The Monday after the Machaut show, part of our Borrowed Light crew went to the Futura Studios in Roslindale, to record a movie sound track. The soon-to-be-released film relates to our work with the Saarinen Dance Company. The Canadian production team (Raymond St Jean, director and Michel Ouelette) were with us at Futura, as well as our Finnish colleagues Tero Saarinen and Iiris Autio, who flew in from Helsinki.
We saw wonderful images on the screen as we generated the musical track; can’t wait to see the final product! More news soon…
Photo, from left to right: Deb Rentz-Moore, Anne Harley, Tero Saarinen, Anne Azéma, Raymond St Jean, Don Wilkinson, Tim Evans, Dan Hershey at Futura Studios, March 2013
It’s true, the crowd of people with numbers in their hands, waiting in line to hear our Cambridge concert resembled Zabar’s on Sunday morning….but we understand that everyone who waited was eventually seated.
Steven Ledbetter, former Boston Symphony Orchestra annotator, and critic for the Boston Musical Intelligencer, wrote: “We heard superb musicians, among the most highly regarded in this repertory in the worldwide company of early music performers. Technical issues were handled with aplomb, giving the impression that they have sung this music from birth… To hear a work of such historic significance and power in a complete liturgical setting … on the night before Easter, performed with such complete mastery of the materials and the style made for a thrilling sense of artistic time travel, a fact recognized by the enthusiastic standing ovation from the packed house. “
Another attendee blogged: “My wife and I were in tears so taken were we by Camerata’s thoughtful planning–the chapel, the singers, the music heard “
What a privilege for us, Camerata musicians, board, and staff, to share this incredible music with our Amherst and Cambridge audiences!
Photo: The Boston Camerata, Convivium Musicum and Anne Azéma: Ite Missa Est! Machaut Mass, Cambridge, March 2013
The Boston Musical Intelligencer has published a wonderful Conversation with Anne Azéma, in which she talks about the Camerata and the Machaut Mass.
Our Christmas concerts began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on December 9, where the magnificent St. Joseph Chapel was filled to the brim for “Puer Natus Est.” The audience greeted our processing musicians with whoops and cries of “bravo.” The Boston crew was assisted by the Milwaukee Chorale Artists (under the direction of Sharon Hansen), who sounded as smooth and fine as we remembered them from our previous collaboration “Powerful, spirited, and exquisitely controlled singing,” said Milwaukee Magazine. A lovely experience for all involved.
The feeling in the Schenectady, N.Y., hall a few days later was quieter and sadder than in Milwaukee, as we premièred the 2012 production of “Brotherhood of the Star.” The terrible shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, had just taken place, and the tenor of the Christmas celebration, inevitably, had changed. Joel Cohen began the evening (as he did in all subsequent performances) by dedicating the concert to the children of the world.
And so, we proceeded. And the magic of the Spanish and New World repertoire, the irrepressible life force that is in that music, took hold. As in each performance of “Brotherhood,” the audience rose to its feet as one person at concert’s end. Our Camerata crew gave its all, and the vital contributions by Les Fleurs des Caraïbes gave the rhumbas and guarachas the ring of eternity. Hope for a better tomorrow prevailed. “Wonderful performances,” said the Boston Musical Intelligencer. And our best wishes for 2013!
a. soloists of Puer Natus Est, Anne Harley, Anne Azéma, and Deborah Rentz-Moore
b. At a rehearsal with Joel Cohen and Les Fleurs des Caraïbes
December 2. 2012 – Concord, MA
We at Camerata, including Singing Centaur and all his associates, are party animals! And we were delighted by the musical party in Concord thrown a few weeks ago, in Camerata’s honor, by hosts Terry and Peter Yanulavitch along with Ronni Olitsky Young. The vibe was just right, the live early music (by Directors Past & Present, the current hot group on this circuit) perfect for the event, and the conviviality around excellent food and drink perfect for the just-past holiday season.
No need to be envious, now. Yes, you, too, can hear the Boston Camerata live in YOUR home, church or club — just ask us, you’d be surprised how easy it is. Don’t be shy, please tell us what you like!-)
Thanks, Terry and Ronni for being such fantastic hostesses (and thanks, Jeff Young, for the photo).
During 2012, Camerata produced TWO programs of early American music: “Patriots and Heroes,” a Patriot’s Day special, last April 16, and, most recently, “The Harvest, ” on October 28, at Harvard University.
The memory of those fine programs lingers on, but something more as well: some student-produced video clips of “Patriots,” including interesting interviews with some of the principals, have been posted on Youtube, and extensive excerpts from “The Harvest” can be heard via the WGBH website. And yes, we are working on a new Americana CD/media product. Stay tuned!
our photo: Anne, the Camerata, and the Harvard Choral Scholars, November 2012
Our secret sources tell us it was c-o-l-d in Finland last weekend. And especially so in the old, unheated warehouse building near Helsinki’s port, the place where shooting continued for an upcoming documentary film on Shaker spirituality and creativity. Camerata is a part of that production, and so is the Tero Saarinen Dance Company.
Singers Anne Azéma and Anne Harley therefore bundled up, and so did the Saarinen dancers, as the film crew from Québec used the unusual architectural space, and the waning Scandinavian light, to create some striking images of movement to music. In one of our photos you can see Tero, the choreographer, monitoring the scene as soprano Anne Harley and dancer Ninu Lindfors get ready for a take.
We are as curious as you to see the edited version. A previous shoot took place last month in Sabbathday Lake, Maine, and we anticipate doing musical post-production in Boston in a couple of months. We’ll keep you posted, and get some clips online, as soon as that is possible. Meanwhile, the two Annes are getting warm again.
What a joy to see our Shaker friends again (and what good meals they prepared for us!), and what a pleasure to work with a dedicated French-Canadian film crew on location at the Shaker Village.
The subject of the upcoming documentary film is Shaker spirituality as expressed in the arts, and participating in singing and interviews on location in early October were Anne Azéma, Joel Cohen and longtime colleague and associate, basso Joel Frederiksen. All of us on the musician side are veterans of prior recording at Sabbathday Lake, and all of us loved the opportunity to return to the special beauty of Shaker song in the environment from which it grew.
The next phase of the project will take place in Helsinki, Finland, as some of us sing while Tero Saarinen’s peerless dancers take us through some of the choreography to Borrowed Light. The producer tells us to expect at March, 2013 release; we’ll keep you posted.
In our photo, director Raymond Saint Jean and Anne Azéma prepare to shoot an interview (in a very cold room!)
It was our second invitation to the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, in tandem as before with the Tero Saarinen Dance Company of Helsinki. And Tero’s magnificent choreography to “Borrowed Light,”
along with the transcendentally beautiful singing of Shaker songs by eight Boston Camerata soloists, had the audience on its feet, clapping and cheering, after every one of the six performances.
We love the “vibe” of that place, its happy marriage of friendly summer conviviality in a beautiful environment with topnotch professional organization. And we thank the Camerata friends and supporters, including board members Sandi Bagley, David Griesinger, and David Levine, for making the trek out to the Berkshires to share the moment with the musicians and dancers. The next “Borrowed Light” performances are currently in the planning stage — as is a documentary film! More on those developments later…
Our farflung correspondents on the other coast tell us that Camerata’s first international tour of 2012 went very well, with capacity audiences and standing ovations in both Vancouver and Seattle, Washington. Anne’s magical program of song and storytelling around Alexander the Great was beautifully performed at both venues by our own soloists, in collaboration with Mehmet Sanlikol’s Dünya ensemble: “a hypnotic and fascinating evening of music” (music blog SunBreak.)
Next, Anne heads to Eugene, Oregon to teach classes and prepare a student version of The Knight’s Tale. Back in Boston, we’re gearing up for a weeklong sumer residency at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. And the beat goes on.