The Orfeó Català Girls Choir is a group of treble voices made up of 40 singers aged 16 to 25. This season will seem them presenting Stabat Mater , a work by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, a Baroque composer who died young (1710-1736), having composed this particular piece at the end of his life, when he was ill with tuberculosis and knew he would probably die. Divided into ten movements, the work speaks of the suffering of the Virgin Mary during the crucifixion of her son, Jesus. The Orfeó Català Girls Choir will be performing with Vespres d’Arnadí, a group created in 2005 by Dani Espasa (playing the harpsichord in this concert) and Pere Saragossa, to perform, with the utmost freshness, but with period instruments and criteria, pieces from the baroque repertoire. Taking part in the performance are the soprano Ulrike Haller, an Italian singer, the Choir’s voice coach and a frequent collaborator with the Palau de la Música, among other Catalan music institutions, and the mezzo-soprano Marta Infante, a Lleida-born artist born who is very active in the field of lieder, performing with the country’s leading symphony institutions.
The concert’s staging has been designed by Davo Marín and Carme Milán. Both have created and performed the choreography of this concert stage-directed by Marc Rosich, a director and playwright who has enjoyed an intense relationship with music throughout his career (having written librettos for cantatas and operas and stage-managed concerts) and who is also presenting and directing his text production of Isadora at this edition of the Barcelona Grec Festival.
A charming piece, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater is one of the most-performed works of 18th-century sacred music and will be part of the Choir’s seasonal repertoire this summer, in conjunction with the Vespres d’Arnadí Orchestra with a unique stage offering.
The programme is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, with the aim of exalting her figure and illustrating one of the most difficult times in her life: the suffering and death of her son. It is also intended to pay homage to every mother in the world who has suffered and is grieving for the loss of a child and has to fight for the rest of her life to imagine, far away from grief, a place for their young children: may you stay in the arms of the angels.
Hence the performances too, focusing on the Stabat Mater of the piece O Virgo Splendens from Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (14th century); Ave Regina Caelorum by the French baroque-period composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier; the creation Wiegala by the Jewish writer and composer Ilse Weber, who died in 1944 in Auschwitz; Maggie Siff’s song May you stay in the arms of the Angels; Lux aeterna, by the Canadian composer Sarah Quartel, and Salve Regina by the Hungarian Miklós Kocsár.
An Orfeó Català – Palau de la Música Foundation co-production.
Stage director: Marc Rosich Music director: Buia Reixach i Feixes Music performed by: Orfeó Català Girls Choir, Vespres d’Arnadí Soloists: Ulrike Haller (soprano), Marta Infante (mezzo-soprano), Dani Espasa (harpsichord) Choreography and dance: Davo Marín, Carme Milán
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