You are here

Sat, Nov 18, 2017 5:00pm –
Sat, Nov 18, 2017 9:00pm –

The Flea Theater
20 Thomas Street
New York, NY 10007

ARTEK, Music @ The Flea

Lasciatemi Morire: Beyond Monteverdi

ARTEK has become well-known as America’s foremost ensemble interpreting the madrigal repertoire of the 16th and 17 centuries. Last spring, ARTEK premiered a new theatrical show combining madrigals and poetry in a cabaret-inspired setting that was an instant hit with audiences. In November, 2017, ARTEK will remount the show at The Flea Theater in Tribeca.

The great Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), undisputed master of the early 17th century, received his reputation in large part because of the famous Lamento d’Arianna, “Lasciatemi morire,” a solo tour de force from his lost opera Arianna (1608) set to poetry by Rinuccini. The scene depicted in the Lamento is Arianna, abandoned on a beach by her faithless lover, Theseus; in despair, she contemplates suicide. However, Monteverdi’s first publication of the Lamento in 1614 was not the original version for solo voice but instead as a five-part madrigal cycle. ARTEK’s program Lasciatemi Morire: Beyond Monteverdi is an exploration of Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna, from the predecessors inspiring Monteverdi, to the imitators inspired by Monteverdi. The program includes, in addition to Monteverdi’s Lamento D’Arianna and madrigals by Prè Maria Riccio (fl. c.1544), Stefano Rossetti (d. c.1581), Pietro Vinci (c.1525-after 1584), and Claudio Pari (1574-after 1619). The madrigals display a progression of increasing emotional intensity, culminating in the masterpieces of Monteverdi, but the mannerist late madrigals of Pari are also fascinating in their extreme dissonances and expressivity.

The ARTEK production goes one step further in presenting the character Arianna herself. Singer/actress Sarah Chalfy, known for her work in both classical music and musical theater, reminds us that Arianna did not die on the beach, but instead married the god of wine and fertility, Bacchus. Ms. Chalfy’s portrayal brings a sassy, sexy Arianna to life, with charming, playful spoken narrative interspersed with the sung madrigals. Ms. Chalfy also sings solos by Giulio and Francesca Caccini, who along with Monteverdi were masters of the new style of solo recitative singing that reached its height in Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna.

The madrigals will be sung by Laura Heimes, soprano; Barbara Hollinshead, mezzo-soprano; Ryland Angel, countertenor; Philip Anderson, tenor; Peter Becker, bass-baritone. Gwendolyn Toth will direct and accompany.

The performance will take place in the new ground floor space called The Pete. Seating will be at small café tables, with complimentary wine offered to the audience.