Jul
13
Sat
Opening Night: In The Beginning @ Sunset Center Theater
Jul 13 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Franz Joseph Haydn, The Creation, HOB XXI:2

Mhairi Lawson, soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor; Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

Haydn’s masterpiece, The Creation, majestically opens the 82nd Carmel Bach Festival. The performances feature the Festival’s entire company of musicians and will be sung in a Haydn-approved English translation.

Haydn considered The Creation his masterwork. It is the culmination of his creative life that produced more than 100 symphonies, and a plethora of string quartets, operas, masses and other works.

Haydn’s musical setting of the creation story is one of the best-loved works in the choral repertoire because of its dramatic gestures, bold orchestral colors and imaginative word painting. From the creation of light to Adam and Eve’s love duet, Haydn brings to life the birds, beasts and angels as they rejoice in soaring, life-affirming music.

The radiance of The Creation is experienced through the overpowering majesty of the choruses.  Also, the composer’s tremendous word-painting skill with which he creates his descriptive canvasses, and the brilliant orchestration Haydn brought to his famous “London” symphonies and late Masses. Here the orchestration is employed to even more powerful effect, especially in some of the colorful writing for the winds. The orchestra in The Creation is every bit as much a protagonist as the soloists and chorus.

The work is part of the grand orchestral/choral tradition that is in the Festival’s DNA, as represented by such audience favorites such as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the Bach Passions, and Carmina Burana.

The Creation’s enduring place in the repertory is because of its appeal on so many levels: It is complex and intricate, yet highly accessible. It is spiritual, but profoundly human. It’s is Haydn’s great expression of gratitude to God, but also a lasting gift to humankind.

“I have lived with Haydn’s Creation all my life,” said Festival Artistic Director Paul Goodwin. “In performances as a boy chorister, as a solo oboist and as a conductor, reveling in its ever-changing colors and glorious architecture. This piece means a lot to me; I hope it will to you too!”

Jul
16
Tue
Saints and Sinners – Week 1 @ Sunset Center Theater
Jul 16 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Orchestra, Chorale, Chorus, Soloists conducted by Paul Goodwin
Mhairi Lawson, soprano; Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor; Dashon Burton, bass-baritone; Francesca Faridany, actress-narrator

George Frideric Handel        Acis and Galatea

Overture

Chorus : Oh the pleasure of the plains

Tenor Aria (Acis): Love in her eyes

Soprano Aria (Galatea): As when the dove

Bass-Baritone Aria (Polephemus) : I Rage –  /  O Ruddier than the cherry

Trio : The flocks shall leave the mountains

Tenor Aria: Help, Galatea, Help!

Chorus : Galatea Dry thy tears

Igor Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress

Instrumental Introduction

Tenor Aria:  Here I stand

Chorus and Bass Solo:  The Sun is Bright

Soprano – cabaletta:  I go, I go to him

Mezzo-Soprano Aria : Come, sweet, come; Scorned, Abused

Chorus : Ruin, Disaster. Shame

Tenor aria :  I Burn, I burn! I freeze; With roses crowned

Chorus:  Mourn for Adonis

Epilogue

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  The Marriage of Figaro

Overture

Soprano and Bass-Baritone Duet: Cinque, Dieci, Venti

Bass-Baritone Aria:  Se vuol ballare

Mezzo-Soprano Aria: Voi che sapete

Tenor Aria: In quagl’anni

Soprano, Tenor, Bass-Baritone Trio: Cosa sento

Chorus : Gio Vani liete

Georges Bizet  Highlights from Carmen

Overture

Mezzo-Soprano Aria: Gypsy song

Tenor Aria: La fleur que tu m’avais

Mezzo-Soprano and Chorus: Habanera

Soprano Aria: Je dis que rien

Bass-Baritone and Chorus: Toreadors Song

“All opera is about saints, sinners, seducers, victims and death! In this evening of drama and excitement we present four contrasting operas that show elements of all these traits that make opera so compelling,” said Paul Goodwin

The Tuesday evening performances explore the saint and sinner characters as depicted by four major opera composers. The evening begins with the story of the beautiful Galatea’s (Mhairi Lawson) love for the shepherd Acis (Thomas Cooley), and of the monstrous giant Polyphemus (Dashon Burton) jealousy and desire for Galatea.

Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress is a neo-Baroque work, and is nothing like you might have heard before from the Russian master. The story tells of Tom Rakewell (Thomas Cooley), an impressionable young man who jilts his fiancée, Anne Trulove (Mhairi Lawson), for the get-rich-quick promises made by the sinister Nick Shadow (Dashon Burton), who really is the Devil. After several misadventures, all initiated by the devious Shadow, Tom ends up in Bedlam, an insane asylum. In true devotion to Tom, Anne Trulove rescues his soul at the opera’s conclusion.

Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro beings with one of the shortest but most memorable overtures in the repertory. The opera tells the story of the servants Figaro and Susanna, who get married. This spoils the efforts of their philandering employer, Count Almaviva to seduce Susanna, teaching the sinner Count a lesson in fidelity. Marriage of Figaro’s lighthearted and melodic sensibility has made it an audience favorite since its debut in 1786.

The evening concludes with Carmen, which has everything that makes for a beloved opera: passionate drama, great characters, a love story, and some of the best known and loved music. Bizet’s work is packed with great and instantly familiar melodies including the Habanera and the Gypsy Song—sung by the title character as performed by Meg Bragle— and concluding with the Toreador’s Song, as performed by our Toreador, Dashon Burton. The character of Carmen is both saint and sinner and serves as the perfect capstone for the evening. She is a seducer, yet is also a fragile victim and strong feminist.

Jul
20
Sat
In The Beginning – Week 2 @ Sunset Center Theater
Jul 20 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Franz Joseph Haydn, The Creation, HOB XXI:2

Mhairi Lawson, soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor; Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

Haydn’s masterpiece, The Creation, majestically opens the 82nd Carmel Bach Festival. The performances feature the Festival’s entire company of musicians and will be sung in a Haydn-approved English translation.

Haydn considered The Creation his masterwork. It is the culmination of his creative life that produced more than 100 symphonies, and a plethora of string quartets, operas, masses and other works.

Haydn’s musical setting of the creation story is one of the best-loved works in the choral repertoire because of its dramatic gestures, bold orchestral colors and imaginative word painting. From the creation of light to Adam and Eve’s love duet, Haydn brings to life the birds, beasts and angels as they rejoice in soaring, life-affirming music.

The radiance of The Creation is experienced through the overpowering majesty of the choruses.  Also, the composer’s tremendous word-painting skill with which he creates his descriptive canvasses, and the brilliant orchestration Haydn brought to his famous “London” symphonies and late Masses. Here the orchestration is employed to even more powerful effect, especially in some of the colorful writing for the winds. The orchestra in The Creation is every bit as much a protagonist as the soloists and chorus.

The work is part of the grand orchestral/choral tradition that is in the Festival’s DNA, as represented by such audience favorites such as Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the Bach Passions, and Carmina Burana.

The Creation’s enduring place in the repertory is because of its appeal on so many levels: It is complex and intricate, yet highly accessible. It is spiritual, but profoundly human. It’s is Haydn’s great expression of gratitude to God, but also a lasting gift to humankind.

“I have lived with Haydn’s Creation all my life,” said Festival Artistic Director Paul Goodwin. “In performances as a boy chorister, as a solo oboist and as a conductor, reveling in its ever-changing colors and glorious architecture. This piece means a lot to me; I hope it will to you too!”

Jul
23
Tue
Saints and Sinners – Week 2 @ Sunset Center Theater
Jul 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Orchestra, Chorale, Chorus, Soloists conducted by Paul Goodwin
Mhairi Lawson, soprano; Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor; Dashon Burton, bass-baritone; Francesca Faridany, actress-narrator

George Frideric Handel        Acis and Galatea

 Overture

Chorus : Oh the pleasure of the plains

Tenor Aria (Acis): Love in her eyes

Soprano Aria (Galatea): As when the dove

Bass-Baritone Aria (Polephemus) : I Rage –  /  O Ruddier than the cherry

Trio : The flocks shall leave the mountains

Tenor Aria: Help, Galatea, Help!

Chorus : Galatea Dry thy tears

Igor Stravinsky  The Rake’s Progress

Instrumental Introduction

Tenor Aria:  Here I stand

Chorus and Bass Solo:  The Sun is Bright

Soprano – cabaletta:  I go, I go to him

Mezzo-Soprano Aria : Come, sweet, come; Scorned, Abused

Chorus : Ruin, Disaster. Shame

Tenor aria :  I Burn, I burn! I freeze; With roses crowned

Chorus:  Mourn for Adonis

Epilogue

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  The Marriage of Figaro

Overture

Soprano and Bass-Baritone Duet: Cinque, Dieci, Venti

Bass-Baritone Aria:  Se vuol ballare

Mezzo-Soprano Aria: Voi che sapete

Tenor Aria: In quagl’anni

Soprano, Tenor, Bass-Baritone Trio: Cosa sento

Chorus : Gio Vani liete

Georges Bizet  Highlights from Carmen

Overture

Mezzo-Soprano Aria: Gypsy song

Tenor Aria: La fleur que tu m’avais

Mezzo-Soprano and Chorus: Habanera

Soprano Aria: Je dis que rien

Bass-Baritone and Chorus: Toreadors Song

“All opera is about saints, sinners, seducers, victims and death! In this evening of drama and excitement we present four contrasting operas that show elements of all these traits that make opera so compelling,” said Paul Goodwin

The Tuesday evening performances explore the saint and sinner characters as depicted by four major opera composers. The evening begins with the story of the beautiful Galatea’s (Mhairi Lawson) love for the shepherd Acis (Thomas Cooley), and of the monstrous giant Polyphemus (Dashon Burton) jealousy and desire for Galatea.

Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress is a neo-Baroque work, and is nothing like you might have heard before from the Russian master. The story tells of Tom Rakewell (Thomas Cooley), an impressionable young man who jilts his fiancée, Anne Trulove (Mhairi Lawson), for the get-rich-quick promises made by the sinister Nick Shadow (Dashon Burton), who really is the Devil. After several misadventures, all initiated by the devious Shadow, Tom ends up in Bedlam, an insane asylum. In true devotion to Tom, Anne Trulove rescues his soul at the opera’s conclusion.

Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro beings with one of the shortest but most memorable overtures in the repertory. The opera tells the story of the servants Figaro and Susanna, who get married. This spoils the efforts of their philandering employer, Count Almaviva to seduce Susanna, teaching the sinner Count a lesson in fidelity. Marriage of Figaro’s lighthearted and melodic sensibility has made it an audience favorite since its debut in 1786.

The evening concludes with Carmen, which has everything that makes for a beloved opera: passionate drama, great characters, a love story, and some of the best known and loved music. Bizet’s work is packed with great and instantly familiar melodies including the Habanera and the Gypsy Song—sung by the title character as performed by Meg Bragle— and concluding with the Toreador’s Song, as performed by our Toreador, Dashon Burton. The character of Carmen is both saint and sinner and serves as the perfect capstone for the evening. She is a seducer, yet is also a fragile victim and strong feminist.

Jul
27
Sat
Best of the Fest @ Sunset Center Theater
Jul 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Favorite selections from the Festival are performed in this closing night concert that celebrates music, Carmel, the musicians of the Bach Festival, and the Festival’s loyal patrons. The program is a sampler of musician and audience favorites from throughout the two-week Festival.

The concert is sponsored by the former presidents of the Carmel Bach Festival, and is followed by a celebratory reception on the Sunset Center Terrace toasting the conclusion of the 82nd Festival.

Best of the Fest is a special, not-to-be-missed party that commemorates and honors music, the enduring legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach, the tradition of the Carmel Bach Festival, and the special and mystical setting of Carmel-by-the Sea.