Center for Old Music

The Center for Old Music presents

Musick's Company: "Monteverdi and More."

Friday, May 8, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Maxwell Presbyterian Church
180 E. Maxwell St., Lexington, KY
Admission by donation

Early in 1643 Claudio Monteverdi was entering his 76th year, auspiciously mounting his greatest opera, The Coronation of Poppea. Its plot centers on a love triangle in 62 AD (Nero, his mistress Poppea, and his wife Octavia). The events actually did happen, but Monteverdi's librettist, Francesco Busenello, found ways to make a good story much better. Ten excerpts from Poppea will constitute most of the first half of our concert.

There is a cast of vivid characters in the opera, all of them maniacally searching for something they cannot (or should not) have. In the end it is a triumph of love over virtue, a message that is morally ambiguous at best, but making ample opportunities for glorious musical moments.

The principal outcome of the opera is the marriage and coronation of Poppea and Nero, rounded out by a love duet which is one of the miracles of Western music. All the moral tangles in the opera are swept away by the sincerity and passion of these besotted lovers. We may not forgive them, but we surely do not forget their music.

One of the reasons we are able to tackle this sampling of Poppea is our guest theorboist, Bob Reynierson. Bob grew up in Lexington and will return again from Florida with his six-foot-tall cousin-of-the-lute to join our small orchestra under the direction of Malissa Sullivan. He will harmonize with our regulars John Hedger, David Dube, Simon Holden, Dorothy Tice, Susan Carey and Rupert Pickens (plus our fine chorus).

The second half of our concert will sprout off in all kinds of directions: Monteverdi, but also Handel, Purcell and delightful English country dances. The program will be a musical adventure that will be sure to take you right out of yourself, and one you won't want to miss.

**Note the new starting time of 7:30 p.m., and the new venue of Maxwell Presbyterian Church.**

We continue to honor the memory of our founding director, Donna Boyd, as we celebrate over 35 years of joyful music making.