Opera in Hamburg, 1704-1705

Collegium Vocale of Saint Louis
A Not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Organization
5112 Westminster Place
Saint Louis, Missouri, 63108

Press Release

For Immediate Release: October 9, 2012

Contact: Bruce Carvell, CVSL Artistic Director, (314) 650-3817,bcarvell@earthlink.net

Collegium Vocale of Saint Louis to Perform “Opera in Hamburg, 1704-1705”

St. Louis, Missouri – The COLLEGIUM VOCALE OF SAINT LOUIS is proud to present “Opera in Hamburg, 1704-1705,” a selection of arias and duets from three operas produced at the Oper am Gänsemarkt (Goose Market Theatre) of Hamburg, Germany. The operas are Cleopatra by Johann Mattheson, Octavia by Reinhard Keiser, and G. F. Handel’s first opera, Almira. The concert will be presented at Koburg Hall, Concordia Seminary, Clayton, Missouri on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Who: COLLEGIUM VOCALE OF SAINT LOUIS — one of St. Louis’ premier vocal chamber music ensembles specializing in historically informed performance of music of the Baroque period

What: “Opera in Hamburg, 1704-1705”
When: Sunday, October 21, 2012
3:00 p.m.
Where: Concordia Seminary – Koburg Hall
801 Seminary Place
Clayton, Missouri, 63105

Supported by the wealthy commercial class in Hamburg, the Goose Market Theatre was the first public opera house outside of Italy. Between its opening in 1678 and closing in 1750, German and Italian operas were performed there two or three days a week during the season. The selections chosen for this program are representative of the works produced there and reflect the beautiful melodies and colorful instrumentation of this style. Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739) was director of the orchestra (1695-1718) and the theatre (1703-1707), as well as a prolific composer. Johann Mattheson (1681-1764) is best remembered as a theoretician and writer on music, but was well respected in his day as a composer. Georg Friderich Händel (1685-1759) came to Hamburg to play in the theatre orchestra and began composing opera at Hamburg under the influence of Keiser and Mattheson, among others. The Collegium Vocale will be supported in this concert by an ensemble of excellent Baroque instrumentalists from the Midwest.

The concert venue, Koburg Hall, features ornamental stone and glass related to the history of Christianity and Lutheranism outside of the United States, particularly the painted glass medallions that link to the great confession of the Lutheran Church, the Augsburg Confession, adopted at Augsburg, Germany, while Luther was being protected at the Koburg Castle by his friends. The original buildings on the Concordia Seminary campus, Koburg among them, were built between 1924-1926 when the campus was dedicated in the presence of some 75,000 Lutherans, many of whom had traveled great distances to attend. While Koburg was originally a dining facility and still serves that purpose today, in the 1960s and 70s, it served also as a venue for musical events featuring the American Kantorei and other groups.

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. Its members are Christine Johnson and Nancy Luetzow, sopranos, Roberta Hmiel, contralto, Bruce Carvell and Willard Cobb, tenors, David Berger, bass, and Liz Horsley, harpsichord. Bruce Carvell, Ph.D., is the Artistic Director.