings. Matilda Hofman will conduct.

Providing the vocals will be visiting soprano Suzana Ograjenšek, originally from Slovenia, who will sing all three parts (Testo, Tancredi and Clorinda). Ograjenšek’s background includes roles in productions of Monteverdi operas in England, France, Spain and elsewhere.

The Monteverdi will be semi-staged, with master of fine arts candidate Deirdre C. Morris of the theater and dance department directing, and another graduate student designing the lighting.

The second half of the program will feature “Parodia” by Pablo Ortiz, one of the faculty composers at UC Davis. Ortiz says he is using the term “parody” in an older sense that was used by musicians in centuries past. (In the 1600s, a composer using borrowed material in a musical setting of the Mass would call his work a “parody Mass,” and the term did not have humorous or satirical implications.)

“I have used the same text — the libretto drawn from Torquato Tasso’s poetry — that Monteverdi used,” Ortiz explained.

He will have a choir of nine singing the part of Testo, with tenor Jonathan Smucker, a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory, singing Tancredi, and Ograjenšek singing Clorinda. “Parodia” will feature the same group of instruments that were heard on the Monteverdi during the first half.

Ortiz composed “Parodia” in the 1990s, and it was presented several times in 1997, alongside the Monteverdi, at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. (Ortiz is from Argentina.) Most Davis listeners undoubtedly will be hearing “Parodia” for the first time.

Ortiz revisited the piece last year, making several revisions.

“But I found, in essence, that the music was something I could have written today. The piece is still fresh,” he said. “I substituted harpsichord for the harp (used in the 1997 version), and I changed some of the percussion instruments, and did some minor changes to the choir part. But the music is still very close to my aesthetic now.

“And it will also be minimally staged — though the ‘minimal’ staging may not actually be all that minimal; there will be lighting and movement.”

Ortiz added that he’s been feeling good about the state of contemporary music in Davis since last month’s Egghead Walk, which featured original music by UCD faculty composers that was performed by members of the visiting St. Louis Symphony at each of the late Robert Arneson’s Egghead figures. The event drew several hundred people.

“This is a very musical community,” Ortiz said. “And we have seven composers — local composers — teaching at the university and doing things here. I don’t know many towns the size of Davis that have this kind of musical life … the caliber and variety of the (musical) offerings we have is quite significant.”

Tickets are $20 general, $8 for students, available at www.mondaviarts.org or 530-754-2787.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Courageous Thompson tapped for cycling shrine

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

UC researchers: How low-water can our landscapes go?

By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Testimony begins in Winters murder trial

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

A-Z: Downtown Davis is the place to celebrate

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: C1

 
Hong Kong protesters to vote on staying in streets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Downtown menu: coffee, boba tea, dessert

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: C3

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Host families needed for students and teachers from Mexico

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Halloween Dance set Friday for teens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Yoga and chanting workshop planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Day of the Dead folk art class set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Flea Market planned Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Enjoy A Taste of Capay at historic ranch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Red-hot tunes set at Blues Harvest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Learn how to fill a cornucopia with flowers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Video highlights Props. 1 and 2

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
‘Homeopathy at Home’ program planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Celebrate origami at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Garden sale and open house features water-wise demos

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C4

Meet Poppenga at dog park Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Weir honored, a year early

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Bay Bridge art project needs $4 million to keep shining

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Americans, internationals make connections

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

Explorit: Poison-proof your home with free lecture

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6

 
For a good cause

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A6

Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
School board hopefuls discuss homework policy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Project Linus seeks donations

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

The magic is long gone

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
What’s next with Ebola?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

More theories on the abstention

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Rights beget responsibilities

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Water returns to its source

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
A solution to the drought

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Experience nature’s treasures

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Subs have other concerns

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Shhh. Are Aggie women BWC’s best-kept secret?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Bump, set, playoffs: Blue Devil girls clinch spot in postseason

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggies expect a bonny meeting in Sacramento

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DHS footballers take on Pleasant Grove

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Bye No. 2 comes at perfect time for nicked-up UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Preseason awards roll in for Aggie hoopster Hawkins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks suffer from road woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Features

.

Arts

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to perform

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Calling all artists for upcoming show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

‘St. Vincent:’ Quite a character

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Rumpledethumps to play at Village Homes Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

 
Car Care: Five things to ask yourself when shopping for a new vehicle

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Lewis Melvin Dudman

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Ann Foley Scheuring

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, October 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B3