The 2017 Festival will be a gangbuster year for singers, with THREE staged productions and incredible solo, choral, and theatrical possibilities for singers in both week 1 and week 2. Apply for one program or apply for all!
Our theatrical productions include Henry Purcell's King Arthur (week 1), Francesco Cavalli's L'Erismena (week 1), and John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (week 2).
The Ensemble Singing Intensive will work on fabulous English repertoire, Medieval to High Renaissance.
The Choral Workshop
, directed by Kent Tritle, will perform works by Byrd, Tallis, and Parsons. The alto section is wait list-only; there are still openings for sopranos, tenors, and bass/baritones.
Auditions for the Baroque Opera, Baroque Academy Vocal Soloists, Ensemble Singing Intensive, and the Beggar's Opera Project are due April 1. Visit our page on getacceptd.com to start your audition. You can apply for more than one program with a single audition and we encourage you to do so!
If you have any questions about which program is right for you email us at [email protected]
See you in July,
Baroque Opera: Henry Purcell's
Performance: Friday, July 14, 8:00 p.m.
Drew Minter, stage director; Adam Pearl, conductor. Aaron Sheehan, vocal coach
King Arthur, written for Dorset Garden Theatre in 1691 with a libretto by John Dryden, is one of Purcell's first spectacular semi-operas. The music is as fine as anything Purcell ever set, with wonderful orchestral suites and incidental music, and masques for fantastical characters, including the justly famous "Frost scene." The score calls for sopranos, countertenors, tenors, and basses. The opera project is fully costumed and staged. It includes instruction by Drew Minter in period acting and performance techniques, and singers also take part in masterclasses with Julianne Baird and Aaron Sheehan.
Baroque Opera Project Daily Schedule: 9:00-10:30 Master class, 11:00-12:15 staging rehearsal, 1:30-3:00 musical rehearsal, 3:30 to 5:30 tutti rehearsal with orchestra.
Rehearsals begin Saturday, July 8.
Baroque Academy Vocal Soloists perform scenes from Francesco Cavalli's
Week 1: July 9-16, 2017
Performance: Saturday, July 15 at 4:30 p.m.
Directed by Julianne Baird and Richard Stone, staged by David Morris.
Cavalli's L'Erismena is the only 17th-century opera to have been performed with English text in the British Isles. Students will focus on 17th-century stagecraft and effective rendering of 17th-century aria and recitative with special emphasis on ornamentation and Baroque gesture.
Daily Schedule: 9:00 Master Class with Julianne Baird, 11:00 Chamber Music with Aaron Sheehan and others, 1:45 Vocal Topic Class with Julianne Baird 3:30-5:30 Opera Scenes rehearsal. Rehearsals begin Sunday, July 9.
Ensemble Singing Intensive
Advanced level one-on-a-part singing in small groups
Week 2: July 16-23, 2017
Concert: Saturday, July 22 at 4:30
Directed by Michael Barrett
Faculty: Julianne Baird, Grant Herreid, Geoffrey Williams.
Repertoire: Some of the most glorious pieces ever written for small vocal ensemble comes from 16th-century England, in the works of composers Byrd, Tallis, Taverner, and others. In the medieval period the style known as the "English countenance" was widely praised, typified by the works of Dunstaple and Power, music that can sound strikingly modern today!
Advanced singers sing one-on-a-part ensemble repertoire and work on skills essential to the modern singer of early music. Schedule includes daily ensemble coachings, solo singing master class with Julianne Baird, ensemble masterclasses, and performance.
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BEGGAR'S OPERA PROJECT
Week 2: July 16-23, 2017
Performance Friday, July 21 at 7:30
Directed by Grant Herreid. All-day program includes master class and coaching with Julianne Baird. Lawrence Rosenwald, script writer and coach. With staff pit band.
Audition due: April 1
Amherst Early Music is excited to present a semi-staged performance of John Gay's Beggar's Opera as a featured work of our 2017 festival.
This witty, satirical, and wonderfully vibrant work was a smash sensation in 1728, filled with beggars and highwaymen of the London underworld, satire against politicians and aristocrats, spoofs of Italian opera, and, above all, great songs. Drawing from English ballad repertory, opera arias, and hymns, the music of The Beggar's Opera offers singers and singing actors unique opportunities to shine, and to experience a different side of historical performance practice.
2017 Festival Faculty
Viol and Vielle
Heather Miller Lardin*
John Mark Rozendaal**
Voice and Theater
Kaspar D. Mainz*
* indicates week one only, **week two only