The Art House presents
Australian Haydn Ensemble - Heavenly Sopranos
14 Apr 2024 Showing at The Art House Theatre
The Art House Presents
The Australian Haydn Ensemble -
Heavenly Sopranos Jewels of the Baroque
The period instruments of the AHE and two brilliant singers in a ravishing program of familiar and neglected gems, including Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.
Celeste Lazarenko & Helen Sherman, Two dear friends of The Australian Haydn Ensemble (AHE), and two of the most brilliant exponents of both early and contemporary singing techniques, collaborate on a ravishing program of familiar and neglected masterworks in Heavenly Sopranos Jewels of the Baroque.
Each voice is to die for, but their blend invites double the sacrifice, and how better a way to go than with Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.
Pergolesi's untimely death at 26, combined with a tiny five years of creative output, caused him to become the stuff of legend for centuries. So affecting are the opening minutes of Stabat Mater that it’s easy to imagine that the composer was put on earth to write them just before being whisked off to heaven. Rousseau described this achingly beautiful chain of suspensions, with its exquisite interplay between soprano and mezzo, as “ the most perfect and touching duet to come from the pen of any composer."
The entire 40-minute mini-oratorio, while a product of the Baroque (Bach himself paid it homage) is written in the Italian “galant” style that had its final flowering in Haydn and Mozart, so this is a rare opportunity to hear it as the composer imagined it.
The other items in the program, by Johann Adolf Hasse, are worthy of the exalted company. Long-lived, and with opus numbers dwarfing those of Pergolesi, he was the most lauded operatic composer of his day, completing about 70 and writing hit arias for castrato superstar Farinelli, and the composer’s equally famous wife, mezzo-soprano Faustina Bordoni. Posthumous fame, alas eluded him, although these handsome excerpts from some of his dramatic works will convince you of its unfairness.
A spectacular matinee guaranteed to levitate your soul and the hairs on your neck.
Add an optional afternoon tea of scones with jam and cream plus unlimited tea and percolated coffee to make a day of it! *Pre-order available up to 48 hours prior to show. Available to collect from the café 1 hour prior to show time.
Selections from Oratorio Sanctus Petrus et Sancta Maria Magdelena and Motet Alte Nubes Illustrata
Celeste Lazarenko, soprano
Helen Sherman, mezzo soprano
The Australian Haydn Ensemble
Celeste Lazarenko and Helen Sherman, both hatchlings of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, have graced halls as illustrious as Wigmore, Royal Albert and Glyndebourne, before returning to Australia to perform award-winning roles and are dear friends of The AHE.The Australian Haydn Ensemble, (AHE) was founded in 2012 by Artistic Director and Principal Violinist Skye McIntosh, and is now in its twelfth year. AHE has quickly established itself as one of Australia’s leading period-instrument groups, specialising in the repertoire of the late Baroque and early Classical eras.
It takes its name from the great Joseph Haydn, a leading composer of the late 18th century. AHE’s flexibility and inventiveness are inspired by Haydn’s fabled originality and the virtuosic musicians he worked with at the court of Esterházy for almost 30 years. It performs in a variety of sizes and combinations, ranging from quartet, quintet or septet, to chamber orchestra with special guest soloists to a full orchestra with choir.