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2006 SEASON OF ASTON MAGNA AT BARD OPENS ON JUNE 30 WITH AN ALL-MOZART PROGRAM FEATURING SOPRANO DOMINIQUE LABELLE Series Celebrates Mozart’s 250th Birthday with Performances of His Music, Along with Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and Monteverdi’s Orfeo
Emily M. Darrow
ANNDANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The summer 2006 series, Aston Magna at Bard, returns with six programs beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Fridays, June 30 through August 4, at Bard College’s Olin Hall. Preconcert talks begin at 7:00 p.m. As part of Aston Magna’s celebration of Mozart’s 250th birthday, the first four concerts highlight the maestro’s music. Violinist and Aston Magna artistic director Daniel Stepner guides the series that the New York Times describes as “America’s preeminent summer early-music event.” A six-concert subscription is $110; three or more different concerts in a “make your own” subscription are $20 each; and single tickets are $25. For further information and reservations, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.
The series opens on Friday, June 30, with an all-Mozart program that includes two perennial favorites by the composer, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525, and the Exsultate, jubilate, K. 165. The second half of the program presents an unstaged performance of an early singspiel by Mozart, Bastien und Bastienne, with soprano Dominique Labelle, tenor William Hite and baritone David Ripley. Daniel Stepner leads an ensemble of string, oboes, and horns.
The crescendo of “A Mozart Crescendo,” on Friday, July 7, progresses from duos to quintets, and features the String Quartet in A Major, K. 464, and the turbulent Viola Quintet in G Minor, K. 516. Performers include violinists Stepner and Nancy Wilson, violists David Miller and Laura Jeppesen, and cellist Loretta O’Sullivan.
Poetry and music are united in the third program, “Mozart, Schubert, and Goethe,” on Friday, July 14. Soprano Sharon Baker performs lieder by Mozart and Schubert, including several of the latter’s Mignon set, and “L’amerò sarò costante” from Mozart’s Il rè pastore. Fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout and violinist Daniel Stepner, join Baker and perform instrumental works by Mozart and Schubert.
The fourth concert, on Friday, July 21, features the third all-Mozart program, including the Adagio and Rondo, K. 617, for glass harmonica, strings, and winds, as well as the composer’s own arrangements of excerpts from The Magic Flute for two instruments. Actress Lisa Bailoff narrates the story. The program is rounded out with quartets for flute and oboe. Daniel Stepner leads the ensemble of strings and winds.
On Friday, July 28, harpsichordist John Gibbons performs Johann Sebastian Bach’s probing monument to variation form, the Goldberg Variations.
The final concert of the series, on Friday, August 4, is a semistaged version of Monteverdi’s Orfeo—a story of the power of music and the frailty of the human soul. The cast includes tenor Frank Kelley as Orfeo, and sopranos Roberta Anderson and Laurie Monahan,
countertenor Jeffrey Gall, tenor William Hite, and baritone David Ripley as madrigalists. Stepner leads the instrumental ensemble.
Aston Magna at Bard is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Endowment at Bard College. The Aston Magna Festival is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Friends of Aston Magna.
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[Editor’s Note: The Aston Magna series is repeated on Saturday evenings, from July 1, through August 5, at the Daniel Arts Center at the Great Barrington, Massachusett’s, campus of Simon’s Rock College of Bard. Single tickets are priced at $35, with discounts for subscriptions. Student/senior discount tickets may be purchased at the door, as available, on concert days. For further information about the Great Barrington concerts, call 800-875-7156 or visit www.astonmagna.org. In addition, Concert 4 of the series is repeated on Monday, July 24, at 8:00 p.m. at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts. For ticket information, call 413-458-0524 or visit www.clark.art.]
This event was last updated on 08-10-2006