News

The Canadian Jewish News: OPERA EXPLORES THE TRAGIC LIFE OF FAMED CELLIST

By Toby Saltzman – February 17, 2020

“Luna is a story-teller, completely immersed in the operatic world. She was inspired by the depth of my relationship with Jacqueline to tell the story of Jacqui before it’s too late.”

-Cellist Matt Haimovitz

When Matt Haimovitz performs at the world premiere of Tapestry Opera’s Jacqueline: a portrait of virtuosity, the audience can anticipate music that resonates with the poignant timbre of the famed cellist’s intimate association with Jacqueline du Pré as her young protégé.

Rising from a young prodigy herself, to peak fame as one of the world’s greatest virtuosi and ultimately succumbing to a tragic finale, English cellist du Pré was recognized in her prime as an exquisitely talented female soloist.

At the heart of du Pré’s life, strings a loving relationship with celebrated pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim that blossomed in Israel. The story goes that in 1967 – while the couple were performing concerts before, during and after the Six-Day War – du Pré felt such an overwhelming connection to Judaism as a musician that she converted to Judaism to marry Barenboim. Tragedy struck in 1971 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She died at 42 in October 1987 and was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Golders Green in London. 

Continue reading “The Canadian Jewish News: OPERA EXPLORES THE TRAGIC LIFE OF FAMED CELLIST”

Classical FM Interview: Tapestry Opera’s “Jacqueline” Tells the Story of Virtuosic Cellist Jacqueline du Pré’s Fall to M.S.

By: Classical FM February 13, 2020

From February 19th to 23rd Tapestry Opera heads to the Betty Oliphant Theatre for its presentation of Jacqueline: A Portrait of Virtuosity.

The pieces dives into the real-life struggle between celebrity virtuosic cellist Jacqueline du Pré and the multiple sclerosis that ravaged her body, mind, and talent, robbing her of her identity, her musical gift, and her life.

This intimate piece for soprano and cello brings two contemporary virtuosi to the stage: celebrated American soprano Marnie Breckenridge as Jacqueline, and renowned cellist (and former du Pré protégé) Matt Haimovitz playing du Pré’s only constant companion, her cello.

Jacqueline is inspired by the structure and emotional landscape of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto. The form of the work echoes du Pré’s iconic interpretation of the Elgar, using the concerto’s four-movement structure to navigate an all too short life in music.

Cellist Matt Haimovitz and Luna Pearl Woolf who is responsible for this productions’ music joined Mark Wigmore on The Oasis.

Read and listen to the interview at Classical FM

The Whole Note: New Opera for Soprano and Cello Promises Multilinear Magic

Written by Jennifer Parr Category: Music Theatre Published: 30 January 2020

Marnie Breckenridge and Matt Haimovitz. Photo by Dahlia Katz

Toward the end of January I was invited to sit in on an early staging rehearsal of the new opera, Jacqueline, gaining a rare glimpse into the creation of this experimental world premiere that explores the life and legacy of celebrity virtuoso cellist Jacqueline du Pré, who, at 23, began experiencing numbness in her fingers, at 28 was diagnosed with MS and stopped playing the cello, and in 1987 passed away at age 42.

Continue reading “The Whole Note: New Opera for Soprano and Cello Promises Multilinear Magic”

TheWholeNote Editor’s Corner – February 2020 | Luna Pearl Woolf: Fire and Flood

Written by David Olds January 27, 2020

“A wonderful cross-section of Woolf’s vocal writing that bodes well for the new opera.”

This month Tapestry presents the world premiere of American composer Luna Pearl Woolf’s latest opera, Jacqueline. Coinciding with this is the Pentatone release of Woolf’s Fire and Flood on the Oxingale label (PTC5186803 naxosdirect.com). This striking vocal disc features mostly recent works for a cappella choir (the Choir of Trinity Wall Street under the direction of Julian Wachner) with soloists in several instances and, in the most memorable selection, Après moi, le déluge, obbligato cello (Matt Haimovitz). After a virtuosic cello cadenza, this work develops into a bluesy and occasionally meditative telling of the story of Noah and the Flood which culminates in the gospel-tinged LordI’m goin’ down in Louisiana before gently subsiding. After a rousing arrangement of Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows for vocal trio and cello, comes a modern-sounding but fairly tonal Missa in Fines Orbis Terrae with the choir accompanied by Messiaen-like organ (Avi Stein). The vocal trio (sopranos Devon Guthrie and Nancy Anderson with mezzo Elise Quagliata) return for One to One to One, in this instance accompanied by the low strings (three cellos and three basses) of NOVUS NY. Having begun with the close harmonies, murmurs, shouts and extended vocal techniques of the a cappella To the Fire with full choir, the disc ends with the vocal trio once again joined by Haimovitz for a raucous setting of Cohen’s Who by Fire to close out an exceptional disc. A wonderful cross-section of Woolf’s vocal writing that bodes well for the new opera.

Read it on thewholenote.com

Stage-Door.com: Tapestry Opera presents “Jacqueline”, the story of Jacqueline du Pré, February 19-23

By: Stage Door News January 7, 2020

Photo: Marnie Breckenridge and Matt Haimovitz © 2019.

Tapestry Opera presents the world premiere of Jacqueline, a story of the battle between a world-famous virtuoso cellist and the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) that took her body and talent, robbing her of her breathtaking musical gift, her identity, and ultimately her life. Jacqueline runs at the Betty Oliphant Theatre from February 19 – 23, 2020.

Considered among the best musicians in the world for her passionate interpretations and flawless technique, du Pré was a trailblazer for female soloists and a rare prodigy. When she began experiencing numbness in her fingers at age 24, her doctor dismissed it as psychological fatigue until she was correctly diagnosed with MS nearly four years later. A harrowing, darkly humourous, and emotionally sensitive exploration of what it means to have a singular talent unravel, Jacqueline journeys through the life and trials of one of classical music’s greatest figures.

Continue reading “Stage-Door.com: Tapestry Opera presents “Jacqueline”, the story of Jacqueline du Pré, February 19-23”

The Little OPERA Theatre Of NY Presents PAST AND PRESENT: SCENES FROM AMERICAN OPERAS

by BWW News Desk June 3, 2019  

The little OPERA theatre of NY will present a FREE concert of scenes from American operas in collaboration with Bronx Opera and operamission. The concert will showcase the diversity of music and stories written for the opera stage by both native born and immigrant composers and librettists. The concert will take place outdoors on Governors Island in Nolan Park, in front of building 25. The performance is at 5pm and is FREE to the public. (Rain date: Sunday, June 23 at 4pm.)

Each of the three companies will present excerpts from operas with singers and piano. The little OPERA theatre of ny will showcase Luna Pearl Woolf and Caitlin Vincent’s Better Gods, which tells the story of the last Queen of Hawaii, Lili’uokalani, and the annexation of the island in 1898. Operamission will focus on two classic American operas written by immigrant composers: The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky and the melting pot opera Street Scene by Kurt Weill. Bronx Opera will present Marc Blitzstein‘s Regina based upon the play The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman.

Read at Broadway World

Cellist Matt Haimovitz to perform Bach Suites: A Moveable Feast

March 7, 2019

Matt Haimovitz, cello

ATHENS, Ga. —UGA Presents is bringing cellist Matt Haimovitz to Athens to perform Bach’s complete suites for unaccompanied cello in a two-day event he calls “A Moveable Feast.” On Apr. 3 and 4 Haimovitz will perform pop-up concerts in locations around Athens, culminating in a Hodgson Concert Hall performance on Apr. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
For his Moveable Feast, Haimovitz has commissioned preludes from contemporary composers to accompany each of Bach’s suites. The Apr. 4 Hodgson Hall concert will feature Bach’s Suite I with prelude by Philip Glass, Suite III with prelude by Vijay Iyer and Suite VI with prelude by Luna Pearl Woolf.

Continue reading “Cellist Matt Haimovitz to perform Bach Suites: A Moveable Feast”

Ludwig van Montréal : WEEK-END | Nos recommandations: concerts, bouffe et autres activités palpitantes

Par Caroline Rodgers le 15 février, 2019

EN FAMILLE

On invite jeunes et moins jeunes à la librairie Drawn & Quarterly pour assister à la lecture de Angel Heart, un conte de l’auteure Cornelia Funke sur la musique de la compositrice Luna Pearl Woolf. Cette histoire a aussi fait l’objet d’un très beau livre-disque sous étiquette Pentatone. Avec le violoncelliste Matt Haimovitz et quatre de ses étudiants. Narration: Jean Marchand. C’est samedi 16 février, 17 h, chez Drawn & Quarterly, 176 rue Bernard. Page Facebook de l’événement. 

Read it at Ludwig van Montréal

Broadway World: Enter A Haunting World Of Dreams & Lullabies With ANGEL HEART: A MUSICAL STORYBOOK

By BWW News Desk December 5, 2018

Enter A Haunting World Of Dreams & Lullabies With ANGEL HEART: A MUSICAL STORYBOOK

Haunting, gentle spirits from far-flung worlds meet in the pulsing sphere of dreams and lullabies that is Angel Heart, a music storybook. With an original tale by best-selling children’s fantasy writer Cornelia Funke, Angel Heart weaves an evocative original score by Luna Pearl Woolf with beloved songs by Irving Berlin, Lennon-McCartney, Jake Heggie, Engelbert Humperdinck, Gordon Getty, and others. An affecting narration by Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons layers upon intoxicating performances by singers Frederica von Stade, Daniel Taylor, Lisa Delan, and Zheng Cao – all above a rich bed of cellos, Matt Haimovitz and his Grammy-nominated ensemble Uccello.

Exquisite images by the award-winning creative studio Mirada unfold the tale, and the deluxe boxed cd-and-story package includes a coloring poster, stickers and cards for sharing the magic. Originally released in 2013, and accompanied by premiere performances in Los Angeles and at Carnegie Hall in New York, this is the first international release of Angel Heart, from the PENTATONE Oxingale series, available for digital and CD release on December 7.

Read it at Broadway World