Two luminaries in the performance of Early Music, soprano Ellen Hargis and lutenist and Eastman School of Music Professor Paul O’Dette, will present a recital of Italian Baroque songs and music in Kilbourn Hall at 8 p.m. Friday, April 24.
The evening’s repertoire, ranging from an expressive cantata based on the Orpheus legend to a hilarious work featuring a singer with a large ego, will showcase the talents of Hargis, called “the Baroque music diva” by The New Yorker, and O’Dette, described as “the greatest living lutenist” by Stereophile.
Hargis and O’Dette have been friends and colleagues for more than 25 years. Their tours around the globe as a duo have earned rave reviews for their dramatic, imaginative, and amusing voice and lute collaborations.
The program of 17th century music they will present in Kilbourn Hall features four cantatas by Barbara Strozzi, the leading female composer of vocal music in the early-Baroque era. Hargis also will sing works by Alessandro Scarlatti and Antonio Cesti. O’Dette will accompany Hargis on the theorbo, a plucked-string instrument similar to a lute but with a long neck and a second peg-box. In addition, O’Dette will perform solo instrumental works by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger and Alessandro Piccinini.
Hargis is recognized as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of 17th and 18th century music. She is a frequent collaborator with ensembles including The King’s Noyse, The Newberry Consort, Tragicomedia, Piffaro, Theatre of Voices, and the Mozartean Players. She has been a soloist with the Estonian National Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra, New York Collegium, American Bach Soloists, and other ensembles. Hargis has appeared at the world’s leading festivals, including the Utrecht Festival, the St. Petersburg Early Music Festival, and the Resonanzen Festival in Vienna, and performs leading roles in baroque opera productions at the Boston Early Music Festival. She has made more than 40 recordings that embrace repertoire from medieval to contemporary music. Hargis teaches voice at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
O’Dette is renowned for his recitals and recordings of virtuoso solo lute music and is artistic director of the Boston Early Music Festival. He performs at major international music festivals in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Japan. O’Dette is also active as an ensemble musician and performs with such groups as Tafelmusik, The Parley of Instruments, and Tragicomedia. He has conducted numerous Baroque orchestras throughout North America and Europe, as well as operas at Tanglewood, the Boston and Utrecht Early Music Festivals, and the Drottningholm Court Theatre. As musical and artistic director of the Boston Early Music Festival, he has conducted recordings of three of those operas, resulting in three consecutive Grammy nominations for “Best Opera of the Year.” He is heard on more than 130 CDs and won a Grammy for a recording of Purcell songs with Sylvia McNair. In addition to his activities as a performer, O’Dette has published numerous articles on Renaissance and Baroque performance practice. He has served as Director of Early Music at the Eastman School since 1976.
Tickets to the duo’s recital are $8 to $18 general admission; $6 to $16 University of Rochester faculty and staff with UR ID; $5 to $15 students with student ID. Tickets are on sale at the Rochester Philharmonic Box Office, 108 East Ave.; by phone (585) 454-2100; or online at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts/tickets.php.
Hargis’s and O’Dette’s presentation takes place during the annual conference of the Society for Seventeenth Century Music, which is being hosted by the Eastman School of Music this year. About 100 people from the United States and Europe are expected to attend the research presentations.
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Friday, April 24
Recital of Baroque music by Ellen Hargis, soprano, and Paul O’Dette, lute
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Tickets: $8 to $18 general admission; $6 to $16 for University of Rochester faculty and staff with UR ID; and $5 to $15 students with student ID; on sale at the RPO Box Office, 108 East Ave.; by phone (585) 454-2100; or online at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts/tickets.php .