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On Sunday, Nov. 21, CCM’s Choral and Orchestral Departments present a concert commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. The core large-scale masterwork in the international repertory of the Early Music movement, Monteverdi’s masterpiece will be performed by the CCM Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra. This lavish presentation will be embellished with guest period instrument artists playing cornettos, theorbo, gamba and Baroque harp. Earl Rivers conducts. Sponsored by CCM’s Tangeman Sacred Music Center, the concert will be held at Christ Church Cathedral on Fourth and Sycamore in downtown Cincinnati at 5 p.m on Nov. 21. Admission to the concert is free. CCM will host a special reception for our Mainstage Subscribers post-concert. More details after the jump.

“Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is the Beethoven 5th of Early Music,” says Earl Rivers, director of choral studies. “Monteverdi retained much of the old traditions in the piece, but fused the old style with the new style. This is an important international work that students will be singing all their careers.”

CCM’s performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 will feature a concerto group consisting of guest artists Michael Leopold (theorbo) and Annalisa Pappano (lirone and viola da gamba); student artists Sujin Kim (organ), Micah Fusselman (gamba) and Kyle Elkins (contrabass); and faculty artists Vivian Montgomery (harpsichord and organ), Elizabeth Motter (Baroque harp) and Rodney Stucky (archlute and Baroque guitar).

Student soloists include Kelly Ballou (soprano), Abigail Santos (soprano), Ivy Walz (mezzo soprano), Andrew Penning (tenor), Ryan C. Connelly (tenor), Ian Ramirez (tenor, Duo Seraphim), Timothy Bruno (bass) and Thomas Richards (baritone, Laudate Pueri and Magnificat).

Arrive at Christ Church Cathedral early for a “show and tell” session, in which our guest early music artists illustrate what their period instruments look and sound like. The demonstration is scheduled to start at 4:45 p.m.

About the Guest Artists

Michael Leopold, playing theorbo for the Monteverdi Vespers, holds degrees in historical plucked instruments from Sacramento State University (1998) and in lute and theorbo from L’Istituto di Musica Antica of the Accademia Internazionale della Musica (formerly the Civica Scuola di Musica) (2004) in Milan, Italy. Originally from Northern California, he continues to reside in Milan and performs both as a soloist and as an accompanist throughout Europe, Australia, Japan, Chile, Mexico and the United States. In addition to his work with Ars Lyrica, the Catacoustic Consort and other American period-instrument ensembles, he has played with a number of leading Italian early music groups, including Concerto Italiano, La Risonanza, La Venexiana and La Pietà de’ Turchini. He has also collaborated with several orchestras and opera companies, including Orchestra Verdi di Milano, Opera Australia, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Glimmerglass Opera and Portland Opera. He can be heard in recordings on the Stradivarius, Glossa, Naïve, and Naxos labels.

Annalisa Pappano, playing lirone and viola da gamba for the Monteverdi Vespers, studied at Indiana University’s Early Music Institute (Wendy Gillespie) and at Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Catharina Meints). Her playing has been described by critics as “mercurial and enchanting” and “with a sound that is lighter than air with the airy luster of gilding on the mirrors of a rococo drawing room.” She has performed throughout Belgium and the U.S. and has appeared on nationally syndicated radio. Pappano is a member of Baroque Northwest (Seattle), the Oberlin Consort of Viols, and Les Plaisirs Durables (Brussels, Belgium), and has performed with numerous other ensembles including the Houston Grand Opera, the Cleveland Opera, Opera Atelier (Toronto), American Opera Theater, the Concord Ensemble, Cappella Artemisia with Bruce Dickey (Bologna, Italy), Consortium Carissimi, La Donna Musicale, Mélomanie, Le Nuove Musiche, and Bella Voce. She has taught at Viola da Gamba Society of America national conclaves, the Viola da Gamba Society Pacific Northwest and Northeast chapters, the San Diego Early Music Workshop, ViolsWest, the Madison Early Music Workshop, and has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities. Pappano led the Catacoustic Consort to win the grand prize in the Naxos / Early Music America Live Recording Competition and recorded a program of Italian laments on the Naxos label. Pappano teaches viola da gamba at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Upcoming 2008-09 engagements include performances with Portland Baroque, Portland Opera, and American Opera Theatre.

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