The Collegium Vocale of St. Louis, in collaboration with St. Louis Shakespeare, is proud to present “Shakespeare Text in Musical Dress” a program of musical settings of Shakespeare texts from the later 17th and early 18th centuries.
The program will be offered on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at the Link Auditorium, 4504 Westminster Ave. Dr. Bruce Carvell, Artistic Director of the Collegium Vocale of St. Louis, will give introductory remarks before the concert, and a reception with a chance to meet the performers will follow immediately after the concert.
Featured will be musical settings of texts from Macbeth, Cymbeline, and The Winter’s Tale, among others, by composers such as William Boyce, Maurice Greene, and several less well-known composers. Some of these pieces were used during actual productions during the period following the re-opening of the theatres in England after 1660, while others were independent pieces written as a composer’s response to the texts.
The singers of the Collegium Vocale will be accompanied by period instruments, including violins, cello, theorbo, and harpsichord. In addition, we will be joined by members of St. Louis Shakespeare, who will perform excerpts from the plays which will surely enhance the audience experience.
This is the Collegium Vocale’s first opportunity to perform in the historic Link Auditorium. This magnificent space, designed for the Wednesday Club in 1908 by noted architect Theodore Link, features a splendid acoustic along with many architectural delights.
The COLLEGIUM VOCALE OF ST. LOUIS is an ensemble devoted to presenting historically informed performances of a diverse and wide-ranging repertory of seventeenth and eighteenth century music.
Reflections of the Artistic Director on the 2018-19 Concert Season of
The Collegium Vocale of St. Louis.
This was an unusual season for the Collegium Vocale.
In the first place, due to unexpected challenges in our funding, we had to cancel our Fall concert. This was intended to be a program of François Couperin’s smaller sacred pieces to celebrate the 350th anniversary of his birth. However, we were able to present this program in April at the magnificent Old St. Ferdinand Shrine in Florissant, MO, which proved to be an inspired matching of place and material. These remarkable compositions of Couperin sounded at their very best in the splendid acoustic of the Shrine and were further enhanced by the visual details of its architecture. Our talented performers rose to the challenges of this demanding program and acquitted themselves well to the delight of our enthusiastic audience. I think this success will inspire us to investigate more French music in the future.
In February, our concert of Christoph Graupner cantatas was presented at the Concordia Luthern Church in Kirkwood, This was a new venue for us, but one to which we hope to return in the future. This, our fifth bi-annual Graupner concert revealed the beauties of yet another four sacred cantatas of Graupner. We are proud to be part of the international
re-discovery of this wonderful composer. Next year, for our February offering I plan to program two cantatas by J. S. Bach, and two cantata by Graupner, all of which had been used as audition pieces when both composers sought the position of Cantor at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. It should by a fascinating opportunity to examine the works of these two contemporaries.
We plan to offer a program of Baroque music composed for Shakespeare’s plays in the 17th and 18th centuries, in the Fall. The Spring program will feature cantatas and other music of Giovanni and Antonio Bononcini, two highly respected and admired composers who were brothers.
I am very pleased and proud that, despite some unanticipated challenges, the Collegium Vocale was able to present two fine concerts for our loyal audience, and for new concert goers. Each concert explored a little known and rarely heard repertory, an accomplishment that supports our mission of presenting high-quality, entertaining and educational programs throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. I look forward to another exciting season next year and hope you will join us.