When Matt Haimovitz performs at the world premiere of Tapestry Opera’sJacqueline: 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.
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.
Lisa Delan’s performance Wednesday evening at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music was billed as part of the Alumni Recital Series. But inside the SFCM’s comfy Sol Joseph Recital Hall, it felt more like a visit to the homes of the five composers — four of who were smilingly seated in the small audience — with soprano Delan serving as the friendly, fascinating, attractive and — did I forget ‘talented’? — hostess.
Luna Pearl Woolf, the first up of those composers, was flanked in the fourth row by the children she parents with cellist Matt Haimovitz, there on stage with pianist Christopher O’Riley to accompany the world premiere of his wife’s Rumi: Quatrains of Love, which opened a program that in several ways also served as an early run-up to Valentine’s Day. Delan, in fact, was dressed in a bright red ruffled dress, as she vocalized…