BMOP Rekindles "Midsummer Marriage" at Jordan Hall 11/10
November 10, 2012
SAT 11.10 @ 7:30PM The Midsummer Marriage (Concert Performance)
*New England premiere*
Where: Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough Street), Boston, T: Symphony.
Tickets: To purchase tickets, contact the Jordan Hall Box Office at 617.585.1260 or visit www.bmop.org.
Music + Libretto by Sir Michael Tippett (1905-1998)
Premiered: Jan 27, 1955 at London, Royal Opera House Covent Garden
Soloists: Julius Ahn, tenor; Sara Heaton, soprano; David Kravitz, baritone; Deborah Selig, soprano; Matthew DiBattista, tenor; Joyce Castle, mezzo-soprano
Originally scheduled to receive its New England premiere in February 2012 by Opera Boston (of which BMOP’s Gil Rose was formerly the artistic director), The Midsummer Marriage performance never came to fruition since the opera company shuttered its doors in 2011. Thanks to BMOP, Boston audiences now have a chance to hear Tippett’s first and most celebrated opera. “BMOP is thrilled to be entering its 17th season on such a high note,” exclaims Gil Rose, artistic director/conductor of BMOP. “The long-awaited performance of The Midsummer Marriage will finally make its local premiere to much anticipation. And, we couldn’t be more excited to share the stage with such fabulous vocalists including Julius Ahn, Sara Heaton, David Kravitz, and Joyce Castle.”
The Midsummer Marriage is a three-act English fantasy inspired by Greek drama, religion, literature, psychology and theatre. The libretto concerns the problems faced by two pairs of lovers: Mark and Jenifer, and Jack and Bella, that must be overcome before they can marry. Tippett draws from elements of The Magic Flute, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Eliot’s The Waste Land, the legend of the Fisher King who guards the Holy Grail, and Jungian ideas of archetypes and the collective unconscious. The themes of rebirth and purification of love before marriage are alluded to throughout.
Audiences can hear the frenzied fervor of Tippett’s music specifically in the four Ritual Dances from Acts II and III which was turned into a concert suite and has subsequently become one of Tippett’s best-known works.