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

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

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

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

Ludwig van Montréal: LA RELÈVE | Quelque part, mon jardin: cinq compositeurs, deux ensembles et un spectacle éclaté typiquement montréalais

Par Frédéric Cardin 4 juin, 2018

collectif9 (Crédit: Danylo Bobyk)
collectif9 (Crédit: Danylo Bobyk)

Le samedi 9 juin 2018 à 20 h, à l’Usine C à Montréal, un audacieux spectacle fait de nouvelle musique très éclatée, de théâtre, de poésie et de projections vidéo abordera le thème de l’appartenance et de l’identité. Quelque part, mon jardin / My Backyard, Somewhere présenté par les ensembles montréalais collectif9 et Architek Percussion, sur des textes de Kaie Kellough, lui aussi de la métropole, arrive juste à temps (et enfin!) pour nous plonger de façon positive et créative dans un sujet brûlant. On devrait probablement y inviter tous les politiciens actuels, tiens.

Le spectacle d’une heure et demie environ s’articulera autour des textes de Kaie Kellough, auteur et poète montréalais bilingue dont le travail se concentre justement sur les questions d’identité, le sentiment d’appartenance à une culture, à un lieu.

Continue reading “Ludwig van Montréal: LA RELÈVE | Quelque part, mon jardin: cinq compositeurs, deux ensembles et un spectacle éclaté typiquement montréalais”

Médium large avec Catherine Perrin | Collectif9: donner une couleur plus rock à la musique classique

By: Catherine Perrin 4 juin, 2018

Le groupe collectif9 joue devant un public.

En utilisant une approche hors de l’ordinaire, le groupe collectif9 souhaite rendre plus accessible la musique classique et contemporaine, parfois méconnue du grand public et peu accessible. Par exemple, les membres du groupe utilisent la mise en scène et l’éclairage, et jouent debout devant leur public. Catherine Perrin rencontre trois membres du groupe, qui présentera, le 9 juin à l’Usine C, à Montréal, le spectacle Quelque part, mon jardin, en compagnie d’Architek Percussion.

Listen to the full broadcast on the CBC

The Mercury News: Lieder Alive! adds new songs to an old tradition

By Georgia Rowe January 10, 2018

LIEDER ALIVE! Mezzo-soprano Kindra Scarich will be part of a Lieder Alive! concert that pairs old works from the standard repertoire to new vocal compositions.

Lieder — the revered song tradition closely associated with the Romantic era — isn’t fixed in the past. It’s still evolving, and Lieder Alive! is helping to keep it that way.

This weekend, the San Francisco organization launches its 2018 offerings with a “Neue und Alte” (new and old) Liederfest. The concert presents well-known works from the song repertoire by Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann and others, “in dialogue with” new works by contemporary composers Mark Carlson, Kurt Erickson and Luna Pearl Woolf.

The featured singers include soprano Heidi Moss Erickson and mezzo-soprano Kindra Scharich; pianists Kurt Erickson and Ronny Michael Greenberg are the program’s accompanists.

Details: 5 p.m. Jan. 14; Noe Valley Ministry, San Francisco; $35 advance, $40 at the door; $75 premium reserved seats; 415-561-0100; http://www.liederalive.org.

Read it at The Mercury News

New York Times: When Musicians Get Up and Move

…If opera singers are expected to move about the stage and interact with other performers, Ms. Woolf argued, so could string players. “When we hear a musical phrase, we hear a statement of language,” she said. “We all are in the business of emotional storytelling — with everything we have.”

A Victorian dictum, now out of fashion, states that children should be seen, not heard. The opposite might be said of the 19th-century concert setup: Players were to be heard, not seen — or at least not draw attention to themselves.

But that view is changing as well. Continue reading “New York Times: When Musicians Get Up and Move”

Calgary Herald: New Music review: Evelyn Glennie and Land’s End Ensemble provide spectacular evening of six premieres at the Bella

By STEPHAN BONFIELD

…perhaps best summarized as an opera aria for cello, entangling a dramatic theatricality and an erotic intimacy between instrument and performer(s). — a striking image about music and our acoustical relationship to it through the innateness of deeply felt rhythmic vibration, elucidating our permanent entanglements with such deeply intimate musical experiences…

This past Friday night was a truly special one for Calgary’s new music community and a milestone for the city’s arts community as a whole. Land’s End Ensemble hosted internationally-renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie its 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Bella Concert Hall, Mount Royal University, in a wrap-up recital of epic proportions capping off the new hall’s exciting début series.

The sold-out concert was the month’s hottest ticket in town, featuring percussion-themed premieres of no less than six new compositions specially written for Glennie by Allan Gordon Bell, Luna Pearl Woolf, Omar Daniel, Derek Charke and Vincent Ho, the ensemble’s artistic director and concert curator.

Continue reading “Calgary Herald: New Music review: Evelyn Glennie and Land’s End Ensemble provide spectacular evening of six premieres at the Bella”