Press Room

Caramoor’s Vocal Offerings Include Chamber Operas from Boston Early Music Festival, Vivica Genaux in Concert, Festival Debut of American Modern Opera Company, and More

Caramoor continues its longstanding tradition of presenting the best in classical vocal music this summer, with a world premiere, two festival debuts, the return of some familiar faces, and an ongoing engagement with Baroque opera. Highlights of the summer include “VERSAILLES: Portrait of a Royal Domain,” comprising two chamber operas that celebrate the French royal court, presented by the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF); renowned mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux in concert with New York Baroque Incorporated; countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and tenor Paul Appleby in a performance with composer/pianist Matthew Aucoin, in the festival debut of their new American Modern Opera Company (AMOC); and bass-baritone Davóne Tines joining the Dover Quartet for music of Barber and Caroline Shaw, the latter as part of a summer-long spotlight on the music of the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer. The festival’s 74th summer season offers these events and much more, all presented on Caramoor’s 90-acre estate in Katonah, Westchester, filled with picturesque Italianate architecture and gardens, and just one hour’s drive from Manhattan.

Perfectly complementing the idyllic landscape, last season began a revived effort to regularly bring Baroque opera to the Caramoor stage, in the tradition of productions from decades past including Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Cavalli’s L’Ormindo, and Handel’s Semele with Beverly Sills in the title role, not to mention last season’s production of Handel’s Atalanta. This season that effort is reflected in the Caramoor debut of the Boston Early Music Festival. The BEMF will remount its 2016 production, “VERSAILLES: Portrait of a Royal Domain,” featuring two chamber operas: Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles and Lalande’s Les Fontaines de Versailles, as well as divertissements from Lully’s Atys. Music directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, stage director Gilbert Blin, and choreographer Carlos Fittante bring the court of Louis XIV to life with lavish costumes, Baroque dance, and evocative staging. A pre-concert conversation with the artists will take place on the stage of the Venetian Theater one hour before the performance (June 23).

With an international career spanning more than two decades and a repertoire encompassing over 60 operatic roles, American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux – recipient of the City of Halle’s prestigious 2017 Händel-Preis – is in such demand around the world that her appearance at Caramoor this season represents a rare opportunity to hear her in her native country. It also marks a welcome return for the artist who was first introduced to New York audiences at Caramoor in 1996 in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, and returned many times over the next decade. Conductorless period instrument ensemble New York Baroque Incorporated, headed by Artistic and Executive Director Wen Yang, joins Genaux for the Venetian Theater performance, which features Baroque arias by Handel, Vivaldi and Hasse, punctuated by a Corelli concerto grosso and Vivaldi’s “L’inverno” from The Four Seasons (June 30).

AMOC is a recently-formed collective of some of the most exciting artists of the rising generation. Composer and 2018 MacArthur Fellow Matthew Aucoin, one of the company’s two artistic directors, will collaborate as pianist with two other members, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and tenor Paul Appleby, for a program titled “Veils for Desire,” exploring music that “veils” or transforms an unspeakable desire into a new, mysterious form. Anchoring the program is a performance by both singers of Benjamin Britten’s dramatic canticle Abraham and Isaac, accompanied by Aucoin on piano. Also included is the world premiere of Harold Meltzer’s The Heaven of Animals; Aucoin’s This Earth, composed for Costanzo on a passage from Dante’s Purgatorio that Aucoin translated himself; and excerpts from Aucoin’s Merrill Songs, composed for Appleby. The performance takes place in the Spanish Courtyard (July 25).

Called a “singer of immense power and fervor” by the LA Times and a “charismatic, full-voiced bass-baritone” by the New York Times, Davóne Tines is also member of the nascent AMOC. Increasingly in demand as a singer and creative force around the world, he has starred in recent operas by Kaija Saariaho, John Adams, and Matthew Aucoin, and co-created and starred in The Black Clown at American Repertory Theater last September. Last year at Caramoor he performed with the Philharmonia Baroque in Atalanta. He joins the Dover Quartet this summer in a performance of Caroline Shaw’s By and By – Tines being the only person other than herself that the composer allows to perform it – and Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach, from which the quartet takes its name. There will be a pre-concert conversation with the artists on stage one hour before the performance, which takes place in the Spanish Courtyard (July 12).

For high-resolution photos, click here.

About Caramoor

Caramoor is a performing arts center located on a unique 90-acre estate with Italianate architecture and gardens in Westchester County, NY. It enriches the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality. Its mission also includes mentoring young professional musicians and providing educational programs for young children centered around music. Audiences are invited to come early to explore the beautiful grounds; tour the historic Rosen House, a stunning mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places; unwind with a pre-concert picnic or concessions with beer and wine; enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea on Wednesdays and Sundays; and discover beautiful music in the relaxed settings of the Venetian Theater, Spanish Courtyard, Music Room of the Rosen House, and magnificent gardens. Summer concerts take place in two outdoor theaters: the acoustically superb Venetian Theater, which seats approximately 1,500, and the more intimate, romantic Spanish Courtyard, which seats around 470. In the fall and spring, concerts are presented in the splendid Music Room in the Rosen House. Caramoor’s gardens, also used for concerts and the sound art exhibition Sonic Innovations, are well worth the visit and include nine unique perennial gardens. Among them are a Sense Circle for the visually impaired, the Sunken Garden, a Butterfly Garden, the Tapestry Hedge, and the Iris and Peony Garden.

Getting to Caramoor

Getting to Caramoor is simple by car, train or public transportation. All parking is free and close to the performance areas. Handicapped parking is also free and readily available.

By car from New York City, take the Henry Hudson Parkway north to the Saw Mill River Parkway north to I-684 north to Exit 6. Go east on Route 35 to the traffic light (0.3 miles). Turn right onto Route 22 south, and travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road where there is a green Caramoor sign. At the junction, veer left and make a quick right onto Girdle Ridge Road. Continue on Girdle Ridge Road 0.5 miles to the Caramoor gates on the right. Approximate drive time is one hour.

By train from Grand Central Station, take the Harlem Division Line of the Metro-North Railroad heading to Southeast, and exit at Katonah. Caramoor is a 3.5-mile drive from the Katonah station, where taxi service is always available and free shuttle service is available for most performances. For current information, check the Metro-North schedule.

Caramoor: opera and classical vocal music, summer 2019

June 23
Versailles: Portrait of a Royal Domain
Venetian Theater
Boston Early Music Festival*
Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, musical directors
Gilbert Blin, stage director
Carlos Fittante, choreographer
Charpentier: Les Plaisirs de Versailles
Lully: Atys (two divertissements)
Lalande: Les Fontaines de Versailles 

June 30
New York Baroque Incorporated with Vivica Genaux
Venetian Theater
New York Baroque Incorporated*
Vivica Genaux, mezzo-soprano
Corelli: Concerto Grosso in D, Op. 6, No. 4: Adagio-Allegro (i)
Handel: “Brilla nell’alma un non inteso ancor” from Alessandro
Handel: “Lascia la spina” from Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno
Vivaldi: Violin Concerto in F minor, RV 297, “L’inverno” from The Four Seasons
Vivaldi: “Gelido in ogni vena” from Farnace, RV 711
Hasse: “Come nave in mezzo all’onde” from Viriate
Geminiani: Concerto Grosso in E, No. 11, H 142 (After Corelli’s Violin Sonata)
Handel: Armida abbandonata, HWV 105

July 12
Dover Quartet with Davóne Tines
Spanish Courtyard
Dover Quartet
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone
Mendelssohn: Andante sostenuto and Variations in E, Op. 81, No. 1
Mendelssohn: Scherzo in A minor, Op. 81, No. 2
Mendelssohn: Fugue in E-flat, Op. 81, No. 4
Barber: Dover Beach, Op. 3
Caroline Shaw: By and By
Dvořák: String Quartet No. 14 in A-flat, Op. 105

July 25
American Modern Opera Company*:
Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor
Paul Appleby, tenor
Matthew Aucoin, piano
Spanish Courtyard
Britten: Abraham and Isaac
Matthew Aucoin: This Earth
Monteverdi: “Possente spirto”
Matthew Aucoin: Selections from Merrill Songs
Harold Meltzer: The Heaven of Animals (world premiere)

* Caramoor debut

#          #          #

All concerts made possible, in part, by ArtsWestchester with funds from the Westchester County Government.

All concerts made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The 2018 Summer Music Festival is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.


© 21C Media Group, April 2019

Return to Press Room