CAPPELLA ROMANA Invited to Perform at the Utrecht Early Music Festival
Utrecht, Netherlands, September 2014
Cappella Romana is thrilled to announce that the Festival Oudemuziek (Early Music Festival) in Utrecht, Netherlands, has invited Cappella Romana to appear in this year’s festival on September 7, 2014 (oudemuziek.nl).
The program will be “The Fall of Constantinople,” directed by Alexander Lingas and first performed by Cappella Romana to capitvated audiences in January 2002 just months after the September 11, 2001 attacks. It was later booked by a number of early music festivals across North America, at the J. Paul Getty Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was relased in 2006 as a CD, which Gramophone has called “a captivating recital.”
The Utrecht Early Music Festival is the world’s biggest festival of historic music, featuring over 120 concerts in 45 venues in the old center of Utrecht. Last year’s festival featured such ensembles as Stile Antico, Sequentia, Concerto Italiano, the Latvian Radio Choir, and the Huelgas Ensemble.
The invitation to the festival came after a scout from Utrecht heard Cappella Romana’s performance in May 2013 at the Tage Alter Musik (Early Music Days) in Regensburg, Germany. The Mittelbayerische Zeitung reported that the concert was “Outstanding: the concert by Cappella Romana was heard by about 600 people, at midnight, in the Dominican church. The organizers could hardly explain this success.”
“The Fall of Constantinople” opens with a Byzantine Entrance Rite as would have been sung in the cathedral Hagia Sophia, followed by the so-called “Byzantine” motets of the West’s most important composer of the 15th century, Guillaume Dufay, who wrote these for such occasions as the rededication of the cathedral of St. Andrew in Patras, Greece, a wedding between an Italian princess and the son of the Byzantine emperor, and the Council of Florence/Ferrara.
The program concludes with two heart-renching laments for the Fall of the City, one by the leading Byzantine musician of the 15th century, Manuel Chrysaphes, who served the Imperial Constantinopolitan court, and the other by Dufay, the West’s most famous composer of the era.
Portland, Oregon, (home to Cappella Romana) and Utrecht, Netherlands are currently exploring a Sister-City relationship, inspired in part by the craft brewing scene in both cities. Cappella Romana will add a musical component to this inter-city exchange effort!