Monadnock Music closes in on a half-century of distinguished music and artists Sunday as it opens its 2013 season, the second with artistic director Gil Rose. It’s an ambitious program of 19 concerts in an array of styles and settings, including seven ticketed concerts at the Peterborough Town House, 11 free village concerts at historic meetinghouses, and a grand finale outdoor band concert complete with fireworks at the beautiful Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge.
“I’m incredibly inspired by the historic settings in which we’re privileged to perform,” says Rose, who also serves as conductor for four programs this summer. “For me, last year was about getting to know the venues. The experience of those beautiful settings guided executive director Will Chapman and me as we put together this year’s programs.”
The season opens on July 14th with an all-Mozart program featuring acclaimed male soprano Michael Maniaci performing operatic works composed for castrato. Having collaborated with Rose on numerous projects in the past, Maniaci is uniquely qualified for the program, given his ability to sing the roles in natural voice rather than falsetto.
For a number of performances this summer Monadnock Music is benefiting from its proximity to and relationship with the MacDowell Colony. On August 10th at 3pm, it will present Anthony De Mare in a selection from “Liaisons: Reimagining Sondheim for the Piano,” solo works de Mare commissioned based on the music of Stephen Sondheim, who will receive the Edward MacDowell Medal on the 11th at noon at the Colony’s annual Medal Day and open house.
That afternoon at 4pm, Monadnock Music will present the opera “Our Town” by the great American composer and former MacDowell fellow Ned Rorem, based on the iconic play by fellow colonist Thornton Wilder, set in Grover’s Corners, the fictitious town inspired by Peterborough. “This is the perfect piece to celebrate New England and the astonishing gifts of music and drama that have been brought to the region over the years,” says Rose, who will conduct and direct. And throughout the summer, works by composers in residence at MacDowell will be featured.
On August 25th the season will close with a grand “finale al fresco,” a program of band music by Sousa, Grainger, and others, and a world premiere, “Grand Monadnock Measures,” by Andy Vores. The program, “Music for the Pines & Mountains,” also conducted by Rose, will take place outdoors at the Cathedral of the Pines at 7pm and conclude with fireworks.
Of course, the season includes healthy doses of the beloved Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert, but mixes things up with such modern composers as Lou Harrison and Frederic Rzewski. “What Gil and I have tried to do in our second season together at Monadnock Music is to pack as much vision, diversity, and artistry as possible into what is still a very intimate and informal festival with a distinctly New England style,” concludes Chapman.
More information about Monadnock Music, as well as tickets for the complete season or individual performances, is available here.