The vocal soloists include tenor Aaron Sheehan as the Evangelista and baritone Jesse Blumberg as Christus, both GRAMMY winners for the Boston Early Music Festival's recording of Charpentier's
La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers
, which won Best Opera Recording in 2015.
Canadian soprano Hélène Brunet
is a veteran with ABS, coming off recent performances across the continent, in Montreal and Lincoln Center in New York. She most anticipates singing the aria,
Zerfließe, mein Herz
. “It’s one of the most beautiful Bach arias. I can’t wait to sing it for the first time with American Bach Soloists. It’s going to be really special. I couldn’t dream of a better team!”
Alto Robin Bier
makes her ABS debut and brings a wealth of experience as both a conductor and singer, with a PhD in historical vocal performance practice from the University of York. “Every time that I reencounter this work, it moves me in a different way. There’s an incredible depth of message and emotional intensity in Bach’s music,” she remarks. “It really does feel like he entrusts some of the crucial moments in the story to the alto.”
“Especially exciting for me is the opportunity to perform this 1725 version with two lesser-known, but no less exquisite tenor arias,” says soloist, Steven Brennfleck. “Singing Bach’s Passion settings is unlike any other experience for a singer. The drama and depth of humanity contained therein is hard to find in any other corner of sacred repertoire. As an ABS Academy alum, to have the chance to sing this with ABS makes this an even more special occasion!”
He precedes this concert set with performances at the Alamo City Opera and returns in April to solo with ABS in Monterverdi’s
Vespers of 1610
baritone Bryan Jolly
who is making his ABS debut. Jolly returns home to San Francisco from his work with the Dutch National Opera House as a rising star at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. “It’s an incredible honor to be able to work with the American Bach Soloists professionally,” he comments.
This is music that transcends cultural, religious, and theatrical boundaries between performers and audience members, drawing in listeners as historical participants. Maestro Thomas, one of the Baroque music world’s most celebrated Bach specialists, brings his unique and insightful perspectives to the podium in definitive performances that are profoundly beautiful and moving.
Friday February 23 2018 8:00 pm
St. Stephen’s Church
3 Bay View Avenue, Belvedere, CA 94920
Saturday February 24 2018 8:00 pm
First Congregational Church
2345 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Sunday February 25 2018 4:00 pm
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
1111 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Monday February 26 2018 7:00 pm
Davis Community Church
412 C Street, Davis, CA 95616
Phone: 800-595-4TIX (-4849)
FREE PRE-CONCERT “INSIGHTS”:
One hour prior to each performance, ticket holders can enjoy a free and informative lecture given by musicologist and conductor Victor Gavenda, an accomplished scholar who will share his insights about the repertoire, the composers, and the experience of hearing great music from the Baroque era performed to the highest standards.