Sunday, October 4, 2015

Doug Williams in US premiere of Scarlatti serenata

Douglas Williams
Bass-barihunk Doug Williams will join baroque specialist Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra this week for the American premiere of Alessandro Scarlatti's The Glory of Spring . The serenata has not been heard in the western hemisphere for nearly 300 years, which the composer wrote to celebrate the birth of the heir to the Holy Roman Emperor.

The prince was John Leopold, son of Charles VI and his father’s only male heir. Since Charles had recently acquired the kingdom of Naples in a treaty, the Neapolitans commissioned Scarlatti, their court composer, to write a grand serenata to celebrate the prince’s birth and gain favor with their new sovereign. Scarlatti wrote the piece within a few weeks and it was performed to adoring audiences in Naples immediately following the birth. Unfortunately, just months after the The Glory of Spring premiered, the celebrated infant died and the incredible work was forgotten.

Performances run from October 4-10 in Berkeley, San Francisco and Palo Alto. He'll be joined by tenor Nicholas Phan, soprano Suzana Ograjenšek, mezzo Diana Moore, countertenor Clint van der Lindeand the Philharmonia Chorale.

Tickets are available online. You can listen to Doug Williams HERE.

Williams will remain on the West Coast, where he will join Stephen Stubbs and the Pacific Masterworks for Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers in British Columbia.  Performances are from October 23-25 and tickets are available online.

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