The program is called All About Love so it’s only fitting that there be something old and something new when the Metropolis Ensemble opens its second season Thursday night at 8 pm at the spectacular Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts.
The “old” part of the concert will be supplied by Claudio Monteverdi’s dramatic three-voice “operatic scena” Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorind, the dramatic tale of battle between two lovers, Clorinda (a Moor) and Tancredi (a knight-Crusader). (Lucky for us all these Muslim-Christian conflicts are a thing of the past).
The “new” is composer-in-residence David Schiff’s song cycle, All About Love, set for tenor, mezzo-soprano, and chamber ensemble, and based on a collection of texts from Petrarch, Louise Labé , Melville, Marina Tsvetaeva, Keats, and Proust.
I’m not quite sure how they pulled it off but Schiff and musical director Andrew Cyr have lined up four of the hottest young singers in town to perform the program–tenor Thomas Glenn; mezzo Hai-Ting Chinn; soprano Melissa Fogarty and baritone and stage director Daniel Neer.
The Metropolis Ensemble, a non-profit chamber orchestra dedicated to unique and daring programming, was formed more than a year ago with idea of bringing together New York’s best musicians to perform in downtown venues and create programs that support new music in audience friendly environments.
“New music should be a cultural event, a celebration, and we aspire to make our concerts such events, where ambiance and context, as well as the social aspect (we worked hard to get wineries to donate free great wine, so it’s kind of a great value to attend, and a very party like feel) is an important element of the mix,” Cyr says.
The Metropolis Ensemble is a terrific organization with an ambitious agenda and, I might add, one of the sponsors of the Sequenza21 concert. It would be great if a lot of our regulars turn out for what is sure to be a terrific program. If someone would like to review it, I may be able to get you in free.
Thursday, October 19, 8 PM at The Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, 172 Norfolk Street, New York, NY 10002, 212-529-7194. To purchase tickets for “All About Love”, please visit www.metropolisensemble.org or call 917-930-6106.