Marin Baroque’s debut concert was last Saturday, June 16, and it was a wonderful success!
We were all thrilled with how the instrumentalists, choir, and soloists performed.
Our Music Director/Conductor, Daniel Canosa, conducted both the Bach Cantata 106 and Vivaldi’s Beatus Vir. One of our choir members, Nick Burdick, conducted the three pieces by Salamone Rossi. The Rossi set included Vo ‘fuggir lontan da te, a duet for soprano and alto that I sang with Elsa Nicol.
The First Presbyterian Church was packed for the event. The audience and performers all had to deal with beastly hot weather, even though the concert was at night! There was a lovely reception afterward, with lots of congratulating and celebrating along with the food and drink.
The Marin Independent Journal ran a very nice article about our brand new music ensemble just a few days prior to the concert, which was great publicity:
ALTHOUGH THERE ARE numerous Baroque ensembles that perform throughout the Bay Area, from Santa Cruz to Berkeley to San Francisco, Marin hasn’t had a Baroque ensemble for a long time.
That will change on June 16, when the newly formed Marin Baroque presents its inaugural performance with featured instrumentalist Shira Kammen, whom the Boston Globe calls “a wonderfully sophisticated and inventive performer.”
The program consists of Bach’s Cantata 106, Actus Tragicus, Vivaldi’s double-choir Beatus Vir and selected Hebrew Baroque works of Rossi.
“There is a treasure of artists, singers and instrumentalists in Marin and that’s what we want to bring here, and to do it Marin style — a little bit more free, a little bit more creative, more alive, more energetic, more creative,” says Daniel Canosa, the Argentinean music director at San Anselmo’s First Presbyterian Church and San Francisco’s Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, who cofounded the ensemble with Betsy Levine-Proctor in October.
Using period instruments such as organs, violoncellos and violas for which Baroque music were written changes the experience.
“Baroque music has an immediacy,” notes Canosa of Terra Linda, founder and music director of the Apollo Baroque Orchestra in the Sierra Foothills and Sacramento’s Camerata California.
“It’s much more connected to the human experience, of the melody, of the breath, the phrase; it’s not this super-enormous experience that a symphony will give you.”
Levine-Proctor had been singing with Canosa for another choir when she asked him if he’d be interested in forming a Baroque orchestra in Marin. He jumped at the chance.
After auditioning dozens of musicians and singers, Levine-Proctor and Canosa have gathered 18 professional singers, including 12 from Marin, and 12 instrumentalists, many who perform with American Bach Soloists and Philharmonia Baroque.
The 2012-13 season will begin with “Amor Scaro e Amor Profano,” featuring Venetian Baroque pieces, on Nov. 17 and will include a presentation on “Music, Memories, and your Brain” by neuroscientist Petr Janata of UC Davis’ Center for Mind and Brain.
The four-concert season, which will be at various indoor and outdoor venues, will end in June.
“One of our high-level singers said to me, ‘Marin County really needs this because we’re tired of having to go across bridges to get really high-quality Baroque music,'” Levine-Proctor says. “There’s a hole here.”