The 2019-2020 Season of the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra centers around operatic works and in keeping with our mission, we are presenting several musical selections from Eastern Europe.
Der Kaiser von Atlantis
The season begins with additional performances of last season’s Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis), sung in English, will be presented in October. Der Kaiser von Atlantis was created in 1943 at the Theresienstadt concentration camp, the “Artists Camp” that was used to deceive the Red Cross and the world to show how well the Jews were living under the “benevolent” protection of the Third Reich. SS officers attended a final rehearsal of Kaiser and were outraged by the subversive message. They shut down the production and shipped composer Viktor Ullmann, librettist Peter Kien, the entire cast, orchestra, and all their families to Auschwitz for immediate execution. Only the composition and several of the singers survived. This production and related programming is supported by a generous ArtWorks grant from The National Endowment of the Arts.
October 10th @ 7:00pm at the Garde Arts Center in New London, CT
October 13th @ 2:00pm at Bristol Community College in Fall River, MA
Daphnis et Eglé
The season continues with a staged production of the baroque opera Daphnis et Eglé by Jean-Philippe Rameau presented in collaboration with the Connecticut Lyric Opera. The charming love story Daphnis et Eglé will be presented sung in French with English subtitles. The production will feature an international cast of singers including several from the Virtuosi’s Summer Institute and Greve Opera Academy in Italy: soprano Nora Paunescu (Poland), soprano Maria Margiolakou (Greece), and soprano Chelsea Pall (Canada), tenor Joel Edwards, and baritone Samuel Bowen.
Friday October 11th @ 7:30pm at Trinity Arts Center in New Britain
Sunday October 20th @ 2pm at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.
Tristan und Isolde
Audiences will then be treated to a fully staged production of Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde sung in German with English subtitles, presented in collaboration with Connecticut Lyric Opera. Widely acknowledged as one of the pinnacles of the operatic repertoire, the influential Tristan und Isolde is notable for Wagner’s use of chromaticism, tonal ambiguity, orchestral color and harmonic suspension. The production will include international cast of singers.
Friday, November 8th @ 7:00pm at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain
Saturday, November 16th @ 7:00pm at Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center in Middletown
Sunday, November 17th @ 2:00pm at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford
Saturday November 30th @ 7:00pm at the Garde Arts Center in New London
Annual Polish Christmas Concert
The Connecticut Virtuosi will present the Music of Henryk Wieniawski & Annual Polish Christmas Concert with the Moniusko Choir. Adrian Sylveen, violin solo. This concert is presented in collaboration with the Polish Studies program at Central Connecticut State University.
Sunday December 15th @ 3:00pm Welte Hall at CCSU in New Britain
Orpheo ed Euridice
Following the start of the New Year, the company will present a staged production of the baroque opera Orpheo ed Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck in partnership with the Connecticut Lyric Opera. The Virtuosi Orchestra will be led by guest conductor Giacomo Benedetti who will travel from Florence, Italy to lead this production. Benedetti is currently organist in San Miniato al Monte Basilica and Santa Felicita Church a Ponte Vecchio, Florence. He has performed concerts as Organist, Pianist, Harpsichordist and Choir Director in Italy and internationally in Japan, Netherlands, United States of America, Mexico, Finland and Germany.
February 21st @ 7:30pm at Trinity on Main in New Britain
March 1st @ 2:00pm at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford
Lithuanian soprano Olga Schardt
The company will then pivot to an exciting evening of Russian arias and songs in a concert by the Lithuanian soprano Olga Schardt. Her operatic roles have included Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Marzelina in Fidelio, Cunegonde in Candide and Lapak in Cunning Little Vixen. In May 2011, Olga won the 2nd prize in Mario Lanza opera competition (Birmingham), ‘’Premio Rotary winner’’ and prize winner of concert in Lucern concert hall. Olga is currently a member of the Lithuanian Musician Society, and Director and teacher of her own music theatre for children in Klaipeda.
March 20 New Britain – (Location to be announced)
March 22 Wadsworth Atheneum Museum – Hartford
The season continues with the popular comic operetta Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II presented in collaboration with Connecticut Lyric Opera, sung in German with English subtitles. CLO Resident Director Jan Mason will direct this fully-staged production. The international cast of singers will be announced soon.
May 8 Trinity-On-Main Arts Center
May 17 Wadsworth Atheneum Museum – Hartford
May Date TBA Garde Arts Center – New London
May 30 – Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center in Middletown
Music of 20th Century Polish Composers
The Virtuosi Orchestra’s 21st season will close with a concert featuring the Music of 20th Century Polish Composers in collaboration with the Polish Studies Program at Central Connecticut State University. This concert is scheduled to take place during New Britain’s annual Polish Festival. Featuring the Moniuszko Choir and guest soloists.
Performance: May 31st New Britain (location to be announced).