November 16, 7:30 pm, Vermont Academy, Saxtons River
Sunday, November 18, 3 pm, Latchis Theatre, Brattleboro
The opening concert of the Windham Orchestra’s 2012-13 season highlights the music of England, Music Director Hugh Keelan’s home country. “British Jubilee” will be performed on Friday, November 16 in Saxtons River, VT and Sunday, November 18 in Brattleboro, VT.
Sir Edward Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations takes center stage with support from Frederick Delius’ “Irmelin Prelude” and Benjamin Britten’s “Serenade” for Tenor, Horn and Strings.
“In our opening concert, we see how powerful, emotive, sentimental, generous, macabre and weird the British are!” says Keelan in typical self-deprecating British humor.
“Thank you for having me as your travel guide! I have personal associations with two of the composers. To play this music while living in America brings up deep feelings and love for the music of my own country, now at some distance.”
Edward Elgar's “Enigma” is much more than a work of musical cryptography, it is a deeply endearing set of portraits of friends, family and self. For musicologists, historians and other sleuths, the guessing games and layers of puzzle are fascinating, but what puts this work at the top of the orchestral repertoire is how warm and revealing the music is of these personalities close to Elgar. It is fifteen character studies about love.
Benjamin Britten's “Serenade” for tenor voice, french horn and string orchestra with wonderful local soloists James Anderson and Victoria Eisen tells of the many moods of the night: weary, fantastical, bathed in moonlight, erotic, nightmarish, gentle – six nocturnal studies expressed in music and English poetry across six hundred years.
Alongside these mighty and subtle masterpieces the Windham Orchestra performs a little gem, the orchestral Prelude based on Frederick Delius' opera “Irmelin”. This is a tearjerker, expressive of love and loss, sadness and blissful memory entwined together.
Tenor soloist James Anderson has enjoyed a career of constant demand in opera houses and concert halls throughout Europe, the United States, South America and Africa. As a member of the ensemble at German opera companies in Duesseldorf, Kassel and Munich, Anderson`s opera repertoire has been very broad with leading roles in over 150 opera, operetta and Broadway musical roles.
Recently Anderson has recorded Russian opera with Maestro Rostropovich, and with Ramon Vargas, earned a Grammy nomination for a recording of early Verdi Arias. He is seen in Zubin Mehta’s film rendition of Wagner’s Tannhauser, and recently returned to France for performances of Wagner´s Die Meistersinger.
In 2004, Anderson returned to the US, and now resides with his family in Brattleboro. Locally he was the Stage Director for the recent production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and sang in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and the Windham Orchestra’s Beethoven’s Ninth. In addition to teaching singing, he enjoys lecturing on “the performing of opera” for the Live in HD Met performances at the Latchis Theatre.
Victoria Eisen has an extensive career as a French hornist. She has held long-term principal horn positions with the Stamford Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of New York and Solisti New York. She has also made frequent appearances with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New York City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, and in numerous Broadway musical productions.
Eisen is the Founder and Artistic Director of Unity Hills Arts Centers International, a charitable aid organization whose primary aim is to bring the arts of all cultures to under served communities across the world. She received her Masters degree from The Juilliard School and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Purchase College Conservatory of Music.
Victoria Eisen grew up in New York City and currently resides in New York City, Vermont, and Copenhagen (Denmark). She is the proud mother of three children.
The Windham Orchestra invites everyone to its all British-concert, with an extraordinary range of expression that crosses all national boundaries.
The Windham Orchestra will perform “British Jubilee” on Friday, November 16, 7:30 pm, at Vermont Academy, in Saxtons River, VT; and Sunday, November 18, 3 pm, at Latchis Theatre, in Brattleboro, VT.
As part of its mission to make music accessible to all, the Windham Orchestra is offering admission to “British Jubilee” by donation. For advance tickets call the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523 or visit bmcvt.org. For more information about the Orchestra visit windhamorchestra.org.